Giant Monstershow: Attack of the Giant Leeches

What a ridiculous movie. I loved just about every shitty minute of it.

Released in 1959, Attack of the Giant Leeches comes to viewers from the Roger Corman stable. He didn’t direct, but he was the executive producer. The movie was helmed by Bernard L. Kowalski from a screenplay by Leo Gordon (who had a prolific career as a television actor). Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: Attack of the Giant Leeches”

October Horrorshow: Humanoids from the Deep, aka Monster

A viewer won’t find his name in the credits, but Humanoids from the Deep, an exploitative schlockfest from 1980, was produced by Roger Corman. He didn’t direct it and he didn’t write it, either. Barbara Peeters did the directing (with reshoots handled by an uncredited Jimmy T. Murakami), and Frederick James did the writing. But Corman’s hand is all over this film. It fits his demands at the time that cheap horror should be bloody, and feature some rape. Bloody is fine. Bloody is fun. Rape is really only useful in a horror flick if the mood a filmmaker is going for is revulsion. In a stupid monster flick, it’s overkill. Still, it doesn’t ruin too much of the fun of this putrid mess. Other stuff is responsible for that. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Humanoids from the Deep, aka Monster”

Giant Monstershow: The Killer Shrews

Ray Kellogg returns! Just a day after the October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow featured Kellogg’s magnum opus, an ode to Bert I. Gordon entitled The Giant Gila Monster, we feature The Killer Shrews, also directed by Kellogg. In fact, it was filmed either immediately before, or immediately after The Giant Gila Monster (the internet is unclear on which, and I won’t be digging deeper to find out), and was released on the same day in 1959. This film is sibling to The Giant Gila Monster, but that doesn’t mean the two are identical. Well, they’re almost identical. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: The Killer Shrews”

Giant Monstershow: The Giant Gila Monster

Of all the shitty monster movies that I’ve watched so far for the October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow, The Giant Gila Monster might be my favorite, just for how bumbling the whole thing is. It wallows in everything clichéd and bad about the giant monster subgenre of horror flicks from the 1950s. It does away with the expository scientist, sure, but replaces that tired trope with a hip teenager and his girl, following the lead of The Blob. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: The Giant Gila Monster”

Giant Monstershow: Earth vs. the Spider, aka The Spider

The October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow carries on! Today’s film is the sixth this month featuring b-cinema auteur extraordinaire Bert I. Gordon. The man made giant monster flicks his own cottage industry. That’s not too far off of the mark, considering Gordon would shoot effects in his own garage.

Today’s film is Earth vs. The Spider, also released as just The Spider. Released just a few months after War of the Colossal Beast, Earth vs. The Spider switches up the formula for giant monster flicks. Most of the films featured this past month have featured scientists and doctors as the main protagonists, or maybe a military man or two. This film does have those characters, but they’ve been relegated to supporting roles. In this flick, the heroes are teenagers. That’s right. By 1958, shitty filmmakers recognized that it was teenagers that were pumping large amounts of dollars into their coffers, and someone came up with the bright idea to make movies featuring teenagers in the leads. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: Earth vs. the Spider, aka The Spider”

October Horrorshow: Matango, aka Attack of the Mushroom People

Forget the original title of Matango. It was the Americanized title of Attack of the Mushroom People that grabbed my attention. People that look like giant fungi on the attack? Sign me up. I’m not naïve about movies like this. I know, before ever seeing it, that a title like that promises more than it can deliver, but I’m okay with it. Should the film be dragged out and the mushroom people only make significant appearances during the last few minutes, that’s just fine by me. I wanted this movie to be bad, after all. And it is! Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Matango, aka Attack of the Mushroom People”

Giant Monstershow: The Black Scorpion

The poor performers in films like this. They come to a production, ready to put in enough work to make some mortgage payments, maybe dig a pool in the backyard, and they do a decent enough job. But then they go to the premiere of the film, with not the highest of expectations (after all, it ain’t John Ford or Howard Hawks they were working with), and they find the audience howling with laughter at the monster effects. Take a moment to appreciate the plight of the bad movie actor. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: The Black Scorpion”

Giant Monstershow: Beginning of the End

The b-monster flick Beginning of the End marked the start of an epic year for filmmaker Bert I. Gordon. He directed not one, not two, but three giant monster movies in 1957. I’m impressed, but would be even more so had any one of these films looked like it took more than a week and a half to shoot.

Beginning of the End, from a screenplay by Fred Freiberger and Lester Gorn, tells the tale of a plague of giant locusts that descend on Chicago. For you readers in the American Midwest and points nearby, that’s ‘locusts’ as in real locusts, aka grasshoppers — not the colloquial locusts, aka cicadas. Either way, the bugs are about the size of city buses, with murderous appetites. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: Beginning of the End”