The Monster of Piedras Blancas – USA, 1959

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‘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).

Main cast:

Jeanne Carmen (The Devil’s Hand), Les Tremayne (The Monolith MonstersAngry 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.

The Monster of Piedras Blancas grabs white bikini

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.

The influence of this movie extended to The Horror of Party BeachThe Beach Girls and the MonsterHumanoids from the Deep and beyond.

On September 13, 2016 the film is released on Blu-ray and DVD by Olive Films.



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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

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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

Choice dialogue: 

“Head ripped clean off!”


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Wikipedia | IMDb

4 Comments on “The Monster of Piedras Blancas – USA, 1959”

  1. Howdy Monster Fans,

    First off, yes this is a low budget movie.
    However it did scare me silly as a kid.

    The plot line – so so.

    The acting – not bad.

    Worth watching – you bet.

    Don Sullivan (Fred) was better in “The Giant Gila Monster”.

    Jeanne Carmen – what a doll.

    Les Tremanye – always great.

    Frank Arvidson (Kochek) will never put his thumb on the scale again nor
    spread rumors to his customers.

    A note on the times, the scene where Little Jimmy runs to the funeral to
    let everyone know what he saw in Kocheck’s store would be politically
    incorrect today.

    Would I watch it again – Yesirree Bob, You Betcha.



    When you find a coin on the sidewalk, it is not necessarily your lucky day.

  2. I’m a tad indifferent with this one. For years as i grew up, I read reviews and articles that heavily praised it as some kind of forgotten classic. When I saw it, I was like “It’s okay, but I miss be missing something.”

  3. hahaha!!!! check it out.. A brand new commercial for AMERICAN STANDARD just hit the airwaves. And within the commercial is a clip of pin up girl JEANNE CARMEN in THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS.

    Check it out at this link:

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