Attack of the Giant Leeches is a low-budget 1959 science fiction film from American International Pictures. It was directed by Bernard L. Kowalski, produced by Gene Corman, and the screenplay was written by Leo Gordon. The film is in black and white, and runs for 62 minutes.
This film was also called Attack of the Blood Leeches, Demons of the Swamp, She Demons of the Swamp, and The Giant Leeches.
In July 1992, Attack of the Giant Leeches was featured as a fourth-season episode of movie-mocking television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.
In the Florida Everglades, a pair of larger-than-human-size, intelligent leeches are living in an underwater cave. They begin dragging local people down to their cave where they hold them prisoner and slowly drain them of blood.
One of the first people to be so taken is the local vixen, Liz Walker, played by Yvette Vickers . After a couple of gratuitous displays of flesh (Yvette appeared as the centerfold in the July, 1959 issue of Playboy.), and some running around on her husband (Bruno VeSota), Liz finds herself a prisoner of the leeches along with her current paramour. Game warden Steve Benton (Ken Clark) sets out to investigate their disappearance. Aided by his girlfriend Nan Grayson (Jan Sheppard) and her father, Doc Grayson, he discovers the cavern.
The giant leeches are unrealistically portrayed by men in rubber suits, but they do provide suitably disgusting scenes when attacking their victims. The monsters are finally destroyed when Steve, Doc, and some state troopers blow up the cavern with dynamite.
This film was one of a spate of monster movies produced during the 1950s in response to cold war fears. In the film a character speculates that the leeches have been mutated to giant size by atomic radiation from nearby Cape Canaveral. The leeches themselves can also be interpreted as a sort of allegory on the supposed dangers of covert communists lurking undetected in even unlikely parts of America.
- 'Attack of the Giant Leeches' has received numerous 'bargain bin' releases.
- The MST3K version of the film was released by Rhino Home Video as part of the 'Collection, Volume 6' box set.
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