For the most part lizards are slow moving idle creatures. Add 200 lbs and 50 feet to the guy, chances are you can out run him without even thinking about it. Not that they attempt to try that in The Giant Gila Monster. Unfortunately this was in black and white, filmed in 1959, so you have to rely on the description by victims - "He was pink and black with huge stripes". I've owned lizards - not a Gila, sure - but I've not known any to be pink and black. Perhaps they are, couldn't prove it by me.
Since this came out around the same time frame as The Blob, they fall back on the teenage gang in town, working with the sheriff, to capture the reptile. The main character in this ditty, Chance Winstead (Don Sullivan [Chance? Can you handle that?]) is what every mother wants their daughter to bring home for dinner. An older' teenager, in cahoots with the sheriff, supporting his mother and sister by working at the local auto garage. He is just too pure for words, and - oh yeah - he sings. He sings feel good' songs ..... arrggghhh! Darn near carries a halo around with him. Working extra hours to buy braces for his inflicted sister - Mr. Do Gooder all the way!
Chance hooks up with a French girl, Lisa (Lisa Simone), who works for the dude that owns the company store in this backwater town in Texas. In fact, his company is responsible for the demise of the sweet Chance's father, woe is me. Also, this guys son is the first to get killed by the wandering reptile along with his girlfriend, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. The next to fall victim to the Gila is the local DJ Steamroller Smith (Ken Knox), who is saved by Chance (imagine!). He later steps in to further Chance's career as a singer.
The Pink & Black dude follows up this gig with demolishing a train track and derailing a train, victims still being counted. Also taken out are a hitchhiker and the owner of the auto shop - at this point it is Gila 20+ / Townspeople 0 ...... suddenly it occurs to someone that "I think we have a problem here". A problem? Let's just say that somewhere along the way Chance (ta-da) gets up close and personal with some nitroglycerin.
All in all, a fairly ridiculous movie - the darn lizard isn't even threatening as he plunders along and you never really get to see any gory details. In fact, no bodies are ever found - not the best way to gain points in a monster movie, there should be gore of some kind. This was written and directed by Ken Kellogg, who is also known for co-hosting another little movie by the name of The Green Berets, quite a difference here!
Probably some of the best shots in the movie concerned the town drunk, Mr. Harris (George Fisher), who not only gets to see the creature but also tries to convince someone he saw it. He is also the proud owner of a vintage 32 Model A, that the local teens are lusting after to convert to a hotrod. When confronting him about his vehicle, Mr. Harris makes this statement ..... "Buying a car son is just like getting married or going to New Yawk City. Everyone should do it once but no one should do it twice"....... He also keeps getting stopped by the sheriff (Fred Graham), who says "Let me smell your breath", and then proceeds to do so ...... no me, no sir, I'm not sticking my nose anywhere around this geezers choppers.
By the way, another selection from the cult classics section. I'm beginning to wonder about this cult classics section. Also starring Stormey Meadows (sounds like a stripper, but trust me - NOT) as the mother of the girl from the wrong side of the tracks and Desmond Dhooge as the hitchhiker. I just liked their names.
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Susi Dawson (SusiDee34)
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When a Texas town is threatened by a gigantic lizard, a singing and swinging teenager kick starts his friends into gear to stop the crazed beast. An enjoyable romp through 1950s science fiction drive-in cheese, the sleepy lizard wreaking havoc on miniature sets is no less terrifying than the musical numbers.