28 April 2002 | BaronBl00d
A woman in a hypnotic trance allows a worker of psychological magic to bring forth a she-creature from the sea that kills to makes his predictions of death come true. The movie put me in a trance! Slow does not describe the pacing of this film. It moves not at the pace of a snail but more like the weathering effect on mountains that takes thousands and thousands of years. The film, despite its lethargic, morphine-injected story-telling, has its finer points(And no, I am not talking about Marla English here .....yet!). First of all, I liked Chester Morris in his role. I seem to be a minority here, but I thought this was a rare opportunity to see a pretty good actor from a bygone era. Morris essayed the role of the Bat in The Bat Whispers in 1931 as well as played Boston Blackie numerous times. Sure, he's a thick slice of ham, but a fun slice of ham to watch....to a degree. After awhile the lines with little conviction and the overly tight-lipped face get to be a bit of a strain. But at the very least he has some acting skill...which cannot be said of too many others in the film. Yeah, Tom Conway can act...sometimes, but his role is of little importance and he has little to do. The scene where he is ...well, not to give it away...shall we say "taken care of" is a real hoot as it looks just so unbelievable. Lance Fuller? I've seen walls create more depth of character than he musters in what can only be called a "dead" performance. He's alive, but sometimes you just don't know for sure. He registers almost no emotion, no conviction in his lines, nor does he illicit any feeling from the viewer toward him. The rest of the actors are not much better. The guy playing the Polish butler was absurd as was the policeman with the tough guy routine. What about Marla English? She plays the hypnotized girl that allows the She-creature to rise from the sea. Well, she is not much of an actress, but what she can do to a sweater....certainly one of the higher peaks...points of the film. The she-creature? Well, it's nothing horrifying. Nothing terrible, yet the costume created by Paul Blaisdell deserves its admiration. It is a creative outfit like nothing else I have ever seen. But the monster walks/hobbles through the sand with the agility of an octagenarion, thus creating no menace but rather a burning desire for a tube of ben gay and a bottle of geritol!