‘The fiend that walks lovers’ beach!’
The Monster of Piedras Blancas is a 1959 American science fiction/horror film written and directed by Irvin Berwick (Hitch-Hike to Hell).
Jeanne Carmen (The Devil’s Hand), Les Tremayne (The Monolith Monsters; Angry Red Planet); The Slime People), John Harmon, Don Sullivan (The Giant Gila Monster), Forrest Lewis (The Thing That Couldn’t Die; The Munsters), and Pete Dunn.
Influenced by The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), the film was produced by Jack Kevan, who had supervised the manufacture of the Creature suit at Universal-International, and created the Piedras Blancas monster costume. Kevan employed several of his former Universal associates on the film. Wayne Berwick, who plays Little Jimmy, would go on to direct comedy horror Microwave Massacre in 1983.
On September 13, 2016 the film is released on Blu-ray and DVD by Olive Films.
The setting is the sleepy lighthouse town of Piedras Blancas. Sturges (Harmon) is the lighthouse keeper of the town and is very superstitious and concerned for the safety of his young teenage daughter, Lucy (Carmen). He leaves food for a sea monster who lives in a nearby cave.
The locals disregard him at first, but they begin to take notice when the bodies of people murdered by the monster are found on the beach. A local scientist identifies a scale as being from a prehistoric “diplovertebron,” a prehistoric humanoid presumed long extinct…
“What we have here is essentially just a simple, old-fashioned monster flick, but its creators had an uncommonly focused idea of what they were doing, knew where to spend their pitifully small budget to greatest effect, and were willing and able to take advantage of their independence from meddling producers to throw in a couple of exploitation elements.” 1000 Misspent Hours
“Although hampered by a low budget, an obscure score, a limping rhythm, and a highly illogical monster, Piedras Blancas is enjoyable if not taken seriously. It seems purposefully to parody other films besides Black Lagoon, including From Here to Eternity and Frankenstein (1931). It aims low, never pretending to rise above other monster-on-the-loose flicks of its time.”David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film 1902 – 1982
“The Monster of Piedras Blancas is a perfect double-feature paring with the superior Creature from the Black Lagoon. Both films follow the number 1 rule in monster movies: Never ever show the monster up front. Both films reveal the monsters slowly by showing claws or providing sounds in the early parts of the films, and as a result tension builds. Watch Jaws and you’ll notice a similar technique was employed.” Monster Minions
“One of them ‘love it or hate it’ flicks!!! It’s just a little boring, but has an interesting cast of characters, and a cool original looking monster that was created by the guy who also produced the film, Jack Kevan” Monster Movie Music
“Head ripped clean off!”