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Village of the Giants [DVD] [1965] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Tommy Kirk , Johnny Crawford , Bert I. Gordon    DVD

Price: 32.95
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To say it is Bert I.'s finest film would be faint praise. 9 Sep 2002
By Andrew R. Oerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This was, at the time of its release, no less than the crowning achievement of man. So it should not dim the glory of Village of the Giants one bit that a mere 4 years later, Armstrong's moonwalk eclipsed this film's importance to humanity. The fact remains that Village of the Giants represents a watershed moment in our history.
It is, and you can believe me, because I am a believable guy, the BEST BAD MOVIE OF ALL TIME!
All the things that make Bert I. Gordon movies what they are are present here, in full- and silly- force. In fact, it is as if all Bert's planets aligned at once, and he found his true calling, moving beyond mere Colossal Beasts and Cyclopean things and giant Spiders, to those most photogenic of glandular mishaps: Giant women! Not to say that there isn't a giant tarantula in this film, or a colossal beast in the whiny form of a young Beau Bridges, but Bert's camera clearly favors the elephantine charms of Joy and Tish (as well as the average-sized pulchritude of Toni) over the evermore passe thrills of mere oversized creatures. Like, giant grasshoppers are SO 1957!
Other things contribute to the overall pleasing quality of this film's ineptitude, not the least of which is, despite Bert's recurrent leering, a basically nave sensibility: movies had not become too dirty or trashy yet. The bad teens are about as menacing as wheelchair-bound octogenarians- they wear cardigans, for goshsakes. And while there is a definite cheesecake factor at play here, it is in the G-rated manner of the Frankie-and-Annie Beach Party films, not the slimy type in evidence in later Hammer horrors.
Other bad movies are equally as "bad." Al Adamson, Jerry Warren, Colman Francis, Ed Wood's later stuff, even Bert himself a few years later... all of these guys make lousy films. But they're sleazier somehow- not as *fun.*
Fans of the Hideous Sun Demon know well how star Robert Clarke's trousers became soaked with sweat during filming in the hot sun, to the point where it looked as though the Sun Demon couldn't control his bladder. That led to unintentional hilarity for B-lovers.
Now imagine several howlingly funny instances like that for every minute of this film's 80-minute run time. Dialogue, plot, effects, music, direction- everything is side-splittingly ...here. There are more laughs in this movie than in Jim Carrey's entire filmography.
And far from being the bewildering, incoherently awful mess that Plan 9 is, this movie is very straightforward; it just does everything in such an over-the-top and utterly wrong fashion.
Now, in the manner of the copy on those lovably hyperbolic posters from days gone by, I will outline only a fraction of this movie's treasured moments:
See! Beau Bridges try to pick up a chick by telling her his dad is the biggest man in the meat business!
See! Where John Ratzenberger got his inspiration for Cliff Clavan the mother-dominated postman in Beau's wink-wink nudge-nudge performance!
See! Ronnie Howard create a substance which turns normal things into giants, and act surprised when they leave!
See! Tommy Kirk claim the giant ducks for his own, raising his arms as though he just scored the winning touchdown!
See! The infamous ride of a young cowboy on Joy Harmon's bust!
See! Bert I. Gordon's directorial genius, as shots of the tail feathers of ducks being tortured by gaffers are intercut with shots of boogieing girls' rear ends!
See! Song after song after song after song, each one more hypnotically campy and dated than the last!
See! "Giants" moving very s l o w ly, to signify how totally, you know, HUGE they are!
See! Cops not notice the 30-foot tall teens in technicolor clothing standing ten feet away!
See! Tommy break a fake chair over Beau's skinny, knobby, hairy plaster leg, then listen in incredulity as Beau shouts, "O o o o o o oww!" and pouts!
See! Several scenes of interminable length while the bad "teens" shake it before the camera! See Beau make fine use of the ever-popular dance technique known as 'The White Man's Overbite!'
See! Midgets longing to be giants!
See! Much more wonderful, terrible stuff than I could tell you about if this review were five times this long! This really doesn't even begin to touch how comic the dialogue, or performances, or the direction are!
See! Yourself buying this dvd posthaste! Then, buy one for a friend!
See! also: Hideous Sun Demon; Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine; Astounding She-Monster; Jail Bait; Brain From Planet Arous; Phantom Planet; Attack of the Fifty-Foot Woman (1958); Magic Sword!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh the pain... 25 Jan 2002
By Echo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
A 3:30 movie staple (during the 1970s) finally arrives in DVD! A terrible movie, but fascinating in a car-wreck kind of way.
The first thing that comes to mind is the costuming...this movie was made in 1965, but everyone's dressed for the sock hop! One exception is the Beau Brummells, featured as a club band early in the film...one look at these guys and you'll believe that yes, even native Californian's tried to emulate the look and the sound of the Beatles. Great band (and they actually wrote some pretty good music)...but their efforts to look like the Ed Sullivan-ear Fab Four is laughable.
Speaking of the club...it's located in the fictional city of Hainesville, California and its called the "Whisky-A-Go-Go". I don't get out much, but my recollection is that the Whisky is on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood!
It's a great chance to see some early performances by future prominent actors...you'll see the hairiest Beau Bridges you can stand (this movie is Beau-tiful), Ron Howard (looks exactly like Opie to the point of distraction, Tony Basil (yes, that Toni Basil), Tish Sterling (daughter of Ann Sothern), and Tim Rooney (Mickey's son).
Someone pointed out to me recently that the giant ducks were controlled by attaching strings to their legs and wings...no way to no for sure except to watch, and sure enough, you can see the strings. Sort of took the fun out of it for me.
Watch for one of the most offensive endings ever committed to film. Highly recommended for camp value. If you ever get the chance, see the MST3K treatment of this film.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool cringeworthy camp classic; DVD looks fine, honest! 4 April 2002
By Surfink - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As much as I love this movie, I had basically written off buying this disc based on the variety of (conflicting) complaints in other reviews here about the quality of the transfer (i.e., the print is pan-and-scan, picture looks 'squeezed,' color is faded, not up to the usual Midnite Movies standards, yada, yada, yada). My own skepticism and a quick look at IMDb convinced me to purchase the disc and evaluate it myself. I have to say I think this is a case of Amazon reviewers [commenting] about mostly imaginary problems. First of all, according to IMDb (and fairly obviously from the framing of the opening credits and the movie in general) Village of the Giants was shot on 35mm, at approximately 1.33:1, NOT in widescreen format. Cropped fake-widescreen prints may have been shown in theatres, but I see nothing to indicate that this movie was ever actually true widescreen. Second, my disc showed no evidence of any 'squeezing' effect (maybe that was a defective copy). Third, while the color is certainly not up to Herbert and Natalie Kalmus standards, it is certainly not faded much, if at all; it's just poorly balanced, and probably looks as good as it ever did. The reds, blues, greens, are all richly saturated in the expected places. The fleshtones are unspectacular but that's just sixties-era cheap color film stock, folks, it's never gonna look like Gone with the Wind. (The credits don't identify the lab but it's probably Eastman, Pathe, or DeLuxe, most certainly not Technicolor.) All in all, the print looks very good to excellent in my book: the overall brightness, contrast, and detail are just fine. True, it's not as stunning as some others in the Midnite Movies series, but very respectable; acceptably sharp and sure to make any VHS copy look inferior. Physical damage is limited to some occasional very light speckling. At the bargain price it's definitely worth grabbing for fans, even with no extras besides the French and Spanish subtitles.
As far as the movie itself, Village of the Giants is perhaps the apotheosis of Bert I. Gordon's career, his Ivan the Terrible Part II as it were: a brilliant/warped synthesis of his early giant-mutant teenflicks (Amazing Colossal Man, The Cyclops) and smarmy mid-period adult-oriented fare (Tormented, Picture Mommy Dead). Mainstream moviegoers will probably find Village of the Giants unbearable torture; masochistic fans of nails-on-a-blackboard style camp will be in bad movie heaven. Start with that quintessential cheese-lover's cast: Tommy Kirk (The Monkey's Uncle, Pajama Party, Mars Needs Women, Blood of Ghastly Horror), Beau Bridges (no doubt still trying to live this movie down), Johnny Crawford (Mickey Mouse Club, The Rifleman), Oscar-winning director (!) Ron Howard (Andy Griffith, Door-to-Door Maniac), third-string starlets Tisha Sterling, Joy Harmon, and Charla Doherty (Days of Our Lives, In the Year 2889), Tim Rooney (Mickey's son, of course) , choreographer Toni Basil (New Wave one-hit wonder a decade later with "[Hey] Mickey"), Rance Howard (Ron and Clint's dad), and Joseph Turkel (cult icon who's played numerous rough characters, often coincidentally named Joe Turkel, in everything from The Human Jungle to Paths of Glory, The Devil's 8, and The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, etc.). Whew! Plus you get nearly-complete excellent non-hit musical numbers by Freddy Cannon (Little Bitty Corrine) and the Beau Brummels (When It Comes to Your Love; Woman) that are almost worth the price of the disc by themselves. (The Brummels perform accompanied by caged, befringed go-go dancers.) Drippy teen dream Mike Clifford also croons one instantly-forgettable ballad.
The story of grown-huge teens menacing the whitebread populace of a small town, ostensibly based on, of all things, H. G. Wells' Food of the Gods (a source Gordon would desecrate again in the 1970s) is basically just an excuse for Bert and Flora's usual wildly variable special effects (this time with a healthy assist from process photography legend Farciot Edouart), and lots of gratuitous exploitation of jiggling breasts and cleavage as the fast-growing teens come ripping out of their normal-sized clothes. Try and decide which looks worse: Beau Bridges in a toga or the laughably pathetic giant-size props of his skinny, hairy legs. Also check out the way Gordon has the giants walk in 'slow motion,' exaggeratedly swinging their arms, so we can see how 'big' they are. The dialogue, performances, and production values are uniformly cringe-inducing, and the scenes of the teen giants gyrating in slo-mo to Jack Nitzsche's terrific snaky, pulsating theme music inspire a unique combination of genuine awe and mortal embarrassment. Perhaps the most inappropriately titillating movie ever pitched to the kiddie matinee crowd (right up there with The Brain that Wouldn't Die), and an amazing, excruciating 1960s camp relic.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "I Was Big Before" ~ Oversized Go-Go Dancers Gone Wild 10 Jun 2008
By Brian E. Erland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Synopsis: A group of delinquent teenagers out looking for a good time steal a secret growth formula from a kid genius (Ron Howard) and expand to gigantic proportions. Just for kicks they decide to terrorize the local town folk and dance up a storm until someone can discover a way to shrink them back to size.

Critique: `Village of the Giants' from '65 is one of those films that fall into the often times embarrassing category of guilty pleasures. For lack of a better way to describe the storyline you might say it's a cross between the Frankie and Annette `Beach Party' movies with a heavy dose of the television series `Land of the Giants'.

Yes, this is a pretty bad flick that looks worse now some forty-three years later. It does however have some very well known names in the cast along with the offspring of some other film and television personalities. Personally speaking my attachment to this film was for the inclusion of two lovely young ladies in the cast; Joy Harmon (the girl washing the car in `Cool Hand Luke') and Gail Gilmore. Ah yes.., childhood crushes are difficult to overcome and I definitely had one on these two.

My Rating: Don't expect much and you won't be too disappointed: -3 Stars-.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It took a village to raise these damn idiots 21 Mar 2001
By Rottenberg's rotten book review - Published on Amazon.com
Very loose adaption of "Food of the Gods", as if HG Wells had adapted his work for one of those AIP Beach movies. In this one, a group of cardigan wearing bad-teens led by the evil Beau Bridges descend on a California town, not knowing that the town's resident genius (known as "Genius" and played by Ron Howard) has developed something called goo which causes super-growth. A couple of geese try the stuff and grow to a size slightly smaller than a BMW, amusing and amazing the town before ending up as the guests of honor at a BBQ for a town full of kids who can't spell FDA. In a classic scene, the evil Bridges gang steals the goo and, too delinquent to just sell the stuff to the highest bidder, they eat it. Growing to monstrous size (which is anything bigger than their clothes can stand before tearing off - a logical detail actually working for the plot for once), they take over the town and force its citizens to watch them engage in slow motion dancing (how hard did they have to fight for this town). Led by Tommy Kirk, the good teens try to keep the bad teens at bay until Genius can create a "cure" for the goo. At its worst, the flick is bald exploitation, and good clean fun at best. Most critics slam this as an exploitative version of the Wells book - why the connection was ever made is a mystery to me. The problem is that the producers take this stuff much to seriously - if they had Russ Meyer do it (a guy whose pretty honest of his intentions) it would have been a big cult hit.
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