The Mind of a Man

Personally, if I’m scientist implanting a human brain in a robot with the potential to go rogue, I wouldn’t give it the ability to shoot death rays from its eyes, but that’s just me.

That bizarre bid to create action and death in the lightly heady Colossus of New York aside, this is a fine piece of ‘50s era sci-fi. While on the surface a Frankenstein tale that swaps electricity for industrialism and machinery. It’s less about life than it is purpose.

Colossus of New York creates empathy for an expression-less monster

Given the brain of a noted laureate, Colossus of New York creates an imposing figure from a mass of metal and oversized clothing. The purpose isn’t to kill or even reanimate life – it’s merely to keep the brain of a brilliant man alive and working toward the greater good.

The genre’s hallmarks are all here, including a secluded scientist working in a beaker-filled lab that in the late ‘50s, usually housed Boris Karloff. Here, it’s Otto Kruger. The hum of electricity typically fills the background, assuming the eccentric and unforgettable piano score isn’t overriding the sounds of research.

Rather than blandly move the story along, conversations turn philosophical, about whether a man is a whole or just the brain. Early in Colossus of New York, Kruger angrily refutes his own son about, “antiquated notions of a soul.” Censors of the era undoubtedly approved of the thematic religious involvement in this story, as they usually required such messaging.

Colossus of New York creates empathy for an expression-less monster, who over time, regains cognitive thought, rebels against his creator, and begins a small rampage in a barely seen New York. While budgetary restrictions are clear, Colossus of New York belies the often hammy modern satires or parodies of ‘50s sci-fi that involve kooky giant robots; that was far less common than throwback films might suggest. Instead, it’s a somber film that explores grief, sadness, and the human state of being in an admittedly odd way, yet one that keeps attention locked and is easily sold – eye lasers and all.


Scratched stock footage aside (plus some damage marks during the actual film itself, just not as severe), Colossus of New York looks wonderful on Blu-ray. Previously released by Olive, it’s unclear if this is the same master as I haven’t seen that release. Kino’s however is fantastic, with defined grain, natural clarity, and detail. Resolution keeps an impressive consistency, always high and crisp.

Gray scale looks a little light, but does define the mid-tones decently enough. Stable black levels keep shadows dense. Contrast proves perky.


Unremarkable yet clear DTS-HD mono does what it can with a unique piano-based score. Treble lands well without distortion. Dialog barely sounds aged at all.


Tom Weaver leads a commentary track, joined by Larry Blamire and Ron Adams. Kino also includes a one hour sidebar with Tim Lucas and Stephen R. Bissette, done over a Zoom/Skype call.

The Colossus of New York
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Colossus of New York is a unique oddity in ’50s sci-fi, with an ahead-of-its-time theories.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 33 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray:

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