Director David DeCoteau has been making B-grade movies (mostly horror) since the mid-80's and since 2000 under his Rapid Heart Pictures banner he's been cranking out fairly weak attempts at "mainstream" horror flicks using a slew of young cast members (which leads to the expected "cast pose" video boxes). But he's oddly been letting his personal sexual preferences slip into the movies by piling on all sorts of slo-motion male body shots and having most of the male cast members getting shirtless at least once each. And while it's a bit distracting we'd be able to live with it if the movies were any good, Leeches! is not.
DeCoteau's attempt at a monster movie has a college swimming team falling victim to oversized bloodsucking leeches who've been growing huge and lusting for blood due to all the steroids the swimmers have been accidently dumping into the campus' pond. Soon enough they're all thrashing about in death throes as rubbery leeches (and at times obvious hand puppets) start killing them off.
Written by Fangoria contributor Michael Gingold you'd expect better from someone who makes a career out of watching crappy horror movies and the anti-drug message they've thrown into this comes across as weak and unnecessary. Then there's the low-scale leech attacks (especially the one guy who's attacked in the shower and clutching them to his face while others lie on the ground unmoving) and junky plotting; but at least it moves quickly enough - too bad it's too cheap to work. (Chris Hartley, 6/23/04)
Directed By: David DeCoteau.
Written By: Michael Gingold.
Starring: Matthew Twining, Josh Henderson, Stacey Nelson, Michael Lutz.
Picture Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen.
Picture Quality: This is a generally above average transfer though there is a few moments of shimmer and it can't handle heavy vertical lines very well (check out the tiling in the locker room showers for proof).
Extras: We get a trailer, photo gallery and passable commentary by director DeCoteau.