Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Gargoyles, Reptile Demons Seek Sultry Dame

Our film today first appeared in 1972 on the New CBS Tuesday Night Movies. I know...not the moniker for 'shocking horror.' Okay, but get this...the first film to feature Stan Winston's creature f/x. "Gargoyles" may have been a made for TV movie, but it is far better than anything DC or Marvel have offered us. Throw in a sultry damsel, who wears bikini tops nicely, and hints at the future "Alien" franchise. Directed by Bill Norton, "Gargoyles" also features Bernie Casey as the king gargoyle.

The perky, bikini top-clad Diana (Jennifer Salt) meets her dad, Mercer (Cornel Wilde), at the Texas-Mexican border. Mercer is a professor in ancient demons and Diana also digs demons. This will change...and soon. They drive to see Uncle Willie's (Woody Chambliss) desert museum. Woody shows them a skeleton of a gargoyle. Initially skeptical, Diana and Mercer will become believers when a swarm of gargoyles swoop down and kill Woody. Mercer and Diana get away with the skull and are chased by the gargoyle horde. Now holed up in a cheap motel, the gargoyles raid their room and take the skull back. Not all is lost, a junior gargoyle is killed during the getaway and Mercer takes the corpse...bad move.

Now a biker gang headed by James (Scott Glenn) is blamed for Woody's murder. Diana will try to convince the cops of their innocence. Before she can do that she is abducted by the king gargoyle and brought back to their lair. Now the cops, James, and Mercer form a posse to find Diana. Uh oh...the alpha-gargoyle likes Diana and her bikini tops.  Imagine this, the wife-gargoyle is getting jealous. Uh oh again...thousands of gargoyle eggs are ready to hatch. As alpha-gargoyle courts the nubile and perky Diana, the humans approach and war is in the air.

Just what does the alpha-gargoyle plan to do with Diana? Okay, dumb question. Will wife gargoyle and Diana enter into a cross-species cat-fight? What will happen to the human race if all the gargoyle eggs hatch? This is a good one. It was so nice to see a made-for-TV film not about so-called racism or supposed environmental woes. Maybe if the major networks actually think about what the masses in their audiences actually want, we can have more films like "Gargoyles."

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