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She Gods of Shark Reef

USA 1956
produced by
Ludwig H. Gerber for AIP
directed by Roger Corman
starring Bill Cord, Don Durant, Lisa Montell, Jeanne Gerson, Carol Lindsay, Ed Nelson
written by Robert Hill, Victor Stoloff, music by Ronald Stein, title song written by Frances Hall (music), Jack Lawrence (lyrics), sung by Sylvia Sims

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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On the run from the police, brothers Chris (Bill Cord) - the good one - and Lee (Don Durant) - the crook - are shipwrecked on an island off Hawaii that's inhabited only by female pearl divers, led by elderly Queen Pua (Jeanne Gerson), who welcomes them not exactly with open arms, but at least she gives them food and shelter and promises them a passage on thje next boat leaving the island - which won't be until 10 days from now.

In the meantime, Bill and Lee try to make friends with the island girls, especially Mahia (Lisa Montell), for whom Bill soon enough develops a soft spot. Then though something happens that turns the island paradise completely topsy turvey: At a local festival while dancing with Mahia, Bill accidently breaks a flower garland, and from then on, the men are taboo to every girl on the island. Still, Bill and Mahia meet in secret and tender romance starts to develop - until Pua catches them at it and decides to sacrifice Mahia to the shark god, meaning she will have her thrown into shark-infested waters with her hands tied up as a trial by ordeal ...

Bill of course can't let that happen and frees Mahia, and to keep their backs covered, Bill and Lee soon enough take Pua hostage, and soon the two men and Mahia and Pua take a boat Bill and Lee have built and leave the island. However, in the first night they don't get far, only to the coral reefs a few miles out where they decide to hide out during the day. But Lee (remember, he's the crook) is one who can't let an opportunity slip by, so he swims back to the island to steal the pearls they have stored there (remember, the girls are pearl divers), even if that means he has to kill a guard. But while he's out stealing, Queen hua escapes, swims back to the island as well and gets her women to take their boats out to the see to catch Bill, Lee and Mahia and retrieve the pearls.

Back on the reef meanwhile, Bill and Lee gets into a fistfight, with Lee defeating Bill and daking the boat on his own. But he isn't even far away from the reef when he drops first the sail and then the pearls into the water, and when he jumps after them, he is killed by a shark. Bill and Mahia meanwhile have reached the boat swimming and continue their journey to somewhere else as a couple - with queen Pua and her girls in hot but futile pursuit ...

 

The many pulp fiction clichés of this film are positively charming, and the authentic Hawaiian settings (the movie was filmed there back-to-back with Corman's Naked Paradise) are of course attractive, but otherwise the film has little to offer: The story is just too silly to be believable or at least involving, the dialogue is rather bad and at several occasions the inherent cheapness of the picture shines through a tad too clearly for my taste. It's not all bad, but it's one of Roger Corman's lesser 1950's movies.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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