I am as unoriginal as the other reviewers of this movie. Playboy Playmate Yvette Vickers (July 1959) is certainly one reason to watch this movie. Actually, I watched the movie for the articles. Oh, wait. This is a movie, not a magazine. Forget what I just said. Yvette was certainly a lovely young lady in this movie (she is older than my mother, meaning she is a grandmother now), but the star attraction is the rubbery-looking leeches that look about as menacing as Barney the Dinosaur. Well, Barney may be more threatening. Anyway, the leeches are a lot of fun and this movie has some moments of genuine tension.
Our story takes place in a swamp (where else would you find giant leeches?). There is a subplot involving a good-looking babe (Vickers) and her boyfriend and her hulkish husband. Forget all that nonsense and fast forward to the leeches practically leaping out of the water to capture the people who foolishly go into the water. Okay, maybe the leeches did not exactly LEAP, but they did float in a sinister fashion, slowly, I might add, and then pulled their victims under to be stored in a cave for leisurely blood sucking.
Nearly everyone else in this movie is clueless as to what is happening until almost the final minutes of the movie, when it suddenly becomes evident that GIANT LEECHES HAVE KIDNAPPED A BUNCH OF PEOPLE AND ARE SUCKING THEIR BLOOD OUT IN A CAVE. Had these people only read the title of the movie they might have had a clue earlier.
This movie could be another Roger Corman film that has so much schlock that it begs to be put out of its misery. However, with the exception of the lust...er...love story, this movie is played like a straight horror movie and turns out to be reasonably enjoyable. Yes, the leeches are a bit humorous when you first see them. Yes, you wonder how anything that moves as slow as these leeches could capture anyone. Yes, the radiation turning the leeches into giant killer monsters is incredibly cliché. Yet, this movie is a better than average mutated creature film.
I enjoyed watching this thing in the 1960's and being at the edge of my seat (I was very young then). Though my perspective has changed a lot in several decades, I still found this movie occasionally humorous, tense for a few moments, and short enough to be eminently worthy of watching once again. Yes, you have to like campy horror and science fiction movies from the late 50's and early 60's to like this movie, but if you do you have found a good addition to your collection.