Big Apple Automaton
The semi cult sci-fi classic The Colossus of New York (1958) borrows liberally from Frankenstein (1931) and the real-life horror story of the theft of Einstein’s brain in 1955.
Dr. Frankenstein (Victor, to those who tailgated with him) sewed together parts of corpses, goosed it alive by the stuff that comes out of lamp sockets, and brought the now-living product to market.
Albert (or “Al”) Einstein, the Nobel prize-winning physicist who gave me/you/the world the theory of relativity E = mc2 (I use that all the time – so useful), had some nut bag pathologist (Thomas Harvey) steal his brain in hopes of scientifically chopping it up to discover any anomalies that could explain the smartest guy in the world’s scientific acumen. Harvey kept Al’s brain in a cider box stashed under a beer cooler. (There’s probably a joke in there somewhere.)
Watch how I flawlessly tie this together with the movie. On the eve of a big party to accept the International Peace Prize (the menu featured those fancy cocktail wieners on platters), 34 year-old Jeremy Spensser gets flattened by a truck. Boom, boom – out go the lights. He left behind a young son and a rather fetching wife.
Jeremy’s Dad and brother – both scientists – feel Jeremy’s lying down on the job and decide to extract his brain and transplant it into probably one of the best dressed robots ever created in a downstairs lab. Told’ja I could tie it all together.
Widow Spensser and her son move into her father and brother-in-law’s giant mansion, unaware her husband’s thinker is powering a 9-foot robot in the basement. Not only can Jeremy-Bot speak (with cool sparking electrical noises), he has ESP, can hypnotize you with the flashing bulbs he calls eyeballs, and can deep fry you with electric beams, which make you pretty much dead and looking for a spare robot to live in.
Things get messy when the robot discovers his brother has had swollen intentions on his former wife, even trying to get her to go to Hawaii with him. She should’ve gone; that’s a pretty impressive/all-inclusive first date.
The p.o.’d robot swims (!) to an condemned part of the Manhattan shipping waterfront, confronts his bro, and zap-zaps him into deadness. There goes another unfulfilled vacation bathing suit.
Wanting to kill the world, Colossus (title only) calls for the scientific community to meet at the U.N. and when they get there, proceeds to microwave every non-robot in sight. Almost all of the people just stand there, so it’s they’re fault for not trying to run away with their pants down while screaming.
Bullets do nothing because hey – ROBOT! Fortunately, Spensser’s son – who is against all this zapping – gets through to robo-dad. In a moment of clarity, he has his kid pull the kill-switch lever located on the side of his former rib cage. Then everybody just walks away like that sort of thing happens in New York all the time. Maybe it does. How the heck should I know? I believe everything I see on the TV.
Pretty lame ending. Then again, so it was for Frankenstein’s monster and the Einster.