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The Giant Gila Monster (1959)

Passed  -  Horror  -  27 November 1962 (Mexico)
3.2
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Ratings: 3.2/10 from 2,421 users  
Reviews: 97 user | 41 critic

A giant lizard terrorizes a rural Texas community with a heroic teenager attempting to destroy the creature.

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(original story), (screenplay)
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Title: The Giant Gila Monster (1959)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Sullivan ...
Fred Graham ...
Sheriff Jeff
Lisa Simone ...
Lisa
Shug Fisher ...
Old Man Harris
Bob Thompson ...
Janice Stone ...
Missy Winstead
Ken Knox ...
Horatio Alger 'Steamroller' Smith
Gay McLendon ...
Mom Winstead
Don Flournoy ...
Gordy
Cecil Hunt ...
Mr. Compton
Stormy Meadows ...
Agatha Humphries
Howard Ware ...
Ed Humphries
Pat Reeves ...
Rick
Jan McLendon ...
Jennie
Jerry Cortwright ...
Bob
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Storyline

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. A series of tragic motor accidents occur and it becomes apparent that a giant gila monster is roaming the area and depleting the town of its citizens and passer-throughs, including two hot-rodding teen-agers. And might have plans on attending the BIG record-hop party. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Only Hell could breed such an enormous beast. Only God could destroy it!

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 November 1962 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Gila el monstruo gigante  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$138,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ken Knox, who plays disc jockey Horatio Alger "Steamroller" Smith, was a real disc jockey working at radio stations in Texas owned by Gordon McLendon, the uncredited executive producer of this film. See more »

Goofs

The locomotive pulling the train that crashes off of 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 »

Quotes

Chase Winstead: Where's Pat and Liz?
Bob: Maybe their car broke down?
Chase Winstead: Hey! I worked on that car myself!
Bob: That wouldn't make any difference if he goofed the speed shift or something!
Chase Winstead: And that squirrel is just the one that could do it!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Rat Race (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

The Mushroom Song
(uncredited)
(aka "Laugh, Children, Laugh")
Composed and Performed by Don Sullivan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I am in love
20 September 2006 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

Well... maybe I'm in strong like.

The Giant Gila Monster is undeniably idiotic, but it is also a thoroughly enjoyable fusion of stereotypes - the '50s sci-fi craptacular, the 1950s teen rebel film complete with really sexy hot rods and a modern day Tex-western - all genres well overdue for retro movements.

The film features some of the most inept special effects of all time, vast continuity chasms, and shockingly good characterization. Regardless of how sub-cretinous the script sometimes becomes, the characters are actually well developed human beings with interesting relationships to one another - united by their existence in a town where nothing interesting ever happens, until a giant gila monster starts terrorizing a long, lonely stretch of highway on the outskirts of town.

Don Sullivan is likable but sickeningly sweet as the bad-boy Texas drag racer turned responsible budding good-boy rock-a-billy star. His acting is not too bad, and some of the rest of cast act as well, but generally, the performances are a bit ridiculous. Nevertheless, the film really does develop its characters and its plot in somewhat unique and original ways. And besides, when you're not being entertained by the virtual variety show which passes by between the action scenes, you can laugh at the tonka toys getting walked on, the flaming toy train, and the giant sand grains (almost as large as the grain of salt you should take this film with) that appear near the camera in most of the scenes featuring the gila monster.

If films are supposed to entertain, this will certainly satisfy fans of pulpy sci-fi like me. I can't honestly recommend it for those who do not enjoy camp and kitsch. Enjoy!


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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