Attack of the Giant Leeches
|Attack of the Giant Leeches|
|Directed by||Bernard L. Kowalski|
|Written by||Leo Gordon|
|Screenplay by||Leo Gordon|
|Story by||Leo Gordon|
|Music by||Alexander Laszlo|
|Cinematography||John M. Nickolaus Jr.|
|Edited by||Carlo Lodato|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
Attack of the Giant Leeches is an independently made 1959 black-and-white science fiction-horror film, produced by Gene Corman and directed by Bernard L. Kowalski. It stars Ken Clark, Yvette Vickers and Jan Shepard. The screenplay was written by Leo Gordon. The film was released by American International Pictures.
Attack of the Giant Leeches was one of a spate of "creature features" produced during the 1950s in response to cold war fears; a character in the film speculates that the leeches have been mutated to giant size by atomic radiation from nearby Cape Canaveral.
In the Florida Everglades, a pair of larger-than-human, intelligent leeches live in an underwater cave. They begin dragging locals down to their cave, where they slowly feed on them, draining their victims of blood. Two of the first victims of the leeches are local vixen Liz Walker (Vickers), who has been cheating on her husband (Bruno VeSota), and Liz's latest paramour. Game warden Steve Benton (Clark) sets out to investigate their disappearance. Aided by his girlfriend, Nan Grayson (Sheppard), and her father, Doc Grayson, Benton discovers the leeches' underwater cavern. The creatures are destroyed when Steve, Doc and several state troopers blow up their underwater cavern using dynamite.
- Ken Clark as Steve Benton
- Yvette Vickers as Liz Walker
- Jan Shepard as Nan Greyson
- Michael Emmet as Cal Moulton
- Tyler McVey as Doc Greyson
- Bruno VeSota as Dave Walker
- Gene Roth as Sheriff Kovis
- Dan White as Porky Reed
- George Cisar as Lem Sawyer
- Joseph Hamilton as Old Sam Peters
- Walter Kelley as Mike
- Guy Buccola as Giant Leech
- Ross Sturlin as Giant Leech
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The film was shot over eight days, including outdoor sequences at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. During filming, Gene Corman came down with pneumonia and wound up in the hospital.
Attack of the Giant Leeches is in the public domain; its copyright was not renewed.
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Critical reception for Attack of the Giant Leeches has been mixed to negative. Film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film a negative 1.5 out of 4 stars, calling it a "ludicrous hybrid of white trash and monster genres". Regardless, the film currently holds a positive 70% "fresh" rating at the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 5.1 out of 10, based on 10 reviews.
A remake of the film, directed by Brett Kelly and written by Jeff O'Brien, was released on July 7, 2008.
In July 1992, Attack of the Giant Leeches was featured as a fourth-season episode of the film-mocking television series Mystery Science Theater 3000. It was also featured on the nationally syndicated horror host television show Cinema Insomnia, and in the second episode of season 5 of Shilling Shockers, a New England-based television show hosted by the witch Penny Dreadful XIII.
Being in the public domain, Attack of the Giant Leeches has received numerous bargain bin DVD releases. The MST3K version of the film was released on October 26, 2004 by Rhino Home Video as part of a box set, The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 6. Cheapskate Theater released an HD download of the film on June 7, 2016 featuring a new introduction by Toby Radloff and Radloff outtakes and bloopers.
- Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p148
- No record in 1986 or 1987
- Leonard Maltin; Spencer Green; Rob Edelman (January 2010). Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide. Plume. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-452-29577-3.
- "Attack of the Giant Leeches (1960) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "Attack of the Giant Leeches (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "Cinema Insomnia, with your Horror Host, Mister Lobo! - SHOW INFORMATION". Archived from the original on March 28, 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
- http://www.shillingshockers.com/. Archived from the original on 2 February 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011. Missing or empty
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- Attack of the Giant Leeches complete film on YouTube
- Attack of the Giant Leeches at the Internet Movie Database
- Attack of the Giant Leeches is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- Attack of the Giant Leeches at AllMovie
- Attack of the Giant Leeches at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Attack of the Giant Leeches at Rotten Tomatoes