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Tuesday May 21st 2024

The Amazing Colossal Man | 1957

The Amazing Colossal Man film location: Hoover Dam, Nevada
The Amazing Colossal Man: the colossal man meets his end: Hoover Dam, Nevada

The fallout from a nuclear explosion in the Nevada desert causes Colonel Glenn Manning (Glenn Langan) to grow ten feet a day in this sci-fi flick from cheapo FX legend Bert I Gordon.

A combination of real location work and model shots has Manning wreaking havoc on the endearingly modest Las Vegas Strip, as it appeared in 1957.

Although some of the Fifties Vegas landmarks are no more, including the crown he rips from the roof and the revolving Silver Slipper, 48-feet-tall Vegas Vic, whom Col Manning apparently crumples up, still towers over 25 East Fremont Street, even if the Pioneer Club closed in 1995. And he's not puffing away on a cigarette any more.

Vic is now enclosed within the Fremont Street Experience, a four-block electronic canopy that delivers an eye-and-ear popping son et lumière show.

The Colossal Man is eventually toppled from the edge of the Hoover Dam, east of Las Vegas, near Boulder City.

The spectacular dam, which blocks the Colorado River to form Lake Mead and keep all that neon twinkling, was built between 1930 and 1935 and took some 96 lives in the process.

It's 30 miles east of Vegas, and Route 93 – the Flagstaff road from which Mr Colossal plummets into the waters of the Colorado – runs along the top. The Visitor Centre, from which you can descend 44 storeys to the base on a guided tour, features in Lost In America and the dam itself in Michael Bay's Transformers.