By 1965 there was one question that perplexed movie-goers to no end and that was what would happen if there was a film that crossed The Nutty Professor with themes of exploitation and giant teenagers? The answer was cinematic gold and thanks to producer, writer and director Bert I. Gordon, it became a reality. Ron Howard, of Andy Griffith fame and soon to be Happy Days, plays the scientist in this film though still a child at this point and after discovering a formula that makes things grow larger, it soon falls into the wrong hands.
Essentially, Village of the Giants is a ridiculous film and you get the feeling that it knows it is ridiculous and because of that, it becomes a lot of fun. Gordon uses all the tricks he learned over the years in making other films about giant monstrosities like The Amazing Colossal Man among others and it pays off well with the overgrown teenagers looking exactly like giants. The one thing that Gordon could have improved on was the sound quality during the scenes with the teens, for while they sounded normal, everyone else sounded quite distorted. You knew what effect Gordon was going for, trying to make the little people sound quieter, but it simply did not work as well as he had hoped. What is quite funny about this picture is not the fact that the teens have taken the magic formula, only that they do so to by daring each other and once overly large, want to buck the authority and yet become the authority themselves.
The film also features a lot of singing from the likes of The Beau Brummels and Freddy Cannon and a lot of dancing, often zooming in on the finer assets of the women in the cast, specifically Tisha Sterling and Joy Harmon, and for extended periods of time as well. While not a bad thing per se, instead of doing something constructive like advancing the story or maybe fitting in a few more action sequences, watching these ladies gyrate to the music tends to get a little repetitive. Tommy Kirk plays our protagonist Mike with a young Beau Bridges the leader of his gang and they, along with the other actors do a decent job with what they are given, but you can only do so much when that material is not the best you could possibly hope for.
Out of all the films that featured men and women of giant stature, Gordon outdid himself with this one. It may not be the best of the bunch, but judging it purely on the basis of entertainment, this one might take the cake. Maybe it was not a film that everyone was clamouring for, but it was highly enjoyable and out of all the bad films in the world, you will not regret watching this one.
First Entry – Trapped in the… – Valley of the Dragons (1961)
Second Entry – Can You Feel the… – Tremors (1990)
Third Entry – Beauty and Danger Collide in… – Viking Women and the Sea Serpent (1957)
Last Year’s Creatures…
Giant Monster Gamera (1965)
The Monolith Monsters (1957)
Gamera vs. Barugon (1966)
Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967)
Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)
Gamera vs. Viras (1968)
The Cyclops (1957)
Gamera vs. Guiron (1969)
Gamera vs. Jiger (1970)
The Killer Shrews (1959)
Gamera vs. Zigra (1971)
The Deadly Mantis (1957)
Space Monster Gamera (1980)
King Dinosaur (1955)
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)
The Black Scorpion (1957)
Gamera 2: Attack of Legion (1996)
Gamera 3: The Revenge of Iris (1999)
The Giant Gila Monster (1959)
Gamera the Brave (2006)
Frankenstein Conquers the World (1966)