Attack of the Giant Leeches


1h 2m 1959

Brief Synopsis

After local-moonshine swilling trapper Lem Sawyer (George Cisar) sees a giant creature, people start disappearing. While searching for illegal traps Steve Benton (Ken Clark) and Nan Greyson, his girl-friend (Jan Shepard) find Lem dying with giant sucker wounds on his body. One couple Liz Walker (Yvette Vickers) and Cal Moulton (Michael Emmett), forced into the water by her enraged husband Dave Walker (Bruno Ve Sota), 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 (Tyler McVey) 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.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
The Giant Leeches
Release Date
Jan 1959
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Balboa Productions
Distribution Company
American International Pictures
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 2m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
5,561ft

Synopsis

In a small community near the Florida Everglades, Lem Sawyer relates to skeptical cronies his sighting of a strange, water-bound creature with tentacles and suction-cup eyes in the swamp. A few nights later, game warden Steve Benton and his girl friend, Nan Greyson, are searching the marsh for poacher's traps when they hear a scream and discover attractive Liz Walker, who has come upon Lem's horribly mutilated and bloody body. After Lem's autopsy, Steve questions Sheriff Kovis about the unusual markings on Lem's body, but Kovis insists the man died from an alligator mauling. Angered by Kovis' refusal to investigate, Steve goes to the Greysons' to inform Nan and her physician father of his intention to search the swamps in hopes of confirming Lem's mysterious sighting. Steve and Nan spend the next two days carefully searching the swamp, but find nothing. When Lem's death continues to disturb the locals, Liz and her husband, store owner Dave, quarrel bitterly over his refusal to move into town away from the swamp. Unknown to Dave, Liz is having an affair with handsome young Cal Moulton, with whom she rendezvous one afternoon after Dave has gone to work. The couple goes out to a spot near the marsh and Cal asks Liz why she ever married the older, heavyset Dave. Liz explains that her first husband was a drunken abuser whom she divorced and that Dave was the first man to show her real kindness. Dave, who has followed Liz, interrupts the couple's tryst and, at gunpoint, forces them to walk into the swamp. While Cal pleads for his life, Dave is startled when a large creature comes up behind Cal and drags him underwater, and a moment later another drags Liz below. Horrified, Dave runs back into town. Kovis disregards Dave's wild description of the couple's disappearance and, when Liz and Cal cannot be located, arrests Dave for their murder. Later that night, Dave hangs himself in his jail cell. That same evening, Steve discusses the incident with Greyson and Nan and rejects the doctor's suggestion that they dynamite the swamp to kill any creatures within it. When Steve reluctantly admits he believes that Dave killed Liz and Cal, Greyson insists that he spoke with Dave an hour before his suicide and found him in a state of terror, not despair. After a day goes by with no sign of the dead bodies, Dave's friends Sam Peters and Porky Reed take a boat to explore the swamp. Unsettled by the eerie lifelessness in the marsh, the older men decide to return to shore when the creatures attack their boat and drag them into the swamp to an underwater cave, where Liz and Cal lie unconscious. The creatures then attack the men, sucking all their blood from them. Upon learning of Sam and Porky's disappearance, Steve joins an official, eventually vain search arranged by Kovis. When a member of the search party notes the unusual absence of alligators or fish in the swamp, Steve wonders if the water is contaminated. Greyson again recommends using explosives to kill any unusual life or dislodge the bodies that might be trapped underneath the water, but Steve insists he must maintain the preserve's ecological system. The next day, Steve finds Greyson and Nan at the swamp setting a small charge of dynamite and reluctantly does not intervene. The explosion jars the bodies of Cal, Sam and Porky off the cave ledges into the water and in moments they rise to the surface. Later, Steve goes to the Greysons' to charge the doctor with vandalizing the preserve, but is startled when Greyson informs him of the men's autopsy results. Despite Korvis' attempt to suppress the results, Greyson has learned that Cal did not die from Dave's gunshots, but, like the others, as a result of having no blood in his body. Each man had strange, unidentifiable marks on him and had only recently died. Amazed by these revelations, Steve wonders if the men somehow survived in underground caves and if Liz might possibly remain there. Determined to explore the waters, Steve contacts Mike, a former war buddy, to assist him in making a dive into the swamp. The next day with the Greysons, a cynical Kovis and other locals observing, Steve and Mike take a small boat to the middle of the swamp where Steve dives in armed with a spear gun. Finding the entrance to the caves, Steve witnesses one of the giant creatures attacking Liz, who is still alive. Steve fires the spear gun, but when the creatures come after him, he tugs on the rope attached to the boat and Mike quickly pulls him to the surface. Steve calls to shore to inform the others what he has seen, then, taking a second spear gun, returns below. When Nan wonders how the creatures came to be in the swamp, Greyson speculates that the nearby space program has contaminated the area with radiation. At the underground cave, a weakened Liz revives slightly when she sees Steve swimming by and tumbles off the ledge into the water, rising to the surface. Mike pulls her into the boat, noting the strange suction marks along her neck and face. Meanwhile, below, Steve struggles with one of the creatures. When Mike is unable to pull Steve up, he dives below and stabs one of the creatures with a knife. The group on the shore gasps when the creature's body floats to the swamp surface. Moments later, Steve and Mike return to shore and set a large charge of dynamite, which they toss into the swamp and detonate. The second creature's body rises to the surface and Steve and the others move off relieved, unaware that a surviving creature watches them from the edge of the marsh.

Photo Collections

Attack of the Giant Leeches - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from AIP's Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Giant Leeches
Release Date
Jan 1959
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Balboa Productions
Distribution Company
American International Pictures
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 2m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
5,561ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of the film was The Giant Leeches. Attack of the Giant Leeches was originally registered for copyright under the number LP15264 and was registered again at a later date with the number LP20359. An undated, but contemporary, news item notes that Amy Fields was being considered for a role in the film. Modern sources add Guy Buccola and Ross Sturlin to the cast.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1960

Released in United States 1990

Shown at Film Forum (They Came From the Arkoff Archives) in New York City October 26 - November 15, 1990.

Released in United States 1960

Released in United States 1990 (Shown at Film Forum (They Came From the Arkoff Archives) in New York City October 26 - November 15, 1990.)