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Friday Night Public Domain Sci-Fi Theater: Attack of the Giant Leeches

Nothing says Cold War science fiction quite as well as mutant rubber monsters, atomic explosions and stern looking Army generals staring through binoculars into the horizon while sucking on a corncob pipe. In other words, all the hallmarks of great 50’s science fiction.

So I’m sorry to disappoint. While tonight’s public domain sci-fi theater definitely has all of the above, it’s not exactly “great” science fiction. It’s campy, fun and stupid. It’s Attack of the Giant Leeches.

The plot is simple: deep in the Florida Everglades, a colony of anthropomorphic, hyperintelligent leeches are kidnapping our babes and drinking their blood. One of these babes? None other than Shakespearean thespian Yvette Vickers, also known as July 1959’s Playboy Playmate.

The Wikipedia article wryly notes:

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. As with many of these films, the analysis can be more entertaining than the film itself.

I’m not sure about that: just go in with your expectations MST3K low.

Attack of the Giant Leeches [Google Video]

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