Hot Cars, Hot Chicks And A Really Big Gila Monster
Director: Jim Wynorski
Writing credits (in alphabetical order) William Dever Steve Mitchell Jim Nielsen Paul Sinor
Starring Brian Gross ... Chase Terence Knox ... Sheriff Jesse Janzen ... Waco Bob Christina DeRosa ... Carla Madeline Voges ... Lisa Gerard Pauwels ... Mayor Wheeler Kelli Maroney ... Deputy Wilma Jenna Ruiz ... Missy
and special appearance by: Don Sullivan ... Dawes
You've heard me say whenever the topic of the remake comes up, "Why remake a good film? Why remake films that are considered cinematic masterpieces, classics of the genre? What's the point? Why not take a stinker of a movie and try to make it better?"
I think someone heard me!
OK, chances are they didn't actually hear me, but rather they had the same idea. Either way the result is the same, we now have GILA!.
Director Jim Wynorski and writer/producer Bill Dever set out in of all places Franklin, Indiana with a cast of seasoned actors, mixed with local talent, with the idea of remaking Ray Kellogg's 1959 film, The Giant Gila Monster, and make it entertaining. Having seen the result at the B Movie Celebration I can happily report they succeeded!
The gist of GILA!'s story is similar to the original, i.e., a giant Gila monster is terrorizing a small town, but aside from that the story is well supported by nods to the source here and there but overall original.
Chase, the kid that everyone in town knows and trusts along with is girlfriend, Lisa, get thrown into an ever deepening mystery when they are asked by the Sheriff to help find a couple of missing friends, including they Mayor's daughter! Dogging them at almost every step is the quintessential bad-boy, "Waco Bob", and his vampish girl Carla. Little do they know that the problems are bigger than they could ever imagine. 'Giant' you might say. No Gila monster film would be complete with out a the polio stricken sister, Missy. (Jenna Ruiz makes her film debut and if you take a look at her IMDb page you'll see that she appears to have enjoyed this adventure and is quite proud of GILA!.)
The effects are a lot better than you might expect. Oh, there is no doubt that it is all digital, (no giant Gilas were harmed in the making of this film), but they are pretty good by B movie standards and great care was taken by the film makers to make them so. The film makes did their best to take the film back to the 50's, the actors all wore vintage clothes and drove some gorgeous cars, but there are enough anachronistic elements that give this film an overall feel of being in it's own universe. That actually really works for me and only adds to my enjoyment of the movie!
Really a fun film! Plenty to cheer with and plenty to laugh with, but very little to laugh at! Any fans of the 50's B movies or fans of the modern B films should keep their eyes and ears open for any screenings, or with luck, airings and home video releases of GILA!
I know you have seen worse in this genre, you'll be hard pressed to find better!
_________________ "Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far from the Stars"
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