25
Jun
09

The 50th Anniversary of “The Giant Gila Monster”


June 25th, 1959

Well, this one is a bit different!!  It has all the best of the 50′s monster movie clichés, a big ugly creature, some cool model and FX work, a trip to lovers lane in some big beautiful 50′s cars, a dance at the hop, a teen hero and his country girl next door love interest, some real good jump out of your seat moments, and in the end the kids save the day!!  The strangest part about this movie is that the teen star sings and plays a mini banjo…not once but constantly!!!! Very strange indeed.  Sometimes you forget your watching a horror movie and the idea goes thru your head that you’re really in a chick flick!!!  HAAA!  A lot of fun though; this one ranked high enough to land a showing on Mystery Science Theater.  Awesome saturday night fodder!!!

some cool oriental style opening credits

some cool oriental style opening credits

one of the few B-movie posters that did not have a lovely girl being taken away by the creature!

one of the few B-movie posters that did not have a lovely girl being taken away by the creature!

the star of the show,,, Mr. Tagila!

the star of the show,,, Mr. Tagila!

 

OH NO!!! not another SONG!!!

OH NO!!! not another SONG!!!

 

 

 

 

a nifty miniature set of the exterior of the barn hop.

a nifty miniature set of the exterior of the barn hop.

wholly cow,,, another long laughing song!!!

holy cow,,, another long laughing song!!!

 

why sure Mr. Johnson I can come over and sing a couple of songs for you!!!

why sure Mr. Johnson I can come over and sing a couple of songs for you!!!

 

the awesome finale as the miniature car races towards the monster.

the awesome finale as the miniature car races towards the monster.

 

ahhh Sizzlng Gila, what a delicious treat!

ahhh Sizzlng Gila, what a delicious treat!

 

here she comes, the real location shot of the train a coming!

here she comes, the real location shot of the train a coming!

and another pretty cool miniature set!

and another pretty cool miniature set!

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14 Responses to “The 50th Anniversary of “The Giant Gila Monster””


  1. 1 DeanneM
    June 25, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I’ve never even heard of this one in my entire life! Fifty’s cars and lovers lane…I’ll have to check it out! :) I’m not sure about all the singing, but it sounds like a fun MST evening. That oriental style writing in the first one was devised completely from Gila Monster claws…nice effect!

    I may have to wait a little bit for it because I’ve recently come across a Gila Monster, so it may hit too close to home (I’m shakin’ already!). ;)

    Those miniature sets are great. Probably in action it would be more obvious, but the shots look pretty good!

    • 2 johneaves
      June 25, 2009 at 12:21 pm

      you can actually buy this cheeper than you can rent it!!! HAAA!

      • 3 DeanneM
        June 25, 2009 at 12:24 pm

        I can only get the MST3K version from Netflix, but that’s the one I want, anyway! It’s all part of the monthly fee, so it’s in my movie queue now. :)

  2. June 25, 2009 at 11:41 am

    This is another stinker I paid money to see at a theater matinee. :(

    This movie has a couple of notable features, really bad teen music (“My baby, she rocks … My baby, she rolls…”) and gawd awful visual effects.

    The poor quality of effects is shocking considering that the director, Ray Kellogg, had visual effects credits on over 90 movies and Ralph Hammeras, who gets credit (or blame) for ‘Special Effects’ on “The Giant Gila Monster” has a visual effects history going back to 1925’s “The Lost World”.

    So John, I can see why we are like we are … A diet of really bad “B-movies” when we grew up.
    :P

    • 5 johneaves
      June 25, 2009 at 12:20 pm

      Man I loved and hated these all at the same time when I was a kid,,, And your right I am sure these bad flicks fueled our futures!!! HAAAA!!! lots of good times!

  3. June 25, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I definitely remember watching this on TV as I was a little kid (must have been during the mid to late 1970s, I believe). Don’t remember much of the story, though, but I definitely remember the giant Gila monster. Didn’t know that was actually the film’s title!

  4. June 25, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    John,

    Thanks for posting about anniversaries of “legendary” B movies like The Giant Gila Monster. I’ve been a B movie fan since I stumbled across a VHS copy of Plan 9 from Outer Space as a pre-teen some twenty-odd years ago. The Giant Gila Monster is one of my favorites of this genre. Chase Winstead can do no wrong, can he? The sheriff needs him, the “gang” needs him, his mother needs him, his disabled sister needs him, his girlfriend needs him, a popular DJ needs him, young music lovers need him, and the giant gila monster needs him… to drive into it with a roadster full of nitroglycerin. :)

    In an earlier post, you mentioned The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, another of my favorites. I had hoped to meet you, Larry Blamire and Jennifer Blaire at Wonderfest this year, but my MBA studies, job, and other events prevented me from making the drive from Dayton, Ohio. As a result I’ve yet to watch The Lost Skeleton Returns Again. Did Blamire give any hint about when that film might be released to home video?

    Thanks again,

    Greg

  5. June 25, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Yep – remember this one from Saturday monster matinees on the UHF channels :) Them! is the classic though. Ever see The Monolith Monsters? Now there’s something different – no singing teenagers though!

  6. November 5, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Wow, how did I miss this one. Classic. When is an anny for Invasion Of The Saucer-Men coming around? That’s my all-time fav 50′s sci-fi film. Wonder when The Creeping Terror comes up for one too…

    peace & bananas | deg

    • 12 johneaves
      November 8, 2010 at 7:33 pm

      sadly Saucermen has it’s anniversary in June of 2013, and Creeping Terror will be in the Summer 0f 2014, but according to the Myans we won’t be here to celebrate!


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