Giant from the Unknown (1958)

Giant from the Unknown (1958) movie poster

director Richard E. Cunha
viewed: 05/26/2016

I came across Giant from the Unknown via Joe Dante’s web project Trailers from Hell (which I cannot recommend enough — Dante is to cult cinema what Martin Scorsese is to classic Hollywood and world cinema).  Dante refers to it as “the finest Spanish conquistador comes back from the dead movie ever made”, and who’s to argue that?

It’s junk, but it’s quite appealing junk, shot by Richard E. Cunha who also made Frankenstein’s Daughter, Missile to the Moon, and She Demons, all in 1958.  It features character make-up by legend Jack Pierce, who created all the great Universal Monsters back in the day as well as much else, and was filmed in large part up at Big Bear Lake in San Bernadino County, offering a small village mountain setting of some character.

In its way, its a creature feature like no other, with a “giant” conquistador risen back to life from suspended animation of some 500 years.  The only analog I could think of is the also bizarre, though also much more laughable Eegah (1962) about a random caveman in the California hills.

Though it’s nothing special other than its immense oddity, it’s well-filmed, and entertaining, especially if you like 1950’s schlock as much as I (or Joe Dante) do.

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