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Giant from the Unknown
Giant from Devil's Crag / Giant from Diablo Point / The Diablo Giant

USA 1958
produced by
Screencraft Enterprises, Astor Pictures
directed by Richard E.Cunha
starring Ed Kemmer, Sally Fraser, Morris Ankrum, Bob Steele, Buddy Baer, Billy Dix, Oliver Blake, Jolene Brand, Gary Crutcher
written by Ralph Brooke, Frank Hart Taussig, make-up by Jack Pierce

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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At Devil's Crag, near the mountain village Pine Ridge, some livestock is found horribly mutilated, & a fter a time even a man is found killed. The superstitious mountain folks are quick to believe in some supernatural cause, ince in Devil's Crag there's an Indian burial ground, & crazy Indian Joe (Billy Dix) does only fuel their fears, but for sheriff Parker (former B-Western star Bob Steele) it is pretty clear who's to blame, the town's only intellectual, geologist Wayne Brooks (Ed Kemmer), who visits Devil's Crag on a regular basis. Parker even tries to arrest him but has to let him go due to lack of evidence.

... & what does Brooks do ? He takes the first opportunity to lead someone to Devil's Crag, archeologist Cleveland (Morris Ankrum) & his lovely daughter Janet (Sally Fraser).

Cleveland is actually looking for the body of renegade conquistador Vargas, dubbed the Diablo Giant due to his impressive height, who is said to have died around Devil's Crag some 500 years ago. Cleveland & Brook even find traces of the Diablo Giant, even think they find his body enclosed in stone, but when they decide to wait for the night before excavating it, the next day the Diablo Giant (Buddy Baer)  is gone ... As it turns out, he was kept enclosed in stone in suspended animation for 500 years, & once relased again he has nothing better to do than go on a killing spree (in full conquistadores armour no less) ...

Soon, a local girl, Ann (Jolene Brand), is killed, & since sheriff Parker finds a way to tie it to Brooks, & since Brooks has no alibi, & his suspicions about the Diablo Giant make little sense, Parker arrests him.

Brooks can escape though, & when the sheriff recaptures him & while doing so the 2 of them run across the Diablo Giant, the sheriff begins to see the truth in Brooks' words & starts forming a posse to hunt down the creature ...

But hunting it down proves to be harder than it seems as the giant is not easily harmed by bullets (due to his armour) & is pretty good at throwing rocks & sneaking up his adversaries from behind, & he shows no remorse in killing each & anybody. So after a long & unsuccessful hunting-trip, the posse returns to camp to contemplate thier next move, when teenage Charlie (Gary Crutcher) - boyfriend of the murdered local girl Ann - decides to go to hunt for the giant - who has since of course kidnapped Janet - on his own, but only gets beaten up pretty badly ... but not badly enough to not being able to tell Brooks where to look for the giant - in the old mill.

In the old mill, Brooks & the giant really fight it out, before the giant drops to his death from a nearby dam ...

 

After having learned his trade in advertisment films, this was director Cunha's first feature film, of course shot on a low budget & a tight shooting schedule (allegedly it took only 60 days from the first day of shooting to the completely processed & edited product, ready for exhibition). Of course all these shortcomings show, especially in the central villain, who is merely a big man in cheap make-up (one of the last jobs of Universal Horror-make-up legend Jack Pierce - & not one of his better ones), wearing the outfit of the Spanish conquistadores - which looks anything but spooky. The movie is also marred by a few plotholes too big not to notice (e.g. who has done the killings of lifestock & people before the giant was released), however all this doesn't hurt the movie too much once you accept it for what it is, a fun - if mindless - piece of drive-in fare that should be seen as nostalgia at its best.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD