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Rated PG
Copyright 1959 Hollywood Pictures Corporation
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Chase - Cross a mechanic with Elvis and MacGyver.
  • Sheriff Jeff - Overworked county boy, he's still had time to tack on a spare tire.
  • Lisa - Appears to be some sort of foreign exchange student seeking asylum. Barely speaks English and loves Chase.
  • Harris - Alcoholic who loves his old car.
  • Mr. Wheeler - Rich guy, he is (of course) an asshole.
  • Steamroller Smith - The local radio disc jockey everyone loves, launches Chase's singing career.
  • Missy - Chase's younger sister who can't walk, she is just getting leg braces.
  • The Giant Gila Monster - It has grown giant in the undisturbed territory and now must feed!

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Despite being full of scenes where a normal Gila Monster wanders through model railroad sets this film was okay. Until Chase pulls out the Ukulele, then things get ugly. I still cannot figure out how a song goes from discussing a sad mushroom to a spiritual. Both times the song appeared I whimpered until it went away.

The Gila Monster comes out of NOWHERE. The thing is about seventy feet long and lives in the middle of a desert. What the heck has it been eating all this time. Jawas? Not bloody likely. It does start eating anyone unfortunate enough to cross its path. This is accomplished by showing the person, then the normal sized lizard on a scale model table, then the person screaming, and finally a clawed foot descending on the camera.

Plus, the whole film appears to be a drunken driving ad! Harris is always motoring around drunk, Chase meets Steamroller because the disc jockey is hammered and goes off the road into a ditch. Mr. Wheeler wanders through the film looking like he should be carrying a club and discovering fire.

Our star attraction finally crashes the barn dance and is rampaging through the heart of town (which means there is one house about every two miles) when Chase packs his hotrod full of nitroglycerin and rams it. Boom! Then it catches on fire for some reason... ...of course that's after the sheriff unloads about twenty rounds at it from his shotgun. Without stopping I might add.

Still, that song, that horrible song.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Getting married is just like visiting New York. (Harris bestows this one on us.)
  • Rich guys are Neanderthal jerks; big eyebrow ridges and all.
  • Before Breathalyzers policemen had to stick their nose in your mouth to check.
  • Heroic car mechanics bang out dents while singing.
  • Train wrecks are equivalent to party platters for huge lizards.
  • Demanding a "soberty" test is pointless.
  • Salt causes gigantic mutations.
  • Driverless cars will always travel in a straight line, even across a rough field.
  • Lizards are highly flammable.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 4 mins - Hold on, what happened?
  • 21 mins - You have to be kidding me, a live Gila Monster walking through a model railroad track setup.
  • 26 mins - Hey, slow down!
  • 28 mins - That's your boy scout deed for the day Chase, pulling a drunk driver out of the ditch and putting him back on the road.
  • 35 mins - Chase, that is Gila Monster urine.
  • 54 mins - I wonder if that is HO scale...
  • 65 mins - For appearing to be a genetic backwater Mr. Wheeler sure is figuring things out.
  • 68 mins - NOOOO! IT'S THE UKULELE AGAIN! STOP! Something stop it! Yes, a big lizard! Eat him!
  • 70 mins - Just how many shells does that shotgun hold anyway?

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note giantgila1.wav Narrator: "How large the dreaded Gila Monster grows, no man can say."
Green Music Note giantgila2.wav THE UKULELE SONG! ARRGHHHH!
Green Music Note giantgila3.wav Harris: "I demand a soberty test!"
Sheriff: "That does it. Go lock yourself up."
Harris: "I demand a soberty test 'cause I ain't been drinking."
Green Music Note giantgila4.wav Mr. Wheeler: "And I say it is possible for a giant lizard to have lived there for years without being seen."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipgiantgila1.mpg - 2.5m
Please eat the guy who is singing!

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 3 [4] 5
The Giant Gila Monster
Reply #25. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by mike52t
I can take heart in knowing no gila monsters were hurt in the making of this film.
Well, maybe just a little.
Just think, Missy will grow out of leg braces just in time to require braces on her teeth. And just when Lisa announces she's preggers. Poor Chase.
The Giant Gila Monster
Reply #26. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Mark Radburn
The Giant Gila Monster was great, how could you not like it. Don Sullivan is one of the best actors ever and he is a great singer in this film. And it has lots of action in it and my god The Gila Monster was Huge. I love this Film and one thing. It's not a B-movie ok.
The Giant Gila Monster
Reply #27. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Joe
This was one of my favorite monster movies when I was a kid and I recently watched it again. WTF? How things change.
Well,the hotrods are still cool but that 'Laugh Children laugh' song.How in the world did I get through that as a kid? Maybe there's a reason why I grew up with 'issues'.
Anyways,it's still a fun movie to watch in a lazy weekend.
What I can never figure out is why Chase chose to sing'Laugh children laugh'instead that 'My baby rocks' at the barn dance if he wanted to be discovered by the talent scouts? The movie would've been sooo much better without the music.
A cop that takes advice from a teenager? Wow.The police kicked our butt when we gave them our'advice'.
I wish I could've gotten away with stealing auto parts.We need cops like that in our 'hood.
Grab some popcorn,your favorite girl(boy..whatever)and watch this movie and have fun.
The Giant Gila Monster
Reply #28. Posted on June 06, 2005, 09:05:50 PM by giant claw
This was one of those old Black and White B-Movies of the 50s or 60s the big lizard tramping around everywhere you can imagine
The Giant Gila Monster
Reply #29. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by kjw
Hey it's former Rocky Jones,and Little Rascal,Scotty Beckett under the name of Don Sullivan in this horror abombanation.No wonder Scotty Beckett wanted to have nothing to do with those horror movies he was in,and even changed his name,just to not being associated with these films.

If you look very carefully at him,you can tell that he has aged quite alot,and looks to be drugged out as well.But his voice and eyebrows are a dead giveaway that it is him.The only thing as far as I'm concerned that saves this movie is that he gets a chance to sing some Rock 'N' Roll songs in this movie.But really he didn't really need to do dreck films like this.I guess at this point in his acting career,one can only assume is that he needed the money to support his drug habit,as he was definately a far superior actor to star in a movie such as this.

As bad as this is,I still find it to be entertaing only because of Scotty's acting.The film itself is slow and takes quite awhile for it to move,but it's Scotty's songs and acting that entertains me whenever I watch this film.There should have been much more of the Gila Monster in this,as there wasn't enough to be seen from it.This is far from being a classic,but it's good to watch every now and then,but only in very small doses.
The Giant Gila Monster
Reply #30. Posted on November 09, 2005, 09:03:16 AM by TD
You are wrong...that is definitely NOT Scotty Beckett.  Not even close.
The Giant Gila Monster
Reply #31. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Charles
Pretty poor movie and plot.  But I think it's a
hoot not to have to bleep every other word.  I kind
of liked the Mushroom song. Isn't it appropreate
"laugh children laugh"
The Giant Gila Monster
Reply #32. Posted on September 17, 2006, 03:16:22 PM by Uluhead
I personally thought this was a pretty decent film.
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