A newly married couple arrives at the home of the husband's late wife, where the gardens have been maintained by a gardener faithful to the dead woman's memory. Soon, eerie events lead the new wife to think she's losing her mind.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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 »
Where's Pat and Liz?
Maybe their car broke down?
Hey! I worked on that car myself!
That wouldn't make any difference if he goofed the speed shift or something!
And that squirrel is just the one that could do it!
See more »
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!
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