Giant From The Unknown (1958)

giant from the unknown 1958

Buddy Baer, the younger brother of boxing champ Max, gets the easiest paycheck he ever made. All he has to do is throw stuff and look like he has indigestion. He’s a five hundred year old Spanish giant that just won’t lay down. Yes the movie is stupid but raising it up a notch is character actor Morris Ankrum and cowboy star Bob Steele as a modern day sheriff. Sally Fraser shows up to beautify the place.

Animals are disappearing and there’s not much left of the ones that are found. Now a local rancher is killed. Things are getting serious outside of Pine Ridge,California. Sheriff Parker (Bob Steele) is suspicious of young researcher Wayne Brooks (Ed Kemmer). They don’t get along anyway so why not. Local character Indian Joe thinks it’s the local curse of the Indians at work. The townspeople think he’s crazy.

Driving into town are archeology professor Frederick Cleveland (Morris Ankrum) and his daughter Janet (Sally Fraser). He wants to do some research in the mountains of Devils Crag. He’s looking for evidence of Vargas, a huge Spanish soldier known as Diablo for the way he tore through the countryside and the local Indians.

Wayne takes Cleveland and Janet to his lab. He’s got a lizard that he found in a rock. It’s the only one of its kind left. It was in suspended animation. We’ll hear more about that theory later, Wayne is also discovering Janet.

The next day the trio goes to Devil’s Crag. Wayne runs into Indian Joe who says he trusts him not to destroy ancient Indian graves. With a trusty metal detector they search….nothing. But wait….it’s going nuts! Under a huge log they find some extra large armor. Bring on the thunder and lightning. They don’t know it but Vargas is about to come up from the underground.

That night Janet goes to her tent and Cleveland and Wayne are in theirs. Uh-oh. Skulking around is Vargas. He sees Janet’s silhouette as she prepares for bed. Since he hasn’t been with a woman for five hundred years he decides to drop in. She hears a noise as clumsy Vargas bumps into something. That shakes her up and she fires a shot from a pistol she keeps under her pillow. At least he managed to get his medallion back and dress up in his old armor.

In a remote cabin young Charlie Brown lives with his cute sister Ann. He’s reluctant to go to his job in town but she tells him not to worry. Bad move Ann. While getting water from the well, Vargas can’t hold back any longer. When Parker finds the body the medallion is in her hand. He knows Wayne recovered it from the site. He arrests Wayne. On the way back they stop at Indian Joe’s cabin. He can’t talk. He’s hanging from the wall.

Vargas shows up back at camp. Janet hears her father make a noise and investigates. He’s gone. Hold on. There he is on the ground and there’s Vargas. Since he digs blondes he drops Cleveland and goes after her. Cleveland comes to and before rushing to Janet’s aid he has to pick up his hat. Meanwhile Janet tries to start the Jeep for a getaway. Nothing doing. Vargas stands there looking a bit amused. She faints and he carries her off.

Of course Janet is rescued and now it’s that time all movies like this get into…embarrassing dialogue to explain just how the giant can still be alive. Ankrum manages to keep a straight face. Now the hunt is on again and Parker and Wayne are now pals. Janet and Wayne are more than just pals. Somewhere out there Vargas is lurking. Get out the rifles and torches and let’s find him. The final special effect is good for some laughs.

Legendary movie cowboy star Bob Steele was known to TV fans as Trooper Duffy in “F Troop” (1965-67).

Morris Ankrum-Bob Steele

Morris Ankrum-Bob Steele


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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