Sunday, November 18, 2012

ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES (1959) movie review

Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) d. Kowalski, Bernard L. (USA)

From producer Gene Corman (brother Roger exec-produced) comes this steamy tale of oversized bloodsucking annelids terrorizing the local swamp rat population, with a dash of moonshine, adultery, and suicide tossed in for good measure.

Shabbily directed by Bernard L. Kowlaski, this is vintage grade-Z schlock, highlighted by Attack of the 50-Foot Woman’s inimitable homewrecker Yvette Vickers. Hotter than any cat on a hot tin roof, Vickers oozes trampy sex appeal as an adulterous baby-doll wife, fanning the flames of tubby husband Bruno VeSota’s jealous rage. For the ladies, well-chiseled Ken Clark frequently answers the door shirtless and models his sculpted frame in swimming trunks and scuba gear. His heroic game warden looks carved out of stone, aptly consistent with his thespian efforts.

As for the laughably cheap creatures themselves (their gigantism accounted for in a throwaway reference to Cape Canaveral’s radioactive fallout), watching the unfortunate actors lurch about within their shiny black banana-shaped costumes is as hilarious as it is sad. Still, the subterranean scenes of the leeches feeding upon their stored victims do manage a perverse creepiness, as do the drained bodies floating eerily to the surface. Screenplay by frequent Corman scribe/character actor Leo Gordon.

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