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Village of the Giants

USA 1965
produced by
Bert I. Gordon for Berkeley Productions, Embassy Pictures, Joseph E. Levine Productions
directed by Bert I. Gordon
starring Tommy Kirk, Charla Doherty, Beau Bridges, Joy Harmon, Robert Random, Ron Howard, Tisha Sterling, Gail Gilmore, Tim Rooney, Kevin O'Neal, Vicki London, Johnny Crawford, Joe Turkel, Toni Basil, Hank Jones, Jim Begg, Debi Storm, Rance Howard, the Beau Brummels (= Ron Elliott, Ron Meagher, Declan Mulligan, John Peterson, Sal Valentino), Freddy Cannon, Mike Clifford, Christopher Riordan
story by Bert I. Gordon, screenplay by Alan Caillou, based on the novel by H.G. Wells, music by Jack Nitzsche, songs performed by the Beau Brummels, Freddy Cannon, special visual effects by Bert I. Gordon, Flora M. Gordon

Bert I. Gordon's giant creature films

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD!

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Little Genius (Ron Howard) has just developed a serum to make animals grow to giant size, a serum he dubbed goo. His sister Nancy's (Charla Doherty) boyfriend Mike (Tommy Kirk) figures they could make millions with the formula and swears Genius and Nancy to secrecy, but then the ducks they've tried the serum on escape. At the same time, the car of a bunch of teenage troublemakers - Fred (Beau Bridges), Merrie (Joy Harmon), Rick (Robert Random), Jean (Tisha Sterling), Elsa (Gail Gilmore), Pete (Tim Rooney), Harry (Kevin O'Neal) and Georgette (Vicki London) - breaks down nearby. So they walk into town, break into the local theatre that's closed for the season where they take up residence, and then visit the local club where the then popular Beau Brummels play. Enter the giant ducks, who have nothing better to do than dance to the music, and nobody seems the least surprised by the sudden appearance of giant ducks. Eventually, Mike enters the club, tells everybody about the goo Genius had invented (so much for keeping a secret) - which gives Fred the idea to sweettalk Nancy as he thinks the formula for goo could make him and his friends a fortune. In the meantime, Jean tries to get it on with Mike to make him give up the formula, but neither sways. The next day, Mike throws a big barbecue, feedig his giant ducks to everyone, and in the meantime, Fred and company break into Genius's makeshift lab and steal the goo. Back at the theatre, they have the rather silly idea to take the goo themselves to grow to giant size, to take over the city - dressed in togas made out of the theatre's curtains as of course their clothes don't fit anymore. They ask all the local teens to join them in their rebellion, but none do, least of all Mike, who's somehow responsible for the whole mess. The local sheriff (Joe Turkel) wants to put them into their place, but they have taken his daughter (Debi Storm) hostage, pretty much forcing him into submission. Several attempts are made to best the giant teens, but they only lead to Nancy eventually becoming their hostage as well. Then Mike takes a cue from the Bible, more specifically David and Goliath, and challenges Fred to a fight, himself being armed with nothing more than a slingshot, and really holds his own long enough for Genius to come up with a formula to counteract the goo, and with the giants being shrunk to normal size again, they're quick to be driven out of town ...

 

Village of the Giants is pretty much Bert I. Gordon's giant creature formula blended with teen comedy, with some teen rebellion and even bits of titilation thrown into the mix - and to a degree it works: Sure, the comedy is hardly top shelve, the sexy bits positively tame by today's standards, and even as science fiction it's a bit far-fetched. Plus the movie shows very little compassion for teen rebellion, instead making the wholesome kids the heroes - even if it was Tommy Kirk's character who started it all. But there is a certain light-footedness about the whole thing that's hard to resist, and its inherent silliness becomes the movie rather well. And when it comes to the effects work, this movie actually fares pretty well. I'm not saying the film is a masterpiece here, but it's good fun to watch for sure.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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to the weirdly romantic,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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