JANUARY 23, 2008
Hot on the heels of The Giant Gila Monster comes Attack Of The Giant Leeches, another alleged monster movie which features a ratio of about 1 monster scene for every dozen or so involving middle aged guys standing around arguing with one another. This one even goes a step further, pluralizing leech when there’s only one in the film, so far as I can tell anyway.
Oh, and Corman produced it.
At 62 minutes you can’t say that the movie is too long (well, you can I guess, if you're a jerk), but the fact that it’s 62 minutes and almost 60 of them don’t feature any monster is kind of a problem. And unlike Gila, this time we don’t even get to learn how to change a tire or something in the process; these bland bastards just talk about whatever’s going on and whether or not they should do anything about it. Christ, it doesn’t even deliver on the age-old tradition of the “bad guy” getting his comeuppance from the monster. You know, he doesn’t believe the monster exists, thwarts the hero’s attempts to figure out what is going on, etc. and then at the end he gets eaten. Right? Not here. No, our doubting Thomas simply says “wow, never seen one of those before,” and shuffles out of the film along with a few other nondescript folks.
In fact, the entire climax of the film is the equivalent of a shrug. Our James Denton-y hero sets off an explosion which sends the Leech to the surface of the water, presumably dead. He just looks at it, saying nothing. A few other characters follow suit. Then the editor cuts to a few random establishing shots around the swamp, and finally THE END appears on screen. You know when you’re playing Rock Band by yourself, and you reach a part of the song that doesn’t require your instrument, so you’re just standing there awkwardly waiting? That’s the ending of this movie.
There’s also a lengthy sequence in which cops and others accuse a guy of killing his wife and her lover. They don’t believe his ‘giant monster’ theory, of course, so they send him off to jail. Then he kills himself out of despondence. The problem is, we know perfectly goddamn well that the monster really DID eat them, so all of this is pointless. Had there been some reasonable doubt they might have had something, but without it, it’s just padding.
Strangely, the Creek saw fit to present the film in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, one of only two in the entire Mill Creek pantheon (so far) that isn’t full frame. The problem is, the movie is SUPPOSED to be full frame – if you watch the MST3k version (even that takes a lot of effort to remain interested in this movie) you can see the difference. But whatever.
What say you?