ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES
Half of Attack of the Giant Leeches is not too bad a B movie . Bernard L. Kowalski generates a wonderfully heated atmosphere of torrid adultery in the swampy backwaters. There are some great characters. The overweight general store owner Big Dave, played by 1950s B movie actor Bruno VeSota, who was also the director of The Brain Eaters (1958). His wife Yvette Vickers played fairly much the same role of the seductive strumpet in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) and has gained a certain cult fascination among B movie aficionados for her sultry performances. She manages to fairly much steal the show here, winding husband Bruno VeSota around her little finger or sensually oiling her legs in the middle of a scene. Kowalski generates passable atmosphere and tension during the searches and the lurking around the swamps. This section alone would have made for a great film noir.
It is however when Attack of the Giant Leeches reveals its B monster movie colours that it starts to go downhill. It is not a film with particularly high ambitions. Most of it never emerges beyond the setting of a single lagoon, while the giant leeches never take on any widespread threat, attacking civilisation or large cities as they did in almost every other 1950s monster movie. Certainly, this puts Attack of the Giant Leeches in the same boat as another 1950s classic that it is owes some things to The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). Unfortunately, the leeches are not particularly convincing creatures and never hold much menace. The film is over almost before it begins (it only runs for 62 minutes) the leeches are despatched with dynamite, Yvette Vickers is rescued (although the fadeout leaves us unclear as to whether she is dead or alive) and the threat abruptly ended.
Inevitably, the atomic monster movie angle that dominated the decade rears its head with it at one point being speculated that the leeches giantism is due to the swamps closeness to Cape Canaveral and that they have mutated as a result of the atomic radiation used in the initial stages of rocket launches.
The film was later remade surprisingly faithfully as Attack of the Giant Leeches (2008).
Full film available online here:-