5.0 out of 5 stars To say it is Bert I.'s finest film would be faint praise.
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...
Published on Sept. 9 2002 by Andrew R. Oerman
3.0 out of 5 stars Village Idiots
Film notable for featuring a pre-teen Ron Howard (at the height of his "Opie" fame)and a young adult Beau Bridges (son of Lloyed, older brother of Jeff, THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS). Howard as "Genius" (a child-scientific-chemistry-wiz)develops a potion to make humans and animals grow to titanic proportions. A bunch of delinquent teens (headed by Bridges) get a hold of the...
Published on April 6 2004
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3.0 out of 5 stars Village Idiots,
By A Customer
This review is from: Village of the Giants (Full Screen) (DVD)Film notable for featuring a pre-teen Ron Howard (at the height of his "Opie" fame)and a young adult Beau Bridges (son of Lloyed, older brother of Jeff, THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS). Howard as "Genius" (a child-scientific-chemistry-wiz)develops a potion to make humans and animals grow to titanic proportions. A bunch of delinquent teens (headed by Bridges) get a hold of the "Food of the Gods" (the H.G. Wells story upon which it is based) and terrorize the town. It is up to the local "good teens" (headed by Tommy Kirk of Disney fame: i.e. OLD YELLER, THE SHAGGY DOG) to stop them. The plot is basically very sophomoric with some social commentary of delinquent teens of the period, mixing the mentality and look of the "beach party" movies with very light sci-fi. The only thing missing is Frankie, Annette and Eric Von Zipper. The cheesy special effects fits the mentality of the film. One aspect of this are the giant animals superimposed on the screen with the human counterparts and a hilarious sequence in which Beau Bridges giant legs are being attacked by various characters: it looks totally fake and unrealistic. The film is fairly entertaining and their is a provacative sequence after the "delinquent teens" take the potion. As they grow, their clothes don't grow along with them (at least the filmakers showed some plausibility and logic in the film). Then they make some "revealing" makeshift clothing, and before they terrorize the town, they "go-go" dance in front of everyone. Overall, a brainless and harmless film with some some future stars in the cast. Note: Look for actress Joy Harmon in the cast as one of the delinquent teens. She was in the famous car-washing sequence in COOL HAND LUKE. Also, look for actor Johnny Crawford in the cast as one of the good teens. He was in tv's THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB, THE RIFLEMAN and cult film, THE GREAT TEXAS DYNAMITE CHASE.
3.0 out of 5 stars it took a village to raise these damn idiots,
This review is from: Village of the Giants (Full Screen) (DVD)Beau Bridges leads a less than all-star cast of misfits in this flick that mixes H.G. Welles's "Food of the Gods" with the AIP bikini-beach movies. When Bridges and company (a group of like-minded delinquents) get into a fender-bender outside the mythical town of Haynesville, they decide to head in and party. These aren't the sort of kids to let a smashed car get between them and fun. Unbeknownst to them, a young kid named "Genius" and played by an Opie-era Ron Howard, toils away in his lab (beakers, Bunsen burners and all) on whatever young geniuses toil on, and accicentally creates the mysterious "goo". Whatever eats the goo grows to forced-perspective style gigantic size. (They test the stuff out on a couple of giant geese which promptly become the main course at a town BBQ; faster than you can say "shouldn't we test this stuff on laboratory convicts, Haynesville are munching on mutated foie gras.) Realizing the possibilities of the goo, Bridges and Co. steal the goo. Running out of ideas, they eat the goo and become the giants of the title - swelling out of their clothes in a scene that has become the stuff of MST3K. Exerting their will on the town, Bridges's gang enslave those who live there - forcing the diminutive population into serving them tons of fried chicken and cola. It's up to Genius and Tommy Kirk (who plays the guy putting the moves on Genius's big sister) to save the day. Will he succeed and cut Bridges down to size, or will Haynesville remain beholden to a gang of 90-foot teenagers in home made bikinis (made out of theater curtains?
Okay, you're thinking - who cares? As 60's fun, "Village" has less entertainment than say "Ghost in the Invisible Bikini" but doesn't go out for easy laughs. Most of the time you'll be watching the screen thinking "no way!" It's a thin flick with some re-play value (watching the younger Beau Bridges act horribly; watching Ron Howard in the script's least important role, knowing the bigger and better things he went onto) but would have done better with the Harvey Lembeck treatment. Also, watch out for a fiery-haired dancer played by Toni Basil of "Oh Micky" fame, and Joy Harmon, the car-wash girl from "Cool Hand Luke", as a fellow giant who thought she was big enough to begin with.
The DVD transfer isn't anything special - let's face it, this isn't the flick you got a DVD player for. There are no extras (this flick wasn't made with a "making of" documentary in mind) but the menu hearkens back to the go-go '60s and highlights that this is a fun light flick.
3.0 out of 5 stars Hokey,silly film,but still fun to watch!,
This review is from: Village of the Giants (Full Screen) (DVD)If you like bad movies with cheap effects and a poorly written script and plus,like to see what Ron Howard did after The Andy Griffith Show(as well as Beau Bridges;among others),then by all means check this out!! If you'd like to see what MST3K did to this,then find someone that may have a copy..Either way,you'll laugh!! Recommended....
3.0 out of 5 stars Giant teenagers flex their muscles,
This review is from: Village of the Giants (Full Screen) (DVD)Don't let the reviews scare you away: this isn't just a movie about jiggling girls. There's a lot of beefcake for the guys to look at, too.
Good teenager Tommy Kirk, recently outed and evidently taking any role, no matter how feeble, is the putative star, trying to stop a group of evil teenagers from running rampant in his small fifties town. His job is made harder when they ingest something called "goo" that makes them grow to giant size.
Now comes the part of the movie that everyone fast-forwards to: the evil teens are naked at first and then they wear makeshift togas, the boys displaying beautiful, athletic bodies, as they dance in slow motion in the town square. The female teenagers are all but ignored as director Bert I. Gordon (who had a keen eye for beefcake) lingers on the gorgeous Beau Bridges and Tim Rooney (Mickey's son), who is not quite as gorgeous but makes you wish he had appeared in more movies (or at least a centerfold or two).
The boy on the giant breast that everyone keeps mentioning is teen idol Johnny Crawford, recently graduated from "The Rifleman" and soon to display a magnificent physique of his own in "The Naked Ape"; but he's not dancing or being hugged, he's attempting to destroy the giants by catapulting at them with the antidote to the "goo."
The writers should have created a more logical, suspenseful plotline, or else they should have eliminated all pretense at a story and just had Beau Bridges, Tim Rooney, Johnny Crawford, and Tommy Kirk pose in swimsuits for 90 minutes. But it's worthwhile reminding ourselves that directors were making movies for guys long before "Risky Business."
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Camp/Features Vintage Beau Brummels,
This review is from: Village of the Giants (Full Screen) (DVD)I first saw this great campy film 20 years ago on TV and its got a great mixture of INTENTIONAL camp, the beginnings of a pre-hippy teen rebelliousness (1965), and some great music from Beau Brummels. The key to this film is not to take it seriously...the cast and crew didn't. "Genius" (Ron Howard) invents "GOO", a substance that turns rebel teens into giants who take over a village and the only hope is for Genius to find an antedote. He does just in time and it all works out in the end. But not before we get some giant ducks dancing to BBs live perfomance of "Woman" and other great pre-psychedelic background music. It's a trippy comedy of it's era. You can trash it, but then you miss the point.
Also don't miss those ...giant teen girls; when they grow their bikinis pop off. And when they shrink their clothes are not quite as big as you'd think.
5.0 out of 5 stars To say it is Bert I.'s finest film would be faint praise.,
This review is from: Village of the Giants (Full Screen) (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 naïve 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.
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! 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!
5.0 out of 5 stars There's just something about this godawful flick!,
This review is from: Village of the Giants (VHS Tape)Okay, okay, I know some people might be in disbelief that I actually gave this flick 5 stars, but -- despite its godawfulness -- there's just something mesmerizing about it! The story involves a group of teens (yeah right, more like mid-twenties)who find a potion that turns them into giants. It's campy and the "special effects" are laughingly awful, yet the flick is highly entertaining for a number of reasons: First of all, the bass-driven wierd 60's musical score is great; as is the accompanying sensual dancing of the giants (they really don't know what else to do after becoming giants, so they just dance); the cast -- which includes a young Ron Howard -- is great; and last but certainly not least, the cast includes a young redheaded Toni Basil (who went on to become a one-hit wonder with "Hey Mickey"); Basil is so incredibly sexy and gorgeous, it's worth seeing the movie just for her! Watch out for Basil in a bikini in the pool party scene! So, yeah, overall it's a real turkey, but a golden turkey!
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool cringeworthy camp classic; DVD looks fine, honest!,
This review is from: Village of the Giants (Full Screen) (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.
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD dud,
By A Customer
This review is from: Village of the Giants (Full Screen) (DVD)Boy o boy what a major disappointment! ....I liked Village of the Giants as a kid and I never had a chance to see it in the theater, so when I saw it was available on DVD - you know, that wonderful format that is keenly reserved for 16:9, I thought I was finally going get to see a decent version of this film after all. Not! It's a lousy pan & scan transfer with faded color and poor contrast. MGM has been releasing a lot of older films lately under their Midnight Movies title and most of them look great. This one however turned out to be a real dud. If this is an example of how older films are going to end up on DVD, I might as well go back to watching VHS tape! Blaa.
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh the pain...,
This review is from: Village of the Giants (Full Screen) (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.
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Village of the Giants (Full Screen) by Bert I. Gordon (DVD - 2003)