Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)

For whatever reason, 1950s film-makers manifested fear of the cold war in general - and nuclear weapons in general - with a gamut of 'giant monster' movies.  The genre's best year was doubtless 1954, which saw the release of giant ant thriller Them!, and also Japan's iconic contribution to the form, Godzilla.

This is no Them!

Now it's true that when a movie has the minuscule budget and shooting schedule (8 days) like this one, you probably can't expect much.  On the other hand, when your titular  monsters would look at home in an early Doctor Who episode -

this episode, specifically

- then you have a problem.

A poacher encounters "something" in the swamp.  He drives it off with five shots from his gun, but the strange nature of the beast prompts him to mention it to his drinking buddies.  They, of course, don't take his tales very seriously.  They probably feel bad when he turns up dead.

One person who doesn't feel bad is the local sheriff. He writes the man's death off as the work of a 'malformed alligator', despite the strange wounds, and thinks nothing more of it.  Then when the giant leeches claim two more victims - a married woman and her lover - he happily blames the missing woman's husband.

Fortunately, other folks in town take the problem more seriously and start looking for the real culprits.  So when we finally near the end of the film's 62-minute run time we will have a brief snippet of 'action'.

This is a plodding affair on the whole. The acting's actually not too bad all things considered but the script is clunky and the monsters laughable.  I suspect the film makers knew it, too, because the movie contains a surprising amount of (PG-rated) titillation.

Not a film you need bother with.

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