The Giant Gila Monster
THE GIANT GILA MONSTER. 1959

Director: Ray Kellogg

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



The Giant Gila MonsterWritten & directed by shlockster Ray Kellogg, right from the very title one should suspect something cheap & awful. Yet heading into this film with low expectations, it has more going for it than expected of minor drive-in Z-horror.

It's got cool hotrods, a real rural Texas setting with country rednecks, & teen exploitation content including not-too-laughable rock & roll. So it's kinda spiffy even apart from the arrival of the giant gila monster, & would've been a darned fine treat to its original drive-in crowd.

The lizard FX are nicely photographed, sometimes with miniature sets to make an animal (probably about ten inches long in reality) look gigantic, sometimes projected on backscreen, sometimes just simply filmed as it slowly scuttles about. Those buggers really are poisonous if they clamp onto a finger & it was mildly daring for the wrangler to be using actual gila monsters instead of iguanas or some other petshop lizard.

In such scenes as when the giant lizard crashes the rock 'n' roll event, smashing through the barn window, the film is very close to convincing. It's so bloodless & void of actual shocks as to be suitable even for the kids, but the low budget charm reaches high levels.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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