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

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Bill Cord and Don Durant
SHE GODS OF SHARK REEF (1958). Director: Roger Corman.

Lee Johnston (Don Durant) commits murder during the commission of a robbery, and sails off with his brother, Chris (Bill Cord), on the latter's boat in the hopes he can elude the authorities. The two wind up on an island inhabited only by young women and one old lady, Queen Pua (Jeanne Gerson), who presides and reports to  some unspecified "company." After causing one hula dancer, Mahia (Lisa Montell), to be seen as taboo because the lei she puts on him breaks, Chris develops an affection for the gal, while Lee is more interested in getting off the island and stealing a booty of valuable pearls. Will all of them wind up sacrificed to Dangaraka, the shark god? The ladies in this movie don't really appear to be either "she gods" nor "goddesses," if you prefer, but just slightly slow native gals. Cord and Durant get a chance to show off their pecs, and are not terrible actors. The one shark that kills someone looks like a baby that would do minimal damage to someone's arm let alone their whole body. Gerson was Neely's maid in Valley of the Dolls, Montell was in World Without End, Durant starred as Johnny Ringo on TV, and both he and Colt did more than one episode of Perry Mason -- none of them wound up as Corman regulars, however. Ronald Stein's music makes this a little more palatable, along with some strikingly beautiful Hawaiian scenery (at least the cast members got a nice vacation if nothing else). But what this really needed was one of those giant man-eating crustaceans from Corman's Attack of the Crab Monsters, made the year before, or some other carnivorous monster, or at least a really big shark.

Verdict: Pecs and pretties but not a lot happens. **.


angelman66 said...

Hm, another Roger Corman I have yet to see. Like you said, looks like there is some eye candy if nothing else. I'll watch for it!

Have you seen Corman on TCM recently? He cohosted with Ben Mankiewicz this past spring...very prolific and interesting man. Still working on projects into very old age.

William said...

Glad to hear it. He was a better director than he's often given credit for.

When I switched to on-line television instead of cable I lost TCM, but have made up for it somehow as I have a long queue of movies, classic and not, to look at, thank goodness.