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The Giant Gila Monster
The Giant Gila Monster
Actors: Don Sullivan, Fred Graham, Lisa Simone, Shug Fisher, Bob Thompson
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy
NR     2002     1hr 14min

Platform:  DVD MOVIE Publisher:  ALPHA VIDEO Packaging:  DVD STYLE BOX A monsterous poisonous reptile slithers from the depths of the midwest outback to wreak death and destruction on civilization. When teenagers start dis...  more »
     
     

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Movie Details

Actors: Don Sullivan, Fred Graham, Lisa Simone, Shug Fisher, Bob Thompson
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Classics
Studio: Alpha Video
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 11/19/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/1959
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/1959
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 14min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 5/31/2011...
A small town in the Texas desert is terrorized by a great bloody lizard. IMDB says it’s only 74 minutes long, but the slow pace makes it feel like longer. Granted, we see the beastie in the first scene, but it takes too much time for the good citizens to tumble onto the fact that they got a monster in them thar hills. Plus, the unfolding of plot is stymied by three musical interludes for the teenagers in the audience. Two of these scenes involve a ukulele. Enough said. Poor pacing kills suspense, which spells dull for a monster movie.

The best point of the movie is the warm relationship between the hard-working teenager and hard-pressed sheriff. You can tell the teen-ager appreciates the sheriff’s tips as to where he’s going to be patrolling when all the hot-rodders are larking about in their cool cars with their honey-bunnies. The sheriff likes the teen because he works hard and honestly respects other people.

In a period touch, a little girl has polio. Her brother, the hard-working teen, has gone in with his girl friend to buy her leg braces. In a touching scene, he encourages her to keep trying hard – and whips out the ukulele and sings “The Lord said laugh, children, laugh.” The little girl appreciates it, while we in the audience applaud the intent, if not the performance. There is another nice scene when the diligent teen comforts his girlfriend. I idly wondered why the girl friend – a chic French girl – choose to do a home stay in small town in the desert but maybe she wants to be a hepatologist (an expert with amphibians and reptiles).

Hey, I get distracted when the monster and the toy trains he wrecks don’t hold my attention. At best, this unconvincing monster movie rates as “harmless” and “slow” redeems itself with a few kind moments between human beings. Little kids may well get a kick out of it.

Movie Reviews

Classic "B" Creature Feature From the Closing Period Of Driv
Simon Davis | 08/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Ah those were the days, Rock'n Roll Music, Drive-in's showing the latest Troy Donahue or monster flick, hotrodders, and "making out", in quiet country lanes in "souped up" wagons. Gee the '50's must have been a gas! Well at least that's what I'm told it was like for teenagers back then as I wasn't around to know myself. Despite it's many faults 1959's "The Giant Gila Monster", is a real favourite of mine among the "Monster on the loose", genre of "B" movie making of the time. In every respect it's very much a product of the decade it was made in despite being released right on the tail end of the era that basically "invented", the teenager. By 1959-60 the gothic horrors dealing with Vampires and Wolfmen produced by the likes of Hammer Studios had largely replaced in popular appeal the 1950's Sci Fi/Horror dramas which usually involved some over sized creature, the result of misuse of atomic power, threatening mankind. Efforts such as "The Gila Monster", then were really the swansong for these type of monster films that had been so incredibly popular for the last decade. The title of this film is self explanatory but the film itself is interesting in that the "teenagers" in the story, just as in the classic "The Blob", are revealed as not the usual delinquents so often depicted in films of this era but instead as responsible and caring young people. The Gila Monster itself almost takes a secondary role here and is unfortunately rarely seen and underused and instead it's the human drama that keeps this story moving along. Front and centre to the action is the lead character played by good looking Don Sullivan, and while his character would appear to the cynical eye as being too good to be true he comes across in my belief as a very appealing character who makes this admittedly "B" level story much more interesting than it probably deserves to be."
Drive-In Schlock Gets Widescreen Treatment
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 05/06/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Hot rods, rock music and monster mayhem are poorly served in this low-budget schlockfest. A 1959 drive-in favorite, "The Giant Gila Monster" offers incongruous laughs, a few ukulele numbers and incredibly unspecial effects. When Don Sullivan croons the immortal "Laugh, Children, Laugh," you'll never forget it! Unlike other public-domain releases, this Image DVD boasts a decent widescreen print to help recapture the drive-in experience. Produced by Ken "Festus" Curtis and directed by Ray Kellogg (who would later collaborate with John Wayne on "The Green Berets")."
Well maybe I'm through supposing and I'm fixed to start figu
Sid the Elf | North Pole | 10/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"With Sid's horrorfest at film number 18 we decided to go with a movie in true Mystery Science Theater 3000 style with The Giant Gila Monster. Coming from 1959 it proves to be something very different for Sid. Sure we've enjoyed sporadic clips over the years from these style films where giant animals or bugs take on a city, but have never actually watched one from start to finish. We figured there was no better time to give it a shot then during our 31 days of horror or in this case comedy. This will also give old St. Nick the spotlight as this one will be the Santa pick of the Month being that it's right up his alley of black and white films. It's the type you'll here "oh baby!" come from his lair.

We start off with a small quiet town in Texas that get's terrorized by a giant lizard, well actually a normal sized lizard just zoomed in on the make it look huge. When a group of extremely polite teens so up missing for a sock hop their buddies immediately contact the authorities. Mind you the dialogue from this movie is absolutely hilarious in true family guy "fast talking, high trousers" fashion. The adults think the kids are pulling some type of slickster prank at first and dismiss their story about the giant reptile. Once the sheriff gets involved and realizes this kids are telling the truth they set forth on a seek and destroy mission with "Great Success!" They decided to take on of the kids hot rods and attach explosives to drive into the monster destroying it on contact. Just fantastic stuff!

Usually these films don't appeal to us unless they're being watched on an MST3K basis, but this one was simply hilarious. It shows us that we may be missing a great piece of b cinema in our weekly routine. When you really focus on B then you have to realize the 50's is really what got the ball rolling. Plus the dialogue is right up Sid's alley in the way we'll joke around from time to time, so you really can't miss with that. For us the film was classic and hilarious with no frills. There are no special effects to be found outside of a few very dull explosions and a toy train set derailing attempting to look like a real train. And that's exactly what we loved about it. We recommend The Giant Gila Monster and most likely would have had some laughs years back.


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