The Killer B’s – Attack of the Giant Leeches


In which a bunch of 1960’s era Doctor Who monsters escape from the BBC Workshop and terrorise the good ol’ boys down in the swamps.

Yep, we’re firmly entrenched in good old B-movie territory with this cheap and cheerful shocker from 1959. The movie was directed by Bernard L. Kowaski, who was actually a big shaker in the TV scene and as well as producing the hit series, Beretta he was a co-owner of the Mission Impossible franchise. Over the years he has directed, written and produced many well known shows – Columbo, Diagnosis Murder, Airwolf, Magnum PI, Mike Hammer. And that’s only a partial list.

However back in the day, before prime time television came calling, he helmed drive in classic like Attack of the Giant Leeches which was produced by the legendary Roger Corman.

The film is actually quite enjoyable in a cheesy kind of way, and for all it’s faults it is never boring. It’s in the public domain and is available on DVD from several labels, but it’s also available to view online and can be accessed above.

The actors play it dead straight and the moody photography and claustrophobic swamp settings work well in creating mood.

Was also known as Demons in the Swamp

Yvette Vickers, a Playboy centrefold, plays a great femme fatale in a film that tries to be a noir sci-fi horror film. That the film was shot in only eight days is also something to be applauded – they knew their market and threw all pretensions out of the window in a bid to make the best horror movie they could with the limited resources – ie, a budget of only Seventy Thousand Dollars – mind you in those days you could go to the movies, get a bag of chip and still have change for a bus ride home for that kind of money, or so my dad claims.

The UK title was, Demons in the Swamp

The UK title was, Demons in the Swamp

The exterior scenes were shot at Los Angeles Arboretum – the self same location would later be used for TV’s Fantasy Island and several Tarzan movies.

The movie is great fun and worth watching – the viewer just need to ignore the often bad acting, the corny lines and simply soak it all up the way audiences did back in the day.

Film Data (from B-movie central)

Attack of the Giant Leeches

Year Of Release: 1959
Running Time: 62 Minutes
DVD Released By: Madacy Entertainment
Directed By: Bernard L. Kowalski
Writing Credits: Leo Gordon
Filming Location: Los Angeles County Arboretum, Arcadia, California, Studio City, California

Starring: Ken Clark, Yvette Vickers, Jan Shepard, Michael Emmet, Tyler McVey, Bruno VeSota, Gene Roth

Tagline: “Crawling horror… Rising from the depths of Hell to kill and conquer!”

Alternate Titles:
Attack of the Blood Leeches (1959)
Demons of the Swamp (1959) (UK)
The Giant Leeches (1959) (USA: promotional title)
She Demons of the Swamp (1959)

Interesting Bits of Trivia:
Ken Clark who played Steve Benton in this film, also played in a rather large number of Italian films including several Hercules movies.


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