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Attack of the Giant Leeches, 1959

From the DVD case: A bar owner forces his wife and her lover into a murky Southern swamp to be eaten by giant leeches. These over-sized bloodsucking monsters soon develop an appetite for human flesh. Sometimes scary, sometimes chilling, but always low-budget and slimy, this cult classic makes a fine choice for a late night scare/laugh. (1959, b&w)

Mark says: Sometimes I wonder if the people who write descriptions for DVD cases have actually watched the movies they are describing. Anyway, this is a movie about giant leeches in a swamp.

You’ll recognize a lot of the same cast and crew from the movie Night of the Blood Beast. Low-budget kings Roger and Gene Corman produce the picture, and Bernard L. Kowalski directs it. You’ll also see Michael Emmet and Tyler McVey again as Cal Moulton and Doc Greyson, respectively. What this movie has, though, is what Night of the Blood Beast sorely lacks, Yvette Vickers (Attack of the 50 Ft Woman).

Yvette plays her part as the sexy, swamp tramp, Liz Walker to the hilt. The scenes between her and Bruno VeSota (The Wasp Woman) as her flabby husband, Dave, are by far the most enjoyable scenes of the picture. If the major story focused on them, this might have been a better movie.

Unfortunately, the hero of Giant Leeches is Steve Benton (Ken Clark). Steve and his girlfriend, Nan Greyson (Jan Shepard) are rather uninteresting people, and for some reason we spend a lot of time with these dullards. Tyler McVey as Doc Greyson is equally boring, and eats up a lot of screen time, too.

The creatures themselves are classic Corman monsters, typically described as men wearing garbage bags. Perhaps that description is a bit too harsh, but it’s not off by much. The more you see of the leeches, the worse they look. I imagine the hardest part for the actors was not laughing while the garbage bags sucked on them.

Attack of the Giant Leeches is a bad movie, but it is certainly good fun. The backwater swamp characters and dialog make for some amusing scenes. I found George Cisar as Lem Sawyer particularly entertaining. I was a little disappointed that he was killed off so quickly. In fact, a lot of the most interesting characters are killed off early in this picture. But I won’t list any more names; I don’t want to ruin the suspense for you.

This movie clocks in at just over an hour, and though it has its slow moments, the scenes with Yvette Vickers and Bruno VeSota make it worthwhile. You’ll want to watch it more for laughs than chills, though.

Scene to watch for: Dave Walker (Bruno VeSota) sops the sweat off his face as he watches his wife (Yvette Vickers) lotion her legs.

Line to listen for: “I wouldn’t touch that critter for all the money ever made! And if you seen it you wouldn’t neither!”

FYI: This movie is also known as Attack of the Blood Leeches, Demons of the Swamp (UK), She Demons of the Swamp, and The Giant Leeches.

Mark’s Rating: ! ! ! out of 5.

IMDB Link

3 Comments

  1. Yvette Vickers indeed! really and truly…i like everything about this film…except the monsters. then again i really liked the giant gila monster, the killer shrews and, to a lesser extent, night of the blood beast.i really like the tennessee williams aspects of it as well. thanks for all the info. another great review! john

  2. Thanks, John! If Yvette Vickers is in a movie, I’ll watch it!

  3. me too! lol! john


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