Gargoyles (1972)

Gargoyles (1972), directed by Bill Norton.

It's nothing special but I have fond memories of this micro-budget TV-movie creature feature. It has good elements: the customary "the ancient legends are true" if only we take the old artwork and folklore seriously. The desert old-timer who runs a reptile roadside attraction and collects skeletal curios: he knows what's going on. The idea of a society of night creatures unknown to us.

And, as with King Kong (1933) and Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), we have the monster's fascination with human females. Beauty must be universal, even when biology says "no".

A good cast and crew:

Available on DVD. The director's commentary track is from decades later. He still finds it entertaining given the time and budget constraints. Obviously he'd do some things differently.

It was a brutal 18 day production schedule. Terrible heat and many night scenes, meaning they slept on Sunday but that was about it.

The creatures are ok from the chest up but when you see the full body they are obviously men in rubber suits. Pity the stuntmen: in that heat they were dying in those wetsuits.

To conceal the cheeziness some of the gargoyle scenes are step-printed, giving an eerie, jerky slow-motion effect. As a distraction it is not a bad idea.

He says Carlsbad has an abundance of rattlesnakes.