Archive for the ‘B-movies’ Tag

Atom Age Vampire (1960)   Leave a comment

Atom-age-vampire-poster

Beautiful and famous exotic dancer, Jeanette Moreneau (Susanne Loret), fights with her lover Pierre (Sergio Fantoni).  He leaves, vowing to sail out of her life forever.  He’s a sailor, by the way.  Fearful of never seeing him again, Jeanette races after Pierre and has a terrible car wreck.  She awakens in a hospital wrapped with bandages in a scene so familiar I expected Donna Douglas to appear as Rod Serling spoke.

shat
Not this one!

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Right.

No such luck.  Her once beautiful face burned horribly and her beau off fighting the Kraken or getting tattooed, Jeanette contemplates suicide.  She changes her mind after a visit from Monique (Franca Parisi), a mysterious woman who claims to know a doctor who can heal her scars and restore her former beauty.  We know Monique is mysterious because she wears a trench coat and dark sunglasses.

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Not this mysterious.

Jeanette goes to see Professor Levin (Alberto Lupo) whose experiments in skin regeneration make he and his assistant, the mysterious Monique, speak in whispers and overact.  The sera don’t do much for the test animals either who tend to go psychotic after prolonged use.  Naturally after results like those, he uses some on Monique and later, Jeanette’s face.  Derma 28 works but wears off pretty quickly so the good professor, who is all about the science and has no pervy designs on our stripper at all, has to keep dosing Jeanette with the stuff until he runs out.  Since Derma 28 comes from the necks of women, Levin kills a few and steals their neck stuff.  It goes on like this for a while with the professor, Monique, Jeanette, and Sasha, the mute Igor-like slave/gardener guy who mumbles a lot and may or may not have a hump, whispering and plotting and really emoting the hell out of the story.

atom
And now on Tutti I Miei Figli…

Eventually, Pierre returns from his voyage looking for Jeanette and using staunch detective work which involves asking people where she is, finds her.  He and the police descend upon the professor and his merry bunch and do pretty much nothing for a while.  More women, mostly streetwalkers, die which seems to bother no one and more things happen and by this time I was drooling a little and had trouble keeping my eyes open.  Anton Giulio Majano, which may be Italian for Alan Smithee, directed Atom Age Vampire.  The Italian title Seddok, l’erede di Satana translates to Seddok, the Heir of Satan.  What Seddok had to do with this, I can’t even guess.  A must see!  Well…maybe.

atom-age-vampire-credits
Cool credits.

 

Posted April 21, 2014 by Kerry Fristoe in Reviews

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Them! (1954)   Leave a comment

them for

A series of bizarre deaths and some odd footprints baffle New Mexico policeman James Whitmore. His superiors send the prints to Washington. FBI agent James Arness and father/daughter entymologists Edmund Gwenn and Joan Weldon arrive to investigate and soon they’re battling huge mutant ants in the desert. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

kid
Bueller?

It is. An engaging story, solid performances, and convincing large insects make Them! the best of the mutant bug movies of the 1950s. In fact, Them! serves as a template for many of the alien invasion/giant insect films to follow. It’s even scary. Scenes in which the team goes underground to explore the ants’ lair have you on the edge of your seat and the sudden blast of ant sound effects (made by the grey tree frog) was startling.

frog
I am not an ant.

Veteran director Gordon Douglas (In Like Flint, The Detective) keeps the pace brisk and the story compelling. We learn enough about these characters to like them and the cast, made up of A and B+ level actors push this film way above many in the genre. Warner Brothers made the film and used many of its up and coming actors in cameos.

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Live long and…?

Leonard Nimoy, Fess Parker, Richard Deacon, William Schallert, and Dub Taylor show up in small roles and help give the film some of its polish. They also had a A-list crew with Bronislau Kaper’s original score and Gordon Bau’s make-up. Them! was even nominated for Best Effects/Best Special Effects at the 1955 Oscars and was the highest grossing film Warner Brothers made in 1954. So next time someone tells you mutant bug films don’t cut it in the quality department, tell them about Them!. I mean, any film that has the Wilhelm Scream, moulage, and Santa battling giant, homicidal ants must be a winner.

ant
Peek-a-boo!

The Deadly Mantis (1957)   6 comments

mantis postermantissss

mantis tunnel

Following the pattern laid down 3 years earlier in Them!, The Deadly Mantis starts with a series of bizarre disappearances in a remote area.  In this case, the Arctic and a military outpost stand in for the desert.  When Colonel Joe Parkman (Craig Stevens) discovers a large spur-like object at the scene of a wrecked out-building, he calls in the big guns to help identify it.  Dr. Nedrick Jackson (William Hopper), a paleontologist at the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. decides the spur comes from an insect and since crickets and grasshoppers seldom eat the military, he blames the carnage on the meanest, most viciously Machiavellian insect in all of insectdom, the praying mantis.  Cue Da dum music.   Since they asked Jackson to identify the culprit, and he did, naturally they’d want him to come up to the Arctic and, um…well I don’t know.  Using the same principle that has CSI operatives in movies carrying guns and arresting bad guys, The Deadly Mantis has the military flying Dr. Jackson up to the Arctic and bringing his pal, photographer Marge Blaine (Alix Talton) with him.  Now we have the plucky and attractive career gal to complete our tableau.  Marge and Colonel Parkman fall in love instantly or to paraphrase Woody Allen; Parkman falls in love.  Marge just stands there.  The mantis kills more guys in pretty horrific ways.  The close-ups of his bearing down on each victim look really scary and the effects work well.  Then our devout green friend does something incredibly cool.  He flies.  The mantis’ wings do a kind of hummingbird/helicopter thing and he sits upright as if he were riding dressage style.  I tip my hat to my friend, Kent for suggesting the dressage idea.
flying mantis
Dr. Jackson figures the mantis will fly due south and wind up in South America so I was confused when the film showed headlines sighting the creature in Maine, then New Orleans, and then Minnesota.  Either the sightings involved a different gigantic flying insect or the mantis wanted to drop in on Garrison Keillor.  Anyway, our gang of intrepid mantis-hunters heads to Washington and since they had such a good thing going up north, the bug decides to follow them.  There are some cool scenes of destruction and mayhem in our nation’s capital and a particularly fun Washington Monument shot.  Eventually our bug-eyed friend winds up in a tunnel in New Jersey (note the Them! parallels) and since there’s no Deadly Mantis 2: Saying Grace in Trenton, you can kind of figure what happens.    I enjoyed The Deadly Mantis.  While not as good as Tarantula or Them!, it boasts a good cast of capable character actors (Peter Gunn AND Paul Drake!) and solid direction by Nathan Juran (The Brain from Planet Arous, Lost In Space and The Time Tunnel TV episodes) which took advantage of some fun special effects and blended real and stock footage well.  Fred Knoth did the special effects on this film and The Incredible Shrinking Man.  Creature from the Black Lagoon writer William Alland added his polish too making The Deadly Mantis a great way to spend 79 minutes.

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I went a little crazy with the posters again but, come on!  It’s a giant praying mantis attacking a city!  I think we need to see as many pictures of that as is humanly possible.  You’re welcome.

mantis hi

The Creeping Terror (1964)   4 comments

creep poster

Wow.  Where do I begin?

Police in tiny Angel City, California see a rocket crash on the outskirts of town. Immediately they crawl into the rocket for a look and we hear screams of agony. Other cops watch from outside the ship, but just stand there and cringe as their brother officer turns into a cube or a pile of salt or some pus and a femur. We don’t know. Since the producers of The Creeping Terror believe in tell, not show, we see nothing. Even more mystifying are the cops’ reactions. They shake their heads and go home. Someone calls a scientist, but no one alerts the good citizens of Angel City and they continue to fish, picnic, neck, and have a hootenanny all in the feeding grounds of the space monster. As weird as this may seem, it doesn’t approach the level of weirdness displayed by the producers in terms of the narrative style of this film and the creature itself. The narrative style consists of a narrator. That’s it. There’s almost no dialogue. We see characters talking to each other, but can’t hear them. We just hear a guy describing what happens. It’s bizarre. He not only describes the actions, but the motivations and feelings of each character. That makes sense because no one in this film can act. You need someone to tell you what they’re feeling, because you certainly can’t tell by looking at their faces.

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“I feel things.”

Then there’s Mr. Creeping Terror himself. If you asked a group of elementary school children to build a scary monster out of things from the landfill, they’d do a better job than these guys. The monster looks like a guy inside a suit made of cardboard and bath mats dragging a canvas tarp behind him.

creeping terror

“I’ve been sick.”

You can even see the guy’s feet. The beast moves at a snail’s pace so it’s amazing that it catches anyone.  My best guess is that the Bath Mat Monster so stuns those who see it, they’re paralyzed with disbelief. It then opens its gaping maw about waist high and devours all who cross its path. The victims have to help him by climbing into his weird opening and you see the effort they have to make to get all the way in. A few times the meal’s legs stick out the Bath Mat Monster’s mouth for a while.

help

“Does anyone know the Heimlich?”

You’d think after such an effort, he wouldn’t have to eat again for a week, but no. Soon he’s out carousing again. He shows up at Lovers’ Lane and even crashes a dance at the local VFW. The horrifying shots of the people at the social waiting in line to wrestle with a bunch of shag rugs made me shudder. Well, actually they didn’t. What did make me shudder were the shoddy production values and the complete lack of a story. The entire plot consists of a hungry bath mat eating people and humping cars, and a scientist arguing with a heavily eye-browed Army colonel about whether they should kill it or capture it to learn its ways.

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“Vroom vroom!”

Another big feature in this dud is all the making out. The main character, a policeman, just got married and takes his new bride along in the squad car as he patrols the countryside. Sounds legit. On a break from the search for our favorite pile of ambulatory bath mats, the two make out in the police car. Couples make out in Lovers’ Lane, during picnics and on the sofa sitting next to another guy. It’s strange. I wonder if the makers of The Creeping Terror wanted an excuse to get a little action going with some girls so one of them said “Hey! My dad has a movie camera. Let’s tell these chicks we’re making a movie and see where it gets us.” I doubt they were the first.

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“Uh, guys? I’m still here.”

Vic Savage directed (?) The Creeping Terror based on a script. Shocking, I know.

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Yeah, not really.

Robert Silliphant wrote the script for this and The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!? Unfortunately, that’s another cool title/crappy movie combo but at least Incredibly Strange Creatures has Ray Dennis Steckler to keep things moving. No such luck here. Aside from its status as number one in the worst film of all time competition, The Creeping Terror has the dubious honor of being one of the few non-Tom Mix cowboy films shot at Spahn Movie Ranch. The ranch gained fame a few years later as the hide-out for Charles Manson and his family during the Tate/LaBianca murders. So while The Creeping Terror isn’t the worst thing to happen at Spahn Ranch, it’s definitely the worst film to happen there.

never

Nevermore.

Tentacles (1977)   Leave a comment

Tentacles_B2_Ohrai-1-500x698

“A chilling tale of nature gone wild.”

Well, that’s what the trailer says anyway. A really big octopus threatens life on the California coast. A cast of A-listers including John Huston, Henry Fonda, and Shelley Winters tries to make us care. Unfortunately, they can’t and the movie fails on pretty much every level. Presented (whatever that means) by Samuel B. Arkoff, who, starting in the 1950s, produced some fantastic B-movies with James Nicholson and Roger Corman, Tentacles could have soared to the heights of It Conquered the World (1956), A Bucket of Blood (1959), or The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971). Instead, it sank to the depths of that training film they make you watch when you get a job at H & R Block.

The giant octopus wakes up because Henry Fonda’s company, Trojan (yup) is digging holes in the ocean floor and using too much sonar or something. I can’t tell you any more because the film doesn’t see fit to let the audience in on it. Since we never really know what crime the big corporation has committed or much about its impact, we can’t get too involved with the plot. It turns out Fonda didn’t know about it anyway. He asks his VP to make it stop and then we never see them again so that part goes nowhere. We see some dead fish and, of course our eight-legged friend, but other than that, the ocean looks great.

So, Octy kills and sucks the innards out of a bunch of people in a bloodless and boring way and some people we see briefly but don’t really care about go looking for them and get killed and have their innards sucked out. Even the impressive pool of talent in this film can’t salvage it because the writing is just so bad. Poorly written dialogue, undefined characters, inappropriate music, and ham-handed cuts combine to make Tentacles one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. I watched Santa Claus Conquers the Martians recently and at least they tried. I’m not sure what director Ovidio Assonitis had that enticed these stars to act in such a dog. Maybe they owed him money. If I sound mad it’s because this film has the audacity to rip off one of the best films ever made, Jaws, and does it so poorly and so obviously it becomes almost offensive.

As the trailer proclaims, “Tentacles is the most gripping suspense you’ll ever experience.” Yeah, not really.

Tarantula (1955)   Leave a comment

tarara

A horribly disfigured man in pajamas stumbles through the desert, collapses, and dies. When local doctor, Matt Hastings (John Agar) sees the body, he doubts Professor Deemer’s (Leo G. Carroll) diagnosis of acromegaly (gigantism) and suspects the professor might be complicit in his colleague’s death. While he ponders this, Steve (Mara Corday) arrives in town, in a stunning white travel ensemble, to work in the lab for the pajama-clad dead guy. Since he’s not hiring, Steve begins working for Deemer instead, but not before igniting a little romantic fire under Dr. Hastings.

He has little time to plan his love life though because something attacks the livestock in their sleepy little community and leaves nothing but bones and a big puddle of white liquid. Testing proves the white stuff comes from a tarantula so we’re treated to a filmstrip on them right out of the substitute teacher collection. Soon Dr. Hero Guy discovers Professor Deemer in an advanced state of acromegaly and the truth comes out.

Deemer, fresh from his work on the Manhattan Project, opened his lab in the desert to work on a nutritional supplement designed to rid the world of hunger. His experiments on rabbits and guinea pigs showed great promise and Deemer fed the animals the formula exclusively. They matured at an advanced rate and grew much larger than their usual size. A couple of his colleagues figured if the serum made a guinea pig grow to the size of a police dog it must be great for humans, so they injected each other with the stuff. Oddly enough, the two men suffered tremendously when the radioactive isotopes clashed with their body chemistry. One wandered into the desert in his pjs and the other, miffed about his impending demise, wrecked the lab and shot the professor up with the serum. The lab animals either died in the ensuing blaze or scurried off to roam the countryside.

Since this film is called Tarantula and not Guinea Pig, I’m sure you can figure out who made it out alive.


“Pssst, it was me.”

As to why they used tarantulas in lab tests I’ll never know. I guess the profs just liked having them around. Since they have a humungous radioactive spider snacking on the locals, the sheriff (Nestor Paiva) calls the state police, who in turn call the Air Force. Napalm encrusted hijinks ensue and we see the requisite fighter squadron stock footage. Director, Jack Arnold (Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Incredible Shrinking Man) does an admirable job and uses decent effects and appropriate music to create suspense. A few of the scenes made me jump. The cast of B/A- actors deliver solid performances and the natural dialogue moves along nicely. There’s some real chemistry between Corday and Agar and we care what happens to these characters. I love big bug movies and Tarantula is a fun one. Oh, and look for Clint Eastwood in one of his first movie roles.

clint
“Go ahead, make my day.”

Madman of Mandoras (1963)   Leave a comment

madman mandoras

Professor Coleman invents an antidote to the powerful nerve gas PAM.  PAM, of course is an acronym and don’t ask me for what.  It’s also a cooking spray so it’s clear ConAgra never saw this movie.  Anyway, bad guys want the formula so when they release PAM, no one gets out alive.  To lure the professor into their clutches, the criminals kidnap his Valley Girl (cerca 1960s) daughter and take her to the South American country of Mandoras.  The professor’s older, more sensible daughter and her husband hop a plane to Mandoras after a foreign guy holds them at gunpoint, and dies in their car.  Down in Mandoras, the couple are reunited with their dippy sister. After a weird gunfight in a nightclub where Carmen Miranda’s less talented cousin performs, some guy we don’t know takes a bullet and the local sheriff, portrayed by local sheriff portrayer Nestor Paiva rounds up our trio of nitwits and brings them to the hoosegow.  There we meet the president who resembles the Hispanic Colonel Sanders and find out the real power behind this incredibly contrived plot.  A band of Nazis holed up in the presidential palace plot to gather the rest of their evil gang, drop PAM, and take over.  Once they’ve laid waste to the world as we know it, they plan to put their own guy in power.  Since they’re Nazis, three guesses as to who they’ve chosen to lead them. Yup. The Big Kahuna himself, Adolph.  It seems scientists collected some cells in the fabled bunker and used them to…um, grow a new Fuhrer.  They didn’t exactly grow a whole Hitler, just a head.  So we get some hilarious scenes with a head under glass making odd expressions, looking around curiously, and barking orders.  There’s even a carrying case with handles for when the head has to ride in the back of a limo.  More stuff happens but who cares?  You watch this film to see Hitler’s head scream, “Mach schnell!” to his underlings from under a pastry cover.  According to imdb, Steve Bennet and Richard Miles wrote the screenplay for this and They Saved Hitler’s Brain and not much else.   Often hard to follow, the story meanders and the audience feels just as out of it as the cast.  Madmen of Mandoras has, as Joe Bob Briggs said, “too much plot getting in the way of the story.”  David Bradley directed Madmen of Mandoras as well as They Saved Hitler’s Brain and used some scenes for both films.  I guess with gold like that you want to get as much mileage as you can out of it.  I’d recommend this for the weirdness quotient alone.

hitler under glass

Horrors of Spider Island (1962)   Leave a comment

horrors_of_spider_island_poster_02

Alternate titles: It’s Hot in Paradise and Body in the Web

After they’re hired in a bizarre audition involving dancing, stripping, and promising not to have affairs, a group of about ten showgirls board a plane to Singapore with their promoter, Gary (Alexander D’Arcy) and his assistant, Georgia (Helga Franck).

The plane crashes almost immediately after take-off and the women and their boss spend some time complaining on a lifeboat until someone spies land and they swim ashore. Gary finds a cabin and, instead of vacationers or a missionary converting the natives, he finds a dead man in a huge web. Georgia, possessor of keen observational skills says, “Oh…a dead man in a huge web.”


A dead man in a huge web

While we ponder why Georgia never made head detective everyone moves on and it’s shower time. Scantily clad from the get go, the women seem to remove more clothing as the story progresses. They complain about the heat and cope with it by writhing a bit which gets Gary excited and he kisses the wrong girl. He’s chastised by Georgia and retreats into the jungle only to be attacked by some Alaskan King Crab legs with blinky eyes. He transforms into a furry-faced, spidery, claw-handed thing and we don’t see him until he bites a stripper and leaves her in a pond. The girls find her covered in bite marks and naturally assume she’s been strangled. They remember the web, put two and two together and accuse its maker. Makes sense, right? I mean, when a person has been strangled, I immediately suspect a spider.

No matter, now it’s time for nude swimming. Despite the tropical setting, the cameraman stands in Vancouver so good luck seeing the girls’ attributes. While they swim, two men in a boat come ashore and the fun really begins. The girls tell the men about the professor. Remember the dead man in a huge web? They think about him for a minute then decide to have a dance party. Everyone takes off a layer of clothes and gang up on the only two men on the island. Bobby, our boater with an eye for the ladies, goes from one girl to another in a weird, semi-nude orgy which involves kissing and leering and not much else. People talk about things they don’t care about much, have a wild cat fight, and SpiderGary returns.

I hate to spoil the ending and I’ve already spent more time reviewing this film than the producers did making it, so I’ll end this. Horrors of Spider Island left me with many unanswered questions. Why did the professor end up in a web and Gary go all spidery? Was this really a stag film? Why is the cameraman filming this through cheese cloth. Anyway, if you want to watch a mumbly, incoherent story filmed from a distance which may or may not involve spiders…ah just skip it. Actually, don’t skip it. In spite of its shortcomings, Horrors of Spider Island is a lot of fun to watch.


See ya!

Blacula (1972)   Leave a comment

Blacula_B2_Japan-1

In 1780, an African prince, Mamawalde of Abani (William Marshall) and his wife, Luva (Vonetta McGee) attend a dinner party at the home of the gracious Count Dracula. After the other guests have gone, Mamawalde and Luva remain for a private word with the count. After a brandy and some banter, the prince asks the count if he will side with him publicly in his mission to outlaw slavery in Europe. Instead of support or an argument, Prince Mamawalde gets laughter and a bite on the neck. The evil count imprisons the newly undead prince in a sealed coffin and his wife in an attic prison beside him.

Cut to the 1970s and a couple of flamboyantly and stereotypically gay antiques dealers buy the entire contents of Count Dracula’s castle and ship it to Los Angeles to sell in their shop. Of course they buy the coffin too and in doing so unleash Blacula on an unsuspecting Los Angeles.

Blacula cuts a swath of brutal murders across the city which prompts criminal psychologist Dr. Gordon Thomas (Thalmus Rasulala) to investigate. Thomas’ lab assistant and girlfriend, Michelle (Denise Nicholas) also happens to be the sister of Tina who looks amazingly like Blacula’s long lost love, Luva. So there you have it. Blacula and Tina/Luva fall in love instantly and despite her friends’ suspicions that Mamawalde comes on a little strong and creepy, Tina launches into a passionate affair with him. All hell breaks loose and then you have cops chasing a vampire through the nightclubs and warehouses of 70s LA.

Blacula is a fun film and despite the blaxploitation label and rather obvious title, the film isn’t the racist mess I was expecting. The main characters have depth and don’t fall into Huggy Bear-like stereotypes. The story is compelling and the action scenes look great. William Crain, who directed this and the series The Mod Squad and Starsky and Hutch, knows how to move a story along and the cast, veterans of film and television, do a fine job in their roles. There’s some real chemistry between the two main couples and even though it’s an exploitation film, you care about the people in it. Elisha Cook, Jr. even makes an appearance as a mortuary worker with a hook hand. You heard me. Gene Page, who arranged some of Barry White’s biggest hits, composed the soundtrack and the Hues Corporation, famous for the hit song “Rock the Boat” perform in a few nightclub scenes. It’s a good time!

Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)   Leave a comment

leeches

Lem, a moonshiner famous for telling tall tales, claims he saw a giant ‘octypus’ while poaching deer near the swamp. When he goes missing, Game Warden Steve (Ken Clark) and a handful of men search for him. They find him dead and drained of all his blood. Despite this minor red flag, no one in the Florida country town believes Lem’s stories except Steve, his girlfriend Nan (Jan Shepard), and her father, Doc Greyson (Tyler McVey).

Steve and Nan take a boat out on the swamp to search for anything out of the ordinary, but come up empty. Meanwhile back at the general store, slatternly Liz Walker (Yvette Vickers) teases and belittles her wimpy husband Dave (Bruno VeSota) and takes off to be sleazy elsewhere. After a bunch of conversation that goes nowhere, we find that Doc Greyson wants to dynamite part of the swamp to flush out whatever killed Lem, but Steve won’t allow it.

Here’s where this film differs from most mutant creature films. Steve, the game warden takes his job seriously and wants to protect the animals in his jurisdiction. He won’t allow Doc to dynamite the swamp or do anything else that might harm wildlife in the area. Compare this to Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) in which the ‘scientists’ throw chemicals, poison, bombs, and everything but the kitchen sink into poor Gilly’s lagoon in the name of science. I digress.

Back at the general store, Liz puts on her favorite low-cut frock and heads out to the swamp for her date with local creep, Cal. Liz’s husband, Dave, wielding a shotgun, surprises the couple mid embrace which ruins the mood completely. Dave’s a bit put out, so he chases them through the swamp at gunpoint and forces them into the water. He just wants to scare them though and as they attempt to crawl out of the swamp a couple of slimy, suction cup covered creatures grab the lovers and pull them down into the swamp. Dave, shocked, tells the police, but oddly, they don’t believe his tentacled fish-man story and toss him in the brig. The sheriff offers a reward to whoever finds the bodies and two more locals disappear. Doc Greyson introduces a theory that nearby Cape Canaveral’s radiation may have caused the leeches’ mutation and brings up dynamite again but Steve vetoes his suggestion. As soon as Steve leaves, the doctor, who may have a problem, and Nan place charges in the swamp anyway and up come the bodies of three of the four missing locals. Since Liz hasn’t turned up yet, Steve and a former Navy buddy strap on air tanks and go swamp diving. An underwater battle between Steve and a giant leech guy leaves the leech wounded and Steve convinced that maybe blowing up the swamp isn’t such a bad idea after all. A huge blast brings the dead leech and Liz to the surface. Everyone sighs with relief because Liz was a sleaze anyway and the nightmare is over…or is it?

I liked aspects of Attack of the Giant Leeches, but on the whole it left me cold. The story, written by Leo Gordon (The Terror, Tobruk) held my interest, but the acting was pretty poor and that dragged it down a peg. The eerie music, by Alexander Laszlo, worked though and helped set the stage for bloodsucking fun. Bernard L. Kowalski (Night of the Blood Beast, Rawhide TV series) uses a fairly straight forward approach to directing. It’s a Roger Corman production, so they wasted no time with flourishes. There’s nothing arty here, but no matter.

A few scenes really stand out. The scenes in the leeches’ underground lair are pretty creepy. Watching mutant leeches suck the blood out of their captives and leave their hickey-covered bodies in a crumpled heap made the film worth watching. All in all, Attack of the Giant Leeches is worth a watch and at sixty-two minutes, the leech-filled time flies by.

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