1959/Director: Bernard L. Kowalski/ Writer: Leo Gordon
Cast: Ken Clark, Yvette Vickers, Jan Shepard, Michael Emmet, Tyler McVey, Bruno VeSota
Sure there are a lot of problems with this movie. The lighting is dark and the sound quality is poor. The plot has more holes than the leeches have suction cups on their octopus type arms. The acting is pretty bad and the dialog is as campy as it comes. But I really enjoyed this thing for the most part and since it clocks in at about an hour it is not the worst way to waste sixty minutes of your life unless you're doing cancer research. Getting with the mood of the day the giant leech creatures are more than likely radioactive mutations caused by the rocket launches at nearby Cape Canaveral and they are soon sucking blood from the local moonshine swilling swamp hillbillys. The creatures look like giant plastic garbage bags really and you can plainly see the actors inside moving about. There are a few grisly close-up scenes of the beasts feeding on redneck blood and the scenes of captive hicks inside the underwater cave are pretty good really.
The basic plot centers on the conflict between beefcake game warden Steven Benton (Ken Clarke) slowly coming to the realization, after the locals keep disappearing, that some sort of creature is living in the swamps. Creatures he refuses use dynamite on because that might kill a few fish. Of the opposing view is local Dr. Greyson is ready to blow the blood suckers sky high but first he and Benton must have a series of heated arguments that wear out the pro and cons of using dynamite to kill the beasts and of course at the end of the film they use dynamite to finally kill them). Benton and the doc's daughter Nan (Jan Shepard) have one of those classic old horror film relationships where they act like they can¡'t agree on anything but it is obvious they are smoking hot for each other and all the bickering is simply so much horror couple foreplay.
Yvette Vickers 1928 - 2010