For the episode, see MST3K 402 - The Giant Gila Monster.

The Giant Gila Monster is a 1959 science-fiction film directed by Ray Kellogg and written by Kellogg and Jay Simms.


The Giant Gila Monster

A series of mysterious events confounds the sheriff of a small community in Texas. He recruits a young tow truck named Chase Winstead to help him investigate. Chase's life is difficult, but he is ambitious and resourceful and has the respect of the local teenagers.

It is eventually discovered that the disturbances have been caused by a giant gila monster. Chase manages to destroy the creature, wrecking his custom-built hot rod in the process.


  • Don Sullivan as Chase Winstead
  • Fred Graham as Sheriff Jeff
  • Lisa Simone as Lisa
  • Bob Thompson as Mr. Wheeler
  • Janice Stone as Missy Winstead
  • Shug Fisher as Old Man Harris
  • Ken Knox as "Steamroller" Smith


  • This was one of two features produced by an independent company in Texas and meant for release as a double feature. The other feature was The Killer Shrews (1959). Unlike many such features produced in the South, these films received national distribution.
  • Ken Knox, who plays disc jockey Horatio Alger "Steamroller" Smith, was a real disc jockey working at radio stations in Texas owned by Gordon McLendon, the uncredited executive producer of this film.
  • Don Sullivan wrote several of the songs that he performs in the film. "Laugh, Children, Laugh" had additional verses that were not included.
  • This film was re-made in 2012 as the made-for-TV movie Gila!. The plot is similar with a few minor changes (such as Mr. Wheeler being the Mayor of the town rather than merely wealthy and influential). Don Sullivan had a small part.