A couple of teenagers are reported missing in a small Texas town, and it is thought they eloped. Sheriff Jeff turns to his friend Clarence Winstead, a garage mechanic and leader of a hot-rod gang, for help. After a series of tragic motor accidents, it becomes apparent that a giant Gila monster is roaming the area depleting the town of its citizens and visitors, including two hot-rodding teens, and planning to attend the BIG record-hop party. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This was one of two features produced by an independent company in Texas and meant for release as a double feature. The other feature was The Killer Shrews (1959). Unlike many such features produced in the South, these films received national distribution. See more »
The locomotive pulling the train that crashes off the bridge knocked down by the title creature, changes from a switch engine to a streamlined unit, then back to the switch engine, but pulling in reverse and then back to a head-on view of the streamliner, just before the crash. See more »
I know this film is bad. I know the gila monster is nothing more than a live one put on the ground with some miniature trucks, cars, buildings, and even a train. I know the acting is overall very poor. The script is full of holes, and the special effects are not special. But I really like this film overall. What this film DOES have is a whole lot of heart. The story deals with people missing in a very small town. The sheriff(played very nicely by Fred Graham) is pressured by the local industrialist to find his son that has been missing. Where does the lawmen go for help? Well, he goes to a teenager that happens to work at a local garage, drive a souped up hot-rod, sing rock and roll in his spare time, and is a swell guy in general. Don Sullivan plays the young man, and I think he is actually pretty good. Sure, the film is hokey. What film wouldn't be with a title like The Giant Gila Monster? But this film is more than your typical B science fiction film of the 50's. It really tries hard to create characters rather than just stereotypes. There are scenes that you just would not find in your average teen science fiction flick. The scene where Chase sings to his crippled sister is just one example. This film was produced by Festus..I mean Ken Curtis who also had his hand in that other fun, campy science fiction film of the same year The Killer Shrews.
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