Village Of The Giants (1965) [REVIEW] | #giantmonstermarch

Starting this Giant Monster March with one of the lesser discussed Bert I. Gordon flicks, Village Of The Giants, which also marks the first time our notorius B.I.G would harass poor H.G. Wells, specifically his novel The Food Of The Gods, which would later adapt again in a slightly “less loose” manner with 1976’s Food Of The Gods, spawning a fittingly loose sequel 13 years later, Food Of The Gods Part 2, which didn’t see Bert I. Gordon involved at all, and has somehow even less to do with H.G.Wells’ book.

Good old Bert this time basically used the book reference only so he could crib the idea of people turning into giants… this time via a generic “goo” chemical substance that falls in the hands of a group of teens, making themselves gigantic and decide to rule over the town and its grown ups using this newfound size, because they’re teens, and this movie has a lot more to do with Horror At Party Beach than Food Of The Gods, since it has a lot of elements from the “beach party film” which was indeed quite en vogue at the time, and also about to fizz out before the 70s came to be.

I haven’t strong feelings about the genre, it gave us Beach Blanket Bingo but also Arch Hall Jr. strumming his fuckin guitar while his face looks like they embalmed a Elvis impersonator in wax, and also the classic MST3K episode riffing his ass and teaching the evergreen lesson of watching out for snakes, even when the dub is off sync and the movie might not even have snakes at all.

To set expectations correctly (aside from saying it’s directed by Bert I. Gordon), the very substance that makes living organisms grow to giant size is concocted by a character called “Genius”, played by a 11 yo Ron Howard. So i don’t think it’s a movie trying to take itself too seriously, and the intro of zoomed into teenagers – mostly girls in bikini and other beach garments – doing some incredibly white dancing makes it clear from the get go where the priorities of the movie are.

The poster depicting a teen hanging to a giant woman’ rack (which i’m pretty sure unlocked that specific kink in many) also does work in this regard, and oddly that actually happens in the movie.

As always the rear projection effects are hilarious, you can tell Bert got a lil better to mask the obvious effect, but it still gives us delightfully silly images like a giant orange cat hissing at random humans, or the gigantified dog standing on his hind legs in a way that looks fake as shit today and i’m pretty sure looked corny at the time of release, plus, being a Bert I. Gordon movie there’s rear projecting so up the wazoo you will wonder if some scenes did use it (even when there’s no obvious reason to) or not, but often i’ll be quite obvious and cheap looking, can’t say i’m surprised.

There’s plenty of go-go dancing… thankfully spiced up by the giant ducks joining in, but sadly not always, so you’ll have to deal with a lot of 60’s dancing people shtick and someone singing a rockabilly song, it’s pretty heavy on those, as the movie features some musicians and singers that were popular in america at the time, but pretty much mean nothing to me and i guess a lot of non-USians, though i kinda like that it has a Beatles-inspired band in it, The Breau Brummels.

And the movie’s theme was also later reused in Tarantino’s Death Proof, his portion of Grindhouse, so it has some legacy, despite the soundtrack never getting an official release.

Despite the abudant song & dances you do get a lot of giant animals and eventually we have the plot becoming pretty much The Blob but with giants teens instead of the alien slime creature, it’s pretty obvious as much as the character are dumb ass teens, but to be quite honestly it’s one of the better ones by good ol’ Bert Ira Gordon (still alive at the moment of writing), still bad to be honest, but in spite of that it’s an enjoyable piece of 60’s surf/teen b-movie from the drive-in era, cheesy and clumsy in many aspects, but its carefree and loose logic (meaning it’s a lot of non-sense) makes it unintentionally funny, it’s as long as it needs and it’s definitely one of the more competently put together in terms of special effects, at least in terms of what you could expect from Mr.“B I G”.



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