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The movie opens with a young couple parked in a bleak, rural locale pondering their future, A giant gila monster attacks the car, sending the young couple running for their lives. Chase Winstead , a young mechanic and hot rod racer and his girl Lisa (Madeline Voges), meets up with Chase's former nemesis, Waco Bob (Jesse Janzen) and his sidekick Carla (Christina De Rosa). Prompted by calls from Mayor Wheeler (Gerard Pauwels) ,The local Sheriff (Terence Knox)enlists the help of Chase, a young mechanic and hot rod racer, locates the crashed car in the ravine and finds evidence of the giant lizard. They attempt to destroy the lizard, but that only emboldens it. The creature continues to prey on the small town. It starts to head for the Winstead homestead, However, Chase packs his prized hot rod with nitroglycerin and rigs it to speed straight into the monster, terminating the lizard in a fiery explosion and heroically saving the town. Written by
A giant gila monster terrorizes a sleepy small town. It's up to local hot rod racer Chase Winstead (a solid and likable performance by Brian Gross) to save the day. Director Jim Wynorski, working from a compact and eventful script by Steve Mitchell, William Dever, Jim Nielsen, and Paul Sinor, relates the entertaining story at a zippy pace, maintains an utterly engaging good-natured tone throughout, stages the monster attack set pieces with flair, and offers an affectionate evocation of the 50's period setting (the vintage cars and the 50's rock soundtrack in particular are both spot-on). Moreover, it's acted with zest by an enthusiastic cast: Terence Knox as the amiable sheriff, Jesse Janzen as surly bad boy Waco Bob, Christina DeRosa as Bob's slinky hussy main squeeze, Madeline Voges as Chase's sweet girlfriend Lisa, the ever-adorable Kelli Maroney as the cute and bubbly Deputy Wilma, Gerad Pauwels as uptight jerk Mayor Wheeler, Julie McCullough as the mayor's bitter booze-sodden wife Vera, and, in a delightfully robust scenery-gnashing turn, Rick Komenich as gung-ho survivalist Compton. Don Sullivan, the star of the '59 original "The Giant Gila Monster," has a nice bit as helpful lizard expert Daws. The titular CGI beast looks pretty cool. Kudos are also in order for Ross Headley's sharp cinematography and the spirited score by Al and Jon Kaplan. An immensely fun flick.
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