Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

THE GIANT GILA MONSTER


THE GIANT GILA MONSTER (1959). Director: Ray Kellogg.

While Chase Winstead (Don Sullivan) works as a mechanic, brushes up on his singing skills, romances his French girlfriend Lisa (Lisa Simone) and looks after his cute crippled sister, Missy (Janice Stone), a big, ugly monster of unknown origin roams the countryside munching on teenagers, luckless traveling salesmen, and the survivors of a train crash. Adroit editing makes good use of the lizard's "expressions" as it watches its next meal go about his or her business, and the miniature gullies and other by-ways are more than acceptable, even if you never see the monster and his victims in the same frame. Jack Marshall's musical score is hokey, but that's its charm, and star Don Sullivan -- who also appeared in The Monster of Piedras Blancas -- has charm to spare as well. For more on this and similar films see Creature Features.

Verdict: More entertaining than it ought to be. ***.

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