Attack of the Giant Leeches Cover Did you know that in days of old, doctors actually used leeches to suck the blood out off people who came down with the pox. Moreover, that in days of not-so old, filmmakers forced men to dress up as leeches, so they could embarrass themselves for the sake of art. Yeah. Straight up. Just check out this 60-minute movie made in 1959 to see what I mean. It was Directed by Bernard Kowalski, and Starred: Ken Clark and Yvette Vickers.

Attack of the Giant Leeches

OK, so what do think is worse. Is it when small-town local, Porky Reed (Dan White), takes pot shots at a mysterious creature lurking around in the swamp? Or is it when the philandering housewife, Liz Walker (Yvette Vickers), cheats on her husband, Dave (Bruno VeSota), with his old friend, Cal (Michael Emmet), behind his very back?

Huh? What's that you say, dear reader? You don't know? Fair enough. Neither does square-jawed naturist, Steve Benton (Ken Clark). Heck, he couldn't even answer these questions after spending two whole days looking for the aforementioned monster in the swap with this female companion, Nan Greyson (Jan Shepard).

Alrighty then. Please allow me to re-elaborate on these two questions with some extra added exposition.

What's worse? Is it Porky Reed being sucked to death by that mysterious creature lurking around in the swamp? Or is it Dave, when he catches both Liz and Cal in cahoots by the side of the swamp?

A-ha! So you think you know what's really going on now, don't you? Bu no. No you don't. Especially when Liz and Cal get whisked away by the swamp monster, resulting in Dave getting arrested before he can give them a piece of his mind.

Oh, well. That's most probably why what next transpires comes into play when Nan's Dad, Doc Greyson (Tyler McVey), advised Steve what he should do next. As yokels sink - story's stink - leaches attack - and beware Steve, you best watch your back.

Now before I give you my 411 on this old school b-movie classic, 'Attack of the Giant Leeches', please allow me to present you with some filmic-facts first. (1) This movie was released by 'American International Pictures' in October, 1959, costing them approximately $70,000 dollars. (2) The musical score used in this film was previously used in the horror-flicks, 'Night of The Blood Beast', and 'Beast from the Haunted Cave'. (3) Famed film director, Roger Corman, co-produced this picture with his brother, Gene. (4) 'Leaches' screenwriter, Leo Gordon, also wrote the crime-thriller, 'The Cry Baby Killer', which starred the regular 'Corman player', Jack Nicholson. Moreover, during his acting career, Leo starred with such Hollywood legends as: Mickey Rooney, Clint Walker, Edward G. Robinson, and James Garner -- to name but a few. (5) In Spanish, this piece is called 'El Pantano Diabolico', meaning 'The Diabolical Marsh'. Also, its alternate English title is 'Demons From The Swamp'. (6) Did you know that the 'Giant Leeches' were actually men wearing black-plastic suits, with additional 'suckers' sewn in for good measure? (7) This movie was remade in 2008 by the director, Brett Kelly, with another no star cast. (8) Not only did Bernard Kowalski direct this movie, but he also directed such television shows as 'Columbo', 'Airwolf', and 'Knight Rider' too.

Attack of the Giant Leeches Film Poster

Alright, so now that the trivia is out of the way with, what do I think about this film, huh? Well, to put it bluntly, it's a rather mixed affair all in all. One the one hand, it told a somewhat pithy tale of how a 'swamp creature' tried to suck a village to death. Whilst, on the other hand, the acting was kind of static, the 'effects' were... err... minimal, and the overall ambiance is what I'd call 'non-existent' by default.

Listen, 'Leeches' isn't a bad-bad movie. In many ways it reminds' me of two babies playing in a sand pit together. It's cute. It's easy to watch. It's simple. It's has it's up's and down's. And you can only take so much off it before you'll get bored.   

Attack of the Giant Leeches Movie Still
Yeah. No kidding. 'Attack of the Giant Leeches' is only for those people with an acquired taste for this type of b-movie fodder. Please don't expect growth in character development or cinematic spectacles of grandeur. Oh no. Instead, just be happy that you are being presented with a simple story about a simple subject matter, which does not have anything to do with pathos, realism, or drama.

Granted, I suppose on a certain level, the Doc Greyson character was used to explain away what 'the creature' might actually be -- kind of. Furthermore, I suppose on another level, the Steve Benton character was used to illustrate that 'heroes' don't always know what's right either -- I think.

But what the hell was that ending all about, huh? BOOOM! SPODGE! FINITO! I didn't get it at all. Honest to God, I've never seen such an un-dramatic ending in my entire life. It was as though the filmmakers run out of money or something; and just decided to end this adventure on a 'bum note'.

Attack of the Giant Leeches Lobby Card

Heck, if I'm going to be completely honest with you, I was more intrigued by the lead in tale -- about how that b*ch cheated on her husband, Dave -- than the main story itself. It had more personality behind it. It was more engaging as a story-stand. And I couldn't wait for that b*tch to get her comeuppance.

Oh! I'm sorry, dear reader. I really wanted this film to be much better than it actually was. If truth be told, as a film-bod, I don't care for 'special-effects' or 'known actors' all that much. I just like a story to tell an engaging story, and this one... errr... didn't.

Shame. Maybe I can find another b-movie classic that will, huh? Let's see shall we.


ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES Reviewed by David Andrews on February 13, 2013 Rating: 5
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