Village of the Giants (1965)

“I wonder if it makes… everything grow?”

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Synopsis:
When a teenager (Tommy Kirk) and his girlfriend (Charla Doherty) learn that Kirk’s genius brother (Ron Howard) has accidentally invented a “goo” that makes creatures grow super-sized, they and their friends plan to become rich by using it on cattle — but a group of local bullies (Beau Bridges, Joy Harmon, Tim Rooney, Robert Random, Gail Gilmore, Tisha Sterling, and Vicki London) steal and eat the goo, and decide to take over their town when they become giants.

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Review:
VERY loosely based on a novel by H.G. Wells (!), this cult teenage-delinquent flick is an enjoyably bad hoot from the opening credits — featuring close-ups of over-sized teens dancing in slow-motion with bare midriffs — to the semi-comic end, when a group of “little people” march onto the scene; as noted at one point by the MST3K crew in their commentary, “This is like the Swiftian part of a Fellini film — and it’s Kafka-esque!” Indeed, everything about Village of the Giants is surreal but surprisingly engaging: it’s not a huge stretch to imagine bullying teens literally taking over a town when given the opportunity. Bridges is appropriately sincere and menacing as the “lead bully”, while blonde, over-tanned Harmon expresses unmitigated delight at her new powers (much fun and innocent titillation is had with the female giants’ over-sized busts). Bespectacled Ronnie Howard plays a pivotal role throughout, and saves the day in the Wizard of Oz-like denouement. Favorite scene: over-sized ducks blithely start dancing in a club, then are roasted in a barbecue.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • A creative parable about the larger-than-life impact of bullying teens
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  • Reasonably effective (and/or humorous) special effects — click here to read/see more
    votg-ducks
    votg-still3

Must See?
Yes, as a silly cult favorite — but definitely watch it with the MST3K gang.

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One Response to “Village of the Giants (1965)”

  1. Not must-see. A supremely baaaad and long-forgotten drive-in flick.

    BUT…as an MST3K episode, it’s an absolute winner – so it’s recommended in that format. I just rewatched it on YouTube. Figuring in the absence of commercials and the limited amount of studio talk not related to the film, not much of the actual movie is cut…so its ‘integrity’ is rather intact. 😉

    Without the MST3K guys (“Attack of the 50-Foot ABBA!”; “How very ‘Animal Farm’-esque!”), the movie is an embarrassment – though it’s slightly impressive hearing the young Ron Howard getting his mouth around a lot of scientific terms. It has a very vague connection to the much-better cult classic ‘Wild in the Streets’…which was a few years down the road.

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