Really Awful Movies: Ep 171 – The Giant Gila Monster



The Giant Gila Monster is not only a 1959 monster movie, there’s a sci fi component too. And hell, it’s a hot rod juvenile delinquent flick too.

The Giant Gila Monster was directed by Ray Kellogg and produced by Ken Curtis.

It’s a decidedly low-budget affair, meant to be an accompaniment to the equally less-than-spectacular The Killer Shrews (another Ken Curtis production), a film perhaps best known for being sent up on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The film stars failed matinee idol Don Sullivan, a veteran of several low budget monster and zombie films, and Lisa Simone, the French contestant for Miss Universe of 1957 (who had zero acting chops), as well as “comic relief” of Shug Fisher and KLIF disc jockey Ken Knox.

The effects included a live Mexican beaded lizard (not an actual Gila monster) filmed on a scaled-down model landscape.

A drive-in cash-in, the film is a pretty good example of the kind of creature feature the 1950s were famous for.

In our discussion of the film on the Really Awful Movies Podcast, we delve into 50s sensibilities, the singing abilities of Don Sullivan (and the infamous Mushroom Song), our total inability to speak Spanish (which we butcher like a hog), language use, and of course, spinning platters.


Really Awful Movies: Ep 170 – Technology and Horror films with the University of Toronto’s Kevin Chabot



Technology and horror. And where these intersect. It’s interesting subject matter, whether it’s ghost hunters trying to record evidence of supernatural beings, or new technologies that are changing the way we communicate with one another through an online interface.

Kevin Chabot is currently a Ph.D. student in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. He earned a Master’s degree from Carleton University where he completed a thesis titled Bodies Without Borders: Body Horror as Political Resistance in Classical Hollywood Cinema. His dissertation project will examine the paranormal, and found-footage cycle of horror films and how they engage with the changing technological media landscape.

His research interests more broadly include horror film, classic and contemporary film theory, medium specificity, and intermediality.

Chris from the Really Awful Movies Podcast chatted with Kevin at the University of Toronto, in a discussion that focuses on:

The Exorcist

Friday the 13th

Halloween

Paranormal Activity

Black Christmas

The Purge

The Fly

…and many more