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The Giant Gila Monster (1959).

June 24, 2008

A quick administrative note: It’s summer vacation time here in Desukoland, so the blog will be going on a temporary hiatus until about mid-July. Look for new reviews then, and enjoy the downtime.

The Scoop:
Writer/director Ray Kellogg works his unique brand of non-magic with this turd about the titular critter, which “terrorizes” a small desert town. This “terrorizing” consists mostly of sulking about in the shadows and then putting its head through a barn wall. (Never mind that the reptile used in the film is actually a Mexican beaded lizard, not a gila monster.)

Meanwhile, there’s some pointless drama about teen mechanic Chase Winstead (played by Don Sullivan) who wants to start a singing career while caring for his handicapped sister (Janice Stone), romancing his girlfriend (Lisa Simone) and tangling with Sheriff Jeff (Fred Graham). Finally, it all comes to a head at the record hop.

It’s all hooey, but at least it’s amusing hooey if you’re the type who enjoys hot-rodding teenagers and rear projection special effects.

Best Bit:
Chase’s song that goes something like “I sing whenever I sing whenever I sing…”

Side Note:
Ken Knox, who plays the disc jockey who discovers the singing mechanic, was a longtime DJ in Dallas who only wound up in the film because of the aspirations of station owner Gordon McLendon, who wanted all his popular jocks to take movie roles. Knox only appeared in two other films before deciding to stick to radio full-time.

Companion Viewing:
“The Killer Shrews” (1959), “Beginning of the End” (1957) and “Them!” (1954).


Take a Look:
The trailer:

Hey, Chase — singing crappy songs like this won’t help your sister get any better:

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