Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


THE SHE-CREATURE (1956). Director: Edward L. Cahn.

AIP certainly collected an unusual group of actors for this weird little movie. Chester Morris (who gives a very good performance) is the mentalist Carlo Lombardi, who claims that he can regress his beautiful assistant Andrea (Marla English of Three Bad Sisters) three hundred years into a past life. For reasons that are never made clear Lombardi also regresses her back even further in a -- as he puts it -- "transmigration of the soul of a living woman into her first life body." Apparently her soul first inhabited a female prehistoric sea creature of some kind (at least it keeps coming out of the sea) that is alternately invisible, transparent, and finally very much solid and homicidal, leaving many battered corpses in the movie's best scenes. Timothy Chappel (Tom Conway), whose wife (Frieda Inescort) is a fan of the occult, teams up with Lombardi to make him a household name and both of them rich even as the murders of the she-creature continue. Cathy Downs, the wife of The Amazing Colossal Man, plays Chappel's daughter Dorothy, who is dating Dr. Erickson (Lance Fuller, who was in This Island Earth), another doubting Thomas. Rounding out the cast, Ron Randell is a police lieutenant, Frank Jenks is a sergeant, Jack Mulhall is a lawyer, and William Hudson (from Colossal Man and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman) is a snickering party guest. Paul Blaisdell both designed and plays the she-creature; her appearance is amusing and scary at the same time. This oddly likable movie has atmosphere and some creepy scenes, even if it doesn't make much sense.

Verdict: For monster/horror/B movie aficionados only. **1/2.

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