Sunday, June 22, 2014

GILA! (2014)

 GILA! (2014) 

Distributor: Polyscope Media Group
Duration: 96 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo English
Director: Jim Wynorski
Cast: Brian Gross, Terence Knox, Jesse Janzen, Christina DeRosa, Madeline Voges, Callie Burk, Julie McCullough

In this send-up of creatures features a giant gila monster is threatening small town folk in the 1950's - in fact this is a loose remake of the 1959 drive-in schlock fest THE GIANT GILA MONSTER from b-movie auteur Jim Wynorski who brought us CHOPPING MALL (1986) and 976-EVIL 2 (1992) and about 96 other soft-core erotic films not worth mentioning in my opinion. While I do love the 1980s horror stuff  he did there's just not much else in that filmography I feel the urge to watch - sorry Jim. 

This is going for a retro-1950s vibe that both pays homage and sends-up the atomic fueled creature features of the era. We have dueling high school drag racers who are clearly not age appropriate, a pair catty girlfriends and small town cops who are all but helpless to stop the reptilian threat that plagues their town. 

The effects work here is sub Syfy quality which is likely why the creature is glimpsed for mere moments. When the film is titled GILA! that's gonna be an issue now don't you think? Set in the 1950 the low-budget of this one didn't exactly make it easy to capture the vintage aesthetic - they give it a good try but the styles sorta come and go from scene to scene. There's a handful of classic cars on display though - these hot rods are freaking sweet but bad CGI and hot rods do not a good movie make.

The cast is pretty game for what they're making here - they're painfully aware they are making a cheesy creature feature and a shitty creature feature and  Wynorski is a skilled enough tradesman to keep the film moving forward in a way that keeps you plugged-in if not exactly interested.

The disc from Polyscope Media Group has a few extras that mostly text-based about the original film including a trailer and lyrics to the end credits song. GILA! is just not a film I can say I enjoyed watching or would revisit again - I have to give the a SKIP IT!