Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 9th, 2014
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 2012
Director: Jim Wynorski
Writers: William Dever, Steve Mitchell, Jim Nielsen, Paul Sinor
Cast: Brian Gross, Terence Knox, Jesse Janzen, Christina DeRosa, Madeline Voges, Callie Burk, Julie McCullough
DVD Release Date: April 22nd, 2014
Approximate Running Time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Polyscope Media Group
Region Encoding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
Synopsis: A giant lizard wreaks havoc on the citizens of small town.
Gila! was directed by Jim Wynorski, a prolific ‘B’ film auteur whose more notable films include The Lost Empire, Chopping Mall and Not of This Earth. The plot for Gila! was inspired by Ray Kellogg’s 1959 film The Giant Gila Monster.
Content wise, this film has all the essential ingredients, teenagers, fast cars, seductive women and giant lizard monster that destroys everything that crosses its path. Pacing is never an issue as things move along briskly from one moment of mayhem to the next. The film’s features an appropriately retro sounding soundtrack which features a searing rendition of Eddie Cooley and John Davenport’s penned song ‘Fever’.
Performance wise one would be hard pressed to fault any of the cast who all give very enthusiastic performances. And last but certainly not least are this film’s special effects which effortlessly recreate the vibe of the crudely designed special effects that have since become synonymous schlocky Sci-Fi ‘B’ films.
Besides being inspired by the aforementioned The Giant Gila Monster, another area where this film also draws inspiration is its retro look which places the events which unfold in this film in the 1950’s. And it is this setting of the film in a bygone era that proves to be its most durable asset.
With that being said, if you are not a fan of schlocky ‘B’ film cinema that rose to prominence in the 1950’s, then you are going to have a hard time finding any enjoyment in this film. On the flip side those who adore this type of cinema are sure to thoroughly enjoy this film.
Gila! is present in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves this films intended aspect ratio. The source sued for this transfer is in clean and great shape. Details look crisp, edge enhancement is minimal and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. The audio sounds clean, clear and balanced throughout.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film, a trailer for the original The Giant Gila Monster, a image slideshow, the Mushroom song lyrics and a trio of text based extras, a cast and crew list, a brief essay about The Golden Age of the Drive-in and a brief essay about The Giant Gila Monster and Gila! Overall Gila! gets a strong release from Polyscope Media Group.