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Anton Giulio Majano
After local-moonshine swilling trapper Lem Sawyer sees a giant creature, people start disappearing. While searching for illegal traps Steve Benton and Nan Greyson, his girl-friend find Lem dying with giant sucker wounds on his body. One couple Liz Walker and Cal Moulton, forced into the water by her enraged husband Dave Walker, gets taken by the leeches. When police refuse to believe Dave's story, he hangs himself. Soon after this, 2 more trappers disappear, the local Game Warden Steve Benton gets involved. He and Nan's father Dr Greyson realize that the people were taken by the leeches and the leeches live in caves under the swamp. Using dynamite, the 4 missing bodies are discovered and the leeches are destroyed. Written by
Matthew Soffen <email@example.com>
One of the best of the late 50's Grade-Z drive-in mellers, this steamy and creepy tale of lust and betrayal in the Florida swamps works well as lurid melodrama and as slight sci-fi fable. The lovely Yvette Vickers (adulteress Honey in "Attack of the 50 Ft Woman") is at her bone-poppin' trashy best here as a Baby Dollish slut wife to fat slob storeowner Bruno VeSota. (She strolls into a room full of men wearing a frilly negligee, brushing her teeth, making sure all the pigs see the foamy toothpaste dribbling from her trembling mouth. Youch!) She has a lover named Cal, and when fatty husband finds the two embracing he forces them into the dark swamp, where men in shiny leech costumes drag them to their underground cave to suck them bone dry. There's a beautifully orchestrated scene at midpoint in the film, in the leeches' cave, where half-comatose victims wail and moan in contorted postures as they helplessly watch their leechish tormentors slowly crawl towards them, slurping and sucking all the way. It's a scene of pure horror not unlike a similar scene in "Beast from Haunted Cave" a year later. The scientific explanation for the beasts (atomic fallout from nearby Cape Canaveral rockets) is superfluous to the plot, which is, of course, about the giantest leeches of them all, us. And as the end implies, as we hear the slurping of a new batch of bloodsuckers from the deep, there is no end to the giant leeches! The exact same length as Roger Corman's biblical sci-fi masterpiece "Attack of the Crab Monsters," this film was produced by Roger's brother Gene, shown in a nifty title splice against his executive producer brother. Other great AIP drive-in quickies of the era were "The Brain Eaters" and "Terror from the Year 5000." Cool electro-score by Alexander Laszlo, whose "The Atomic Submarine" and "Night of the Blood Beast" scores are also classics of the genre.
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