Ha ha!

You certainly never know what movie he'll review next!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Burl reviews Attack of the Giant Leeches! (1959)


Hi, Burl here to review another movie! This is what I might call a tribute review, because just the other day I happened to read about the sad demise of a very talented lady, Miss Yvette Vickers! The poor lady was found in her house after a year of being dead, and she was practically mummified! I always thought she was pretty and very talented, and so it was disheartening to hear that the poor lady had been so alone in her final days that nobody even noticed she was gone!

Well we who admired her sure did notice her in movies like Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman and today’s review, Attack of the Giant Leeches. Miss Vickers was always on the receiving end of these attacks, but she never played her characters as victims – they were always real fireballs! In this one she’s married to the gargantuan Bruno VeSota, from A Bucket of Blood, who runs a store out in the middle of a swamp somewhere! She’s not very nice to Bruno, as much as he tries to please her with kind words and gifts, and in fact she’s been carrying on with one of Bruno’s so-called friends! Ha ha, with friends like that, who needs friends!

Meanwhile a greasy old poacher has spotted something weird in the swamp, and being a poacher he blasts away at it with both barrels! Later he turns up dead and covered with strange sucker marks, leading a local swamp scientist to conclude that a freshwater octopus must have got its arms on him! The scientist’s daughter and her boyfriend, a game warden and a very upright fellow indeed, investigate the oddball goings-on! Strangely, nobody mentions if all the poacher's blood has been sucked away, which you'd think it would have been if leeches are involved, ha ha!

Bruno, as na├»ve and even a little bit dumb as he appears to be, cottons on to his wife’s gamboling, and so he marches Miss Vickers and her boyfriend into the swamp at the point of a shotgun! Well, there’s lots of screaming and crying and carrying on, mostly from the boyfriend, but just as Bruno reveals he’s not going to blast them after all – he just wanted to scare them, the big teddy bear, up pop some giant leeches to drag the perfidious pair into the mire! Ha ha, it’s actually quite terrifying!

I won’t reveal the rest of the story to you, but there are some scary visits into the very lair of the slimy hemogobblers themselves! I did want to talk a little about the hero, because he’s so incredibly serious and straightbacked, almost to a cartoonish degree, and, always ready with the right answer and some idea about how to battle monsters! The guy in The Giant Gila Monster is the same, and there are plenty more examples in 50s monster cinema! I always wished somebody, maybe Roger Corman (who produced this movie) had come up with the idea to gather all of them up into one movie and make them battle the ultimate monster – it would be a bit like that movie The Expendables, but I think quite a bit better!

Anyway, R.I.P. Miss Vickers – you were a class act! With its swampy atmosphere and Tennessee Williams-type drama, not to mention its giant leeches, I think Attack of the Giant Leeches is a pretty good movie, and I give it three and a half underwater leech holes!

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