Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)
Film: Attack of the Giant Leeches
Director: Bernard L. Kowalski
Writer: Leo Gordon
Starring: Ken Clark, Yvette Vickers and Jan Shepard
This film begins with a man out in the swamp at night; he is played by George Cisar. Something catches his eye and he shoots with his rifle at it. He continues to fire and until he thinks he has killed whatever it was. He doesn’t get a good look at it, but he knows that it is something he has never seen before.
A bunch of locals are inside of a store, talking. The man who owns the store is played by Bruno VeSota. His wife, who is played by Yvette Vickers, is in the back room listening to loud music. VeSota tells her to keep it down, but she ignores him. Also in the shop are Michael Emmet, Dan White and Joseph Hamilton as well as Cisar. He tells them about the thing he saw in the swamp.
We then meet the local game warden; he is played by Ken Clark. He is out looking for poacher traps with his girlfriend; she is played by Jan Shepard. They hear someone scream. It turns out that Vickers is screaming because she has found Cisar dead.
Shepard’s father is the doctor and he is played by Tyler McVey. He states that something like an octopus has killed Cisar. Clark tries to tell this to the sheriff, played by Gene Roth, but he knows that’s not possible and ignores him.
Clark goes about trying to figure out what killed Cisar. VeSota goes to deliver food to a customer while Vickers runs off into the swamp with Emmet. VeSota goes looking for them and once he does, he chases them with his shotgun. He scares them by telling them to go into the water and that is when they are attacked by the giant leeches.
VeSota is then out by the lake as the police are looking for the two missing people. He tells Roth what did it and he is ignored. He is taken into custody where he hangs himself.
White and Hamilton are told by Roth that if they find the bodies of Vickers and Emmet, they will get a reward. They go looking for them and end up bothering the leeches. They are taken under the water as well.
McVey wants to use dynamite to find out what has driven the wildlife out of this lake, but Clark won’t let him. Will they find the leeches or will they continue to elude them? They all think that everyone is dead, but it turns out that they are being kept alive in an underwater cave as the leeches suck the blood from them. Can they be saved before it is too late? Can the leeches be stopped?
I have to that this film is not all that good. I would say this as a negative, but due to when it came out and what they had to work with, it really gives me a nostalgic feeling of what films did in the past. I also have to say that I found Vickers to be pretty good looking and she was quite racy for the time period as well.
This film has a lot of issues. We never learn why these leeches are as big as they are. The characters really aren’t developed and I don’t feel bad for any of them. The film has a run time of 60 minutes and the ending feels a bit rushed. It also has a lot of overkill. With all of these being issues, I don’t hate this film as I would a film that was made even 10 years after this one.
With that said, I would only recommend this film if you are a fan of the 50s horror films. The monster is the larger version of something normal, which was a popular thing to do during this time period. The creatures look cheap, because they were. The story isn’t developed, the acting is nothing to write home about and there isn’t much in the way of action. This was a film with a small budget that was too hard to completely hate. I would recommend this if want a film to laugh at with your friends or want to see a horror film that would be on those Saturday matinee shows for being a not scary, horror movie. If you are looking for something serious or good, then definitely avoid this one.
My Rating: 5 out of 10