Gene Corman

Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) - Bernard L. Kowalski

This movie looks much older than it rightfully should. It didn't hold up very well at all. The copy that I had watched was the Mystery Science Theater copy. It made it all the more bearable. It even came with a neat little short. 

A yokel spots some weird creatures in a swamp nearby town. Of course no one believes him but his tales are real. Turns out giant Leech creatures are abducting people from the nearby town, dragging them into a cave, imprisoning them, and leeching on their blood! Eventually the town sends the Game Warden out to investigate and they contemplate how to find the missing people and destroy the Giant Leeches. 

It's explained that the Giant Leeches are products of radiation from the nearby Cape Canaveral. Nuclear Radiation is a usual plot devise for movies from this time. Some think that it was playing on the real fears that people had during the Cold War. Nuclear War fear mongering. However, underneath the veil of propaganda is a Giant Monster Horror movie and that's what we try to focus on. 

This movie is really bad. The creatures themselves are neat, if you like cheap costumes and bumbling acting. But that is really the only saving grace for this picture. That and Yevette Vickers make up the only parts of this movie that are worth watching. Everything else just seems like a chore. The acting and writing is flat but if you can watch it as a Mystery Science Theater copy then you might just make it through. 

These movie are a dime a dozen and as I near closer to the fifties, I will only end up watching more of them. This one seems to be pretty horrible and maybe that is due to it being from late in the Drive-In era. Hopefully this is as bad as Drive In movies get. 


Bernard L. Kowalski




Giant Monster Horror

Did ya know...

According to director Bernard L. Kowalski, producer Gene Corman didn't want to pay the technicians the extra money for pushing the camera raft while they were filming in the Pasadena Arboretum in the water, so he put on a bathing suit and did it himself. 
The giant leeches are played by actors in sack-like suits made of thin black plastic and complete with fake "suckers" sewn on.