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The She-Creature

USA 1958
produced by
Alex Gordon, Samuel Z. Arkoff (executive) for Golden State/AIP
directed by Edward L. Cahn
starring Chester Morris, Marla English, Tom Conway, Cathy Downs, Lance Fuller, Ron Randall, Frieda Inescort, Frank Jenks, El Brendel, Paul Dubov, William Hudson, Flo Bert, Jeanne Evans, Kenneth MacDonald, Jack Mulhall, Edward Earle, Luana Walters, Paul Blaisdell, Edmund Cobb
screenplay by Lou Rusoff, based on an idea by Jerry Zigmond, creature design by Paul Blaisdell

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
The mysterious occultist Doctor Lombardi (Chester Morris) is the talk of the town, since he seems to do amazing amazing things in hypnotism & regression (that is, to hypnotize people so they can give witness of a former life), but then he is seen leaving a murder scene by Ted (Lance Fuller), his biggest critic, & Dorothy Chappel (Cathy Downs), Ted's rich fiancée.

The police, led by Lt. James (Ron Randall) soon arrest Lombardy, but can't hold him due to insufficient evidence (though Lombardi freely admits of having been at the crime scene). Especially some footprints that are definitely non-human, & the victims' throats being crushed with superhuman strength suggest to look for the kilelr elsewhere ... & Lombardi suggests an evil she-creature from the sea (as played by Paul Blaisdell). Lombardi however carefully avoids that he has called the she-creature to come to life in his regression experiments & ordered her to kill (not that they would have believed him).

Al the media attention Lombardi gets thanks to his arrest gives Timothy Chappel (Tom Conway), Dorothy's father an idea to turn Lombardi from a carnival performer into a media sensation - which comes in pretty handy for Lombardi since he, via his medium Andrea (Marla English), has made the creature commit another murder & is again held by the police ... but Chappel sends his lawyer to set Lombardi free - so that he can perform that evening.

Ted meanwhile remains sceptic about Lombardi's powers but has fallen for his medium Andrea who doesn't approve at all about Lombardi's methods but is under some kind of hypnotic spell. However all the efforts of him or Lt.James to expose Lombardi as a fraud and/or to pin the murders (which soon pile up) on him fail, so Ted tries to teach Andrea to reject hypnosis ...

At a final performance at Chappel's house the situation culminates when Andrea tries to resist hypnosis & blows his show, but Lombardi has smelled the beef & with a trick still gets her into deep trance which enables him to materialize the creature & direct it to the house ... fortunately though Lt. James - has put 2 & 2 together just in time & evacuated the house except for Mr. Chappel (who gets killed by the creature), Lombardi, Andrea & Ted, who almost gets killed too, but Andrea's will is strong enough to keep the creature from doing it & kill Lombardi instead ... who, with his dieing breath decides to do the right thing & free Andrea from his curse. Upon Lt. James' last commands - he also stood in the way of the creature & was killed - the entire police force fires at the creature which slowly dissolves into thin air - no thanks to the bullets but to Andrea waking up from her trance for good ...

 

A very silly story is turned into a nice occultism/murder-mystery/science fiction hybrid here thanks to a solid direction by veteran b-moviemaker Edward L.Cahn, who gives this movie a very sombre, almost lyrical (in a pulpy sort of way) tone.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD