“Alright? Man, I’m superb. Seven to a box, no corners. I’m a round hound!”
I think if you asked most people to describe a ‘typical’ 50’s b-movie, I think they would inadvertently describe The Giant Gila Monster. Teens, bad mock and roll, close ups of a lizard or insect, a love story, a spunky kid and a cast of nobodies. Heck, the biggest name in this film is long-time comic relief Shug Fisher, our lovable drunk.
It is amazing what different directors/producers can do with similar resources. Ray Kellogg and Larry Buchanan drew from the Dallas area for their casts of nobodies. Both had little budget to work with. And yet, Ray Kellogg gave us two solid movies (Gila and The Killer Shrews) where Buchanan has problems with nearly every facet of his movies. Kellogg and his team just did little things right: the foley track, the ambient music, the natural sound, making sure the script didn’t have gaping logic holes. Kellogg also took the time to get a cast that was at least competent in the acting department.
They could have given our hero some better songs to sing. I’d rather hear the song the DJ played than a second helping of ‘laugh children laugh’.
The editor did a really good job putting the Gila Monster scenes together. And apparently without the equipment to do simple process shots.
Very little, if anything was cut for the SOL.
Watchability: 4 of 5. Give the hero a couple better songs, and I would be willing to talk a 5 of 5 here.
Missing the Riffs: 3 of 5. Too many great riffs in this episode. I found myself dropping in several of my favorite lines as the movie played.