17 July 2006 | gavin6942
Dialogue-Driven Film That Sets the Tone for the Era
A village near a swamp faces giant leeches who capture people that wander into their waters. Since the waters usually have alligators, this seems like a fair trade. But the local game warden (Ken Clark), the very archetype of maleness, will not leave those pesky leeches alone.
This film is ranked under 3 out of 10 on the Internet Movie Database, with many people having voted a "1" (the most popular vote). Believe me, this film is far from a one -- it is actually rather interesting and well put together. Much better than other films with "giant" animals and the explanation revolving around "radiation" -- and I can especially say this after seeing the rubbish that is "Beast of Yucca Flats".
It is amusing to see the dynamic between the shop owner (Bruno VeSota) and his wife (Playboy centerfold Yvette Vickers). She seems upset because he calls her "baby" every sentence. But the man she is seeing on the side shows up and calls her "baby" every sentence, too... so I guess she just does not like fat, balding men.
The dialog is actual one of the better parts of this movie. The conversations give the characters more depth than most horror or science fiction films and all the villagers interact quite a bit. Everything is explained and the background is rich.
The leeches? Okay, the leeches are cheesy and obviously men in squid suits. But this does not take away from the overall film. In fact,it adds a special flavor that seems appropriate.
The reason this film is ranked so low, in my opinion, is the quality of the film. Public domain copies (which look terrible) are easily available, and it is easy to dismiss the film on picture quality alone. Also, it apparently appeared on "Mystery Science Theater", and people have a tendency to instantly rank MST3K films as 1 or 2 (for reasons unknown to me). If someone took the time to digitally remaster the movie, I think it would have much better reviews... but who would invest time and money into a public film?