406. Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)

Photographed in eight days including outdoors at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) paired with A Bucket of Blood (1959) and House of Usher (1960) on American International Double Bills. Spending $70,000 and casting Playboy’s Miss July 1959 Yvette Vickers as Liz Walker, they spared no expense or did they? The Holoclowns, Patches the Leech, The Insty-Adolescence Kit, Undersea Kingdom, Weird Dreams, “A Danger to Myself and Others”, The Motives of Leeches. “Looks like an E.E. Cumings book cover”, “STELLA!!!”, “Just advancing the plot, nothing personal.” “Hey Roger Corman WOOO!!!” or “Fish Fry tonight”?

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Another great Bruno VeSota performance. My fellow MSTies have helped me appreciate him a lot more by pointing out all of his other appearances.

Like Killer Shrews and Gila Monster I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for this one. We need more black and white creature features. The creatures in this one are especially silly and always make me think Dr. Fred has set up shop nearby.

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Bruno VeSota is such an underrated actor. No matter how big or small a role, he put everything into it and always brought something interesting. I’m convinced he didn’t do better in Hollywood because of his weight.

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“A Danger to Myself and Others” is an all time classic musical highlight. And I love the whole '50s monster movie trope of “if in doubt, set off a bunch of dynamite and hope for the best.”

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Which culminates in King Dinosaur’s totally reasonable “a giant iguana, set off a nuke!” by a bunch of, ahem, “scientists”.

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A Danger to Myself and Others.

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The Holoclowns Saga. Beginning in Being from Another Planet (1982) and ending here.

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For a long time this was my favorite Joel episode. It has since been replaced by Fire Maidens but it’s still a terrific episode. I’m not a fan of Undersea Kingdom but the movie here is so ripe for riffing. Another Corman movie. They may have been cheaply made but his movies were always fun.

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This Steve was far and away the biggest jaggoff of all the Steves we met. He probably went on to a career in Congress or something.

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“Hurry, Diana!” “HURRY DIANA!”

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For whatever reason, the Brains took another crack at doing a serial. I can’t say I understand why, as by this point educational shorts had proven themselves to be a comedic gold mine. It features Three Mesquiteers and Range Busters regular Ray “Crash” Corrigan as a Naval Academy graduate who leads an expedition to Atlantis, where there are two warring factions. Other than that, I have no idea what’s going on. This is due to a combination of a poorly aged audio track and the random stuff happens method of plot advancement.

Not that the main feature is any better. As is all too common in these 1950s creature features, far too much time is spent on the dull travails of the human cast. So, unless you can squeeze out some entertainment value from the soap opera-like meanderings of a backwoods general store proprietor and his adulterous wife (the latter portrayed by Playboy centerfold Yvette Vickers), it’ll be a long slog. Most of the other characters are a collection of moronic inbred hicks. Possibly this is meant to make the pompous jackass “hero” and his shrill harpy girlfriend look good in comparison, but it doesn’t work. With such a repulsive sample of humanity, it’s rather surprising that Coleman Francis didn’t have a hand in this. Especially with the prominent role of coffee.

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I fail to see how she’s either shrill or a harpy. If anything, she’s pretty passive in that way that almost every Good Woman in these movies clings to the self-important jerkwad she married because he’s so darn “heroic.” lol. Even if she argues with him a little, no one is meant to take her arguing seriously.

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Like so many women in these movies, she had basically no personality. I didn’t find her shrill, just bland.

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Yeah. Color me old-fashioned in my own way but I think descriptors should actually describe the thing they’re describing. :wink:

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