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directed by Jim Wynorski
USA 2012


Thirty-something drag-racing teens have more to worry about than the law when a gargantuan Gila monster starts chomping down on necking couples near the town's disused quarry in GILA!, a semi-remake of the classic THE GIANT GILA MONSTER by exploitation stalwart Jim Wynorski (NOT OF THIS EARTH). Everyone likes school jock/mechanic/drag racer Chase Winstead (Brian Gross, 2001 MANIACS) except for wrong side of the tracks "Waco Bob" (Jesse Janzen, CRY_WOLF) just out of juvie with a hot rod and hot girl Carla (Christina DeRosa, STUPID TEENAGERS MUST DIE!). Their rivalry quickly takes a back seat to the increasing number of local disappearances and slaughtered livestock that have the sheriff (Terence Knox, FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM) puzzled and the mayor (Gerard Pauwels, CAMEL SPIDERS doing damage control. The sheriff does not believe Chase's story of seeing a giant lizard until Professor Dawes (the original "Chase Winstead" Don Sullivan, TEENAGE ZOMBIES and MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS) identifies a large deposit of green slime as Gila monster venom. Chase and the sheriff arm themselves and blow up the monster's lair but that just makes it angry, and soon the sheriff is deputizing right and left as the town bands together to destroy the beast.

Looking more cheaply made than your average Syfy channel movie, GILA! is undemanding and fairly entertaining with an amusing CGI creature (designed by KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE's Charles Chiodo) and a cast imitating the cheesy earnestness of small town characters in fifties and sixties monster movies (with nods to old-school sexism, the Communist threat, and polio). The supporting cast also includes Kelli Maroney (NIGHT OF THE COMET) as Deputy Wilma and Julie McCullough (SHARKNADO!) as the mayor's drunken wife. It lacks the boobs and gore associated with Wynorski - possibly this was a work-for-hire since he is not listed among the writers or producers - but it's worth a rental (or a streaming).

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 15 September 2012 (USA)

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DVD Review: Polyscope Media Group - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Polyscope Media Group

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:31:09

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.34 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Polyscope Media Group

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (16:9; 1:37)
• Trailer for the original 'The Giant Gila Monster' (16:9; 1:41)
• Slideshow
• Test Essay on the original film
• Cast and Crew List
• The Mushroom Song Lyrics
• 'The Golden Age of the Drive-in' Essay
• Start-up trailer for 'The Lost Empire'

DVD Release Date: April 22nd, 2014

Chapters 9



It's difficult to assess how representative Polyscope's progress, anamorphic DVD of GILA! is of the HD-lensed production's intended look. The pinkish tinge in the blown-out highlights of a couple exterior shots suggests that the saturation has been pumped up (the original THE GIANT GILA MONSTER was a black and white film, but GILA! might be intending to emulate the look of a colorized movie) but that's probably part of the color grading. The image, however, looks quite flat in some scenes. The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio is suitably boisterous, and all of the dialogue is intelligible under the sound effects and oldies music re-recordings. Extras are rather light with trailers for the feature and the original classic, as well as some text screens. The start-up trailer for THE LOST EMPIRE is squeezed to 4:3 but the rest of the video on the disc is correctly flagged for 16:9 playback.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Region 1 - NTSC


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