ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES
1959/Director: Bernard L. Kowalski/ Writer: Leo Gordon
Cast: Ken Clark, Yvette Vickers, Jan Shepard, Michael Emmet, Tyler McVey, Bruno VeSota
Sure there are a lot of problems with this movie. The lighting is dark and the sound quality is poor. The plot has more holes than the leeches have suction cups on their octopus type arms. The acting is pretty bad and the dialog is as campy as it comes. But I really enjoyed this thing for the most part and since it clocks in at about an hour it is not the worst way to waste sixty minutes of your life unless you’re doing cancer research. Getting with the mood of the day the giant leech creatures are more than likely radioactive mutations caused by the rocket launches at nearby Cape Canaveral and they are soon sucking blood from the local moonshine swilling swamp hillbillys. The creatures look like giant plastic garbage bags really and you can plainly see the actors inside moving about. There are a few grisly close-up scenes of the beasts feeding on redneck blood and the scenes of captive hicks inside the underwater cave are pretty good really.
The basic plot centers on the conflict between beefcake game warden Steven Benton (Ken Clarke) slowly coming to the realization, after the locals keep disappearing, that some sort of creature is living in the swamps. Creatures he refuses use dynamite on because that might kill a few fish. Of the opposing view is local Dr. Greyson is ready to blow the blood suckers sky high but first he and Benton must have a series of heated arguments that wear out the pro and cons of using dynamite to kill the beasts and of course at the end of the film they use dynamite to finally kill them). Benton and the doc’s daughter Nan (Jan Shepard) have one of those classic old horror film relationships where they act like they can¡’t agree on anything but it is obvious they are smoking hot for each other and all the bickering is simply so much horror couple foreplay.
More interesting is the relationship between local tub of lard cuckold Dave Walker, played by sometimes director (The Brain Eaters) Bruno VeSota, and his slutty, ball busting wife Liz (Playmate Yvette Vickers). This poor guy is so whipped and humiliated by this tramp you sort of feel sorry for him but not too much. She is just too hot for this guy and there is a really spicy scene of him watching her change clothes. He gets his revenge later when he is wandering around in the swamp when he was supposed to be making grocery deliveries and finds her with the local tomcat. For punishment he makes them walk out into the swamp water to get all wet I guess (???) where they are pulled under by the giant leeches and taken into an underwater cave. The leeches suck blood out of them as needed and poor Liz gets pretty much drained dry before the monster are finally blown up after hardheaded hunk Benton decides a few dead minnows and turtles is a worthy exchange for killing the man sized blood sucking radio active leeches. It is sold as a DVD double with The Wasp Woman, which is a better film really but Attack of the Giant Leeches has it B-Movie moments and is recommended for cheese lovers. Included here is the Playboy gatefold for July 1959 with the lovely Miss Vickers playing some records. Lucky leeches.
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Yvette Vickers 1928 – 2010