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

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES


ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES (1959). Director: Bernard L. Kowalski.

A stiff, by- the-book game warden (Ken Clark) gets in dutch with his girlfriend (Jan Shepard) when they argue over how best to deal with a possibly deadly new species infesting the preserve: giant, blood-sucking leeches. Attack of the Giant Leeches isn't really a very good picture -- and rather slow in spots – but it has a certain atmospheric charm and weird authenticity. Bruno VeSota is the colossal husband of the trampy Yvette Vickers, who dallies with the hunky Cal (Michael Emmet). When Vesota forces them into the swamp at the point of his rifle, the leeches appear to grab them and drag them away, with the result that Vesota is arrested for their murders. The giant leeches – or rather leech men -- are played by stunt divers in costume and look creepy without being convincing. The actors are probably better than the picture deserves; Vickers is, as always, extremely vivid.
Verdict: Somehow the darn thing casts a certain cheesy spell. **1/2.

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