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  • Directed by Edward (50 movies a year) Cahn and written by Lou Rusoff (who also penned Dragstrip Girl, Cat Girl, Runaway Daughters, Apache Woman, Oklahoma Woman, and Girls in Prison; hmmm, I notice a violent femme pattern here), the She Creature is notable for Albert Kallis evocative poster, Paul Blaisdell's terrific prehistoric "she" monster (complete with scaly hooters), and the mesmerizingly gorgeous Marla English in what appears to have been her last role. Actually, it's hard to call this a "role" as she spends most of her time in a trance lying on her back. Also spending the movie in a trance is Lance Fuller, though he's supposed to be fully conscious. Fuller's acting expressions range from "gee that's a tight sweater" to "gee that's a tight dress" to `gee my pants are tight.' The snidely-whiplash villain, Dr. Carlo Lambardi, is played by Chester Morris with the seriousness of a man passing his 15th kidney stone. But the real villain, is the She Creature! Sort of. The She Creature, while looking cool, is about as menacing as Lobster Themidor. No one seems to notice that, while bullets can't stop her, she can be outrun by a snail on crutches. Instead, in Z-movie tradition, folks just stand around and get clobbered to death. The movie's budget must have been as tight as English's sweater because bullets don't even leave dust marks on the monster's Victoria's Secrety bosom. Shot on location in Malibu! Whatever happened to Marla?!?!
  • Powerful, resentful and diabolically clever hypnotist Carlo Lombardi (deliciously played with lip-smacking suave menace by Chester Morris) puts his beautiful lady assistant Andrea (the strikingly lovely Marla English) under his evil spell and causes her to transform into a hideously ugly, scaly, clawed murderous prehistoric she beast (famed 50's monster make-up maven Paul Blaisdell in a fabulously funky rubber suit) which bumps off people he hates. Moreover, Lombardi joins forces with equally amoral greedy rick jerk Timothy Chappel (a nicely wicked portrayal by Tom Conway) so he can achieve fame and fortune predicting the next killing. Boy, is this one enjoyably cruddy low-budget 50's creature feature schlock horror hoot! It's got all the usual bad film vices (or are they virtues?) which make this kind of dross so entertainingly awful: blah direction, incredibly slow pacing, chintzy cinematography, some very poor acting (Lance Fuller as Lombardi's rival gives a performance that's so flat and wooden you can use it as a diving board), a hokey script, a seedy seaside California location, blundering idiot cops, lousy dialogue, a laughably sluggish'n'shambling monster that's more silly than scary, and a rousing cornball spacey'n'spooky score. A bit dull and talky in spots, but overall still loads of delectably cheesy B-horror fun.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Either something's wrong with me or I've been watching too many of these grade Z horror flicks; I really didn't find this to be so bad. Now don't get me wrong, this clearly isn't anywhere near "Casablanca" territory, but it had all the elements of a creepy late night scare fest, especially if you're about nine or ten years old. Like Chester Morris in the lead role as the villainous Dr. Carlo Lombardi, keeping his lovely female assistant (Marla English) under a hypnotic spell as he regresses her into the spirit and form of a prehistoric she-creature. He calls it a 'transmigration of the soul', I just love it when a film utilizes that kind of pseudo-scientific babble to support it's plot.

    However unlike other screen villains, Lombardi is not only committed to his mission of calling forth an all powerful presence across the span of ages, he's also out to make a buck off of it. Can you imagine, Lombardi's benefactor Chappel (Tom Conway) turns him into a money machine with books and a lecture tour to cash in on the she-beast; you would think it was the year 2008 instead of 1956!

    Say, remember when police Lieutenant James listens to a conversation he had with Dr. Lombardi on a tape recorder? He actually asked for the recorder some time AFTER he spoke with Lombardi, so who recorded the conversation?

    But you know what makes the picture so goofy in the final analysis? When the she creature eventually confronts some of the principals, they never think to utilize that one single piece of useful information that would actually come in handy - JUST RUN AWAY! Like the aforementioned James - he attempts to go one on one with the beast in hand to scale combat. And how about Chappel, when his gun runs out of bullets, he throws it at the creature in the tradition of all those classic Superman episodes. Good grief, didn't these guys ever watch any television?

    In the final analysis, you have to admire the temerity of the folks who put this thing together. The film closes on the words "She'll never be back, will she?" followed by a large question mark before the final fadeout, virtually begging the question of there being a sequel. Well I guess you can't blame them for trying.
  • THE SHE-CREATURE (1956) is certainly one of the more interesting monsterific creations of Paul Blaisdell but the film suffers from a pace slower than death itself and characters as cardboard as a Hallmark card. The idea is perhaps lifted from the Bridey Murphy story wherein a woman is placed under a major hypnotic trance and made to revert to former lives. In this one, the heroine goes all the way back to her prehistoric past and becomes the title creature, complete with scales, Stone Age hooters, a tail and back with Godzilla-like plates. THE SHE-CREATURE must be seen to be believed. This is American-International Pictures, which cranked out a lot of great matinee fun but this monster just about tops them all. A hopelessly inept Chester Morris is terrible as the hypnotist and the cast proceeds at a funereal pace. See it for the monster, it's the only reason to bother!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sure, it ain't no contender for an Oscar, but damn if it doesn't have a somewhat interesting and unusual plot. Its main problem is the same one that plagues a lot of cheap genre movies from this decade: dialogue, dialogue, and more dialogue! It takes quite a bit of time in between its horror moments, which are actually fairly atmospheric. The monster isn't exactly convincing, but that's no surprise. (Famed monster maker of the period, Paul Blaisdell, designed this beast and played it as well.) The acting is variable - some of it is quite entertaining, some of it woefully bad. (Lance Fuller has the dubious distinction of being the worst actor in this thing; talk about a stiff!) B director Edward L. Cahn certainly did better during this period; after all, he guided "It! The Terror from Beyond Space", generally considered to be the inspiration for "Alien".

    The movie isn't without its merits. Chester Morris is a delightfully sinister villain as Dr. Carlo Lombardi, a hypnotist who deals in matters of transmigration, age regression, and reincarnation. His unwilling assistant is young Andrea Talbott (the strikingly attractive Marla English); every time after he "puts her under", a prehistoric monster that was supposedly HER in a long ago past life emerges from the ocean and kills somebody. The inept police, led by the stubbornly skeptical Lt. James (Ron Randell), and Dr. Erickson (Mr. Fuller) think Lombardi's a big fat phony but still see him as dangerous; naturally, by the end of this picture their minds have opened a bit more.

    "The She-Creature" ain't high quality stuff, to be sure, and it's ultimately too dull too much of the time to get rated very high, but it *is* at least amusing enough to have appeal for schlock devotees.

    Seven out of 10.
  • This movie is, of course, artistically bankrupt. It is artless, tedious and frankly illogical. It is, however, rather watchable in an odd sort of way... Not quite in the Plan 9 fashion, where you're left laughing all the time, because the production values here aren't all that bad for the time. The "She Creature", whilst a risible concept, looks quite impressive, given a bit of disbelief-suspension - vital for any true lover of film, of course. 'Tis a shame the creature moves so slow as to make anyone killed by it look utterly pathetic.

    The plot is a mixture of clichéd horror and cut-price hypnotism, a concern which you can tell was topical in 1956. It has some interesting areas which are largely unexplored: the big-business involvement with the good Dr Lombardi could have made for some reasonable drama and comedy. This missed opportunity is far from the worst thing about the story; the relationship between Marla English's Andrea and both Lombardi and Erickson is abysmally written. We are presented with scenes that stutter on for days between Lombardi and Andrea; scenes that say nothing new at all, as we knew right from the start about Andrea's dilemma. Even worse is the abrupt, tiresomely predictable "romance" between Andrea and Erickson. The acting is devoid of charisma, humour and often even the vaguest physical or emotional expression. Perhaps these marionettes would make good human-fodder in a Ballardian concept, but they really wouldn't have the poise to achieve that.

    Lance Fuller gives a kind of unintended, minimalist-hammy performance as the sceptic-type Dr Erickson. You frankly end up rooting for Lombardi, such is the unfounded, uncalled-for smugness of the 'rational' Erickson. Cathy Downs' character only shows interest in him due to the constraints of genre convention. Erickson's battle of wills with Lombardi over Andrea's mind and the only intended humour, which comprises scenes of the house-servants, are some of the feeblest, most cringe-worthy scenes in the annals of cinema.

    The crucial figure is that of the sole experienced and professional actor in the film, Chester Morris, who seems to know how to handle this ludicrous material, by playing it deadly seriously. He actually gives an effective portrayal of a taciturn, smalltime showman who isn't quite as clever as everyone is endlessly saying. Morris's range of expressions is ridiculously small, reduced to a permanent frown, and, on second thoughts, perhaps some wry humour and flamboyance would have lifted the film, if even been out of character. He does, after all, sport the archytypal villain's moustache and black cape - so often found in the ripest stage and film melodramas.

    It really is 'against all odds' - as a Mr Collins once crooned - that this film is fun to watch. Perhaps it is the black-and-white photography that lends it some atmosphere. Indeed the film, if you suspend your disbelief, works on a 1950s B-Movie level, without ever threatening to reach the heights of that genre. Most of the fun is in observing these hapless, smug characters - only just managing to keep within some rather ropey genre conventions - and finding the unintended mirth in what they say and do. So, worth watching - it is mercifully brief by latterday measures - but do keep expectations very low!
  • 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!
  • Dr. Carlo Lombardi (Chester Morris), a carnival hypnotist hypnotises Andrea (Marla English) into reliving earlier incarnations: a 17th century Irish maiden and a monstrous primordial creature that Andrea's transmigrating spirit can make corporal. The nonsensical plot plays on the then popular 'Bridey Murphy' story (a supposedly true example of hypnotic regression) and tacks on a monster for the drive-in crowd. Although the 'science' is negligible and ludicrous, the implication that the creature is an aquatic form of paleo-human makes the otherwise mystical horror film borderline science-fiction (IMO). The distaff creature is probably monster-maker (and wearer) Paul Blaisdel's best work: a scaly, buxom monster sporting a prominent 'vagina dentata' on her abdomen. Much of the film is about control: Lombardi (who dresses like comic-book hero 'Mandrake the Magician') has hypnotic control over Andrea (who loathes him), and indirectly over the creature, Timothy Chappel (Tim Conroy) is a wealthy capitalist who tries to control Lombardi with money, and scientist-hero Dr. Ted Erickson (representing rationality) pushes Andrea to defy Lombardi and rejects Chappell's money (both directly and by turning down the advances of the crass industrialist's socialite daughter). Despite the dominant muliebral she-creature (who is endowed like the Venus of Willendorf (at least in the posters)), the film is far from a feminist statement: only love for a man frees Andrea from thralldom. Other than the memorable monster suit, the film is hokey and ridiculous and has little to offer anyone other than diehard fans of schlocky sci-fi/horror films (and perhaps the occasional pop-media scholar or slumming Freudian).
  • If you take a look at the credits of Chester Morris's career, you'll note he did a lot of television in the Fifties and Sixties after his Boston Blackie series came to an end. Morris was one of those players who found a lot of work in the new medium as their screen careers dried up. One of his few unfortunate ventures back to the big screen was The She-Creature.

    Morris is in a cast with a whole lot of players like Cathy Downs, Tom Conway, El Brendel, and Frieda Inescourt whose careers had evaporated in film, due to blacklist and other problems. It's sad, but this sometimes was the best work they could get.

    Morris is a Svengali like hypnotist who's gone beyond anything that Messmer ever dreamed possible. His Trilby is Marla English whose bosoms excited many a pubescent male in the drive-ins. Most of the film she's in a trance and at a certain point in the trance, she dreams up from her past life a long extinct sea creature who looks like The Creature from the Black Lagoon's bride. You can tell by the rack the makeup people provide so we know it's the dreaming Marla.

    This She-Creature is Morrris's personal hit squad, killing both skeptics of his hypnotic abilities to bring out past lives and anyone else who looks longingly at English. In Lance Fuller's case he's both a rival and a skeptic.

    What's scary about this movie is not the content which today could be released as a comedy. The scary part is that the players I named all were in quality A films at one point in their career. Fortunately Morris got to appear in The Great White Hope before he died as a farewell performance. And I do remember him from the Fifties and Sixties showing a lot of quality acting in various television series.

    Maybe the guy from The Black Lagoon might like this film.
  • Nightman8516 January 2006
    Hypnotist reverts his lovely assistant back to a monstrous creature that she once was and uses it to attack his enemies.

    The She Creature is one of the lesser monster flicks of the 50's. While granted the film does create some atmospheric creepiness, it's all a bit too sluggish and underdeveloped to be a satisfying horror picture. Even with a decent-looking B monster, which doesn't get enough screen time, this movie is lacking in suspense and over all the story just isn't as intriguing as one would think. There's just not enough here to keep interest or to be partly entertaining. I recommend watching this one on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

    * 1/2 out of ****
  • The She-Creature is typical of the stuff American International were making at this time and is one of their better efforts.

    A series of murders are the result of a rather nasty prehistoric monster that keeps coming up from the ocean. This is actually a woman in a past life, under hypnosis. As more killings take place, the hypnotist gets the blame for the murders but the monster kills him at the end and everything returns to normal.

    The monster suit looks surprisingly quite good and was the responsibility of Paul Blaisdell, who designed and played a lot of the monsters in these sort of movies.

    The movie has quite a good cast: Chester Morris, Falcon actor and sci-fi/horror regular Tom Conway (Cat People, The Atomic Submarine), Cathy Downs (The Amazing Colossal Man, Missile To the Moon), Lance Fuller (This Island Earth), Marla English (Voodoo Woman)and Ron Randell.

    The She-Creature is worth watching, especially if you are a 1950's sci-fi/horror fan.

    Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Alex Gordon was the older brother of Richard Gordon, his producing aspirations resulting in 18 features over 11 years, from 1954-1965. Issued on a double bill with Roger Corman's "It Conquered the World," "The She-Creature" remains best remembered among Gordon's genre entries, emerging in the wake of the Bridey Murphy reincarnation/regression case that inspired a large number of forgotten items lacking its staying power, it doesn't just talk a good game it delivers. Fox's Regal company attempted "Back from the Dead," Roger Corman scored with "The Undead," W. Lee Wilder struck out with "Fright," and Ed Wood brought out the angora for "The Bride and the Beast" (regression also turns up in "The Aztec Mummy," "I Was a Teenage Werewolf," and "The Alligator People"). "The She-Creature" not only features Paul Blaisdell's most memorable and elaborate creation, it boasts a star performance from veteran Chester Morris, who delighted in the role of hypnotist Carlo Lombardi, as he himself had dabbled in magic and card tricks for several years. Casting problems plagued the production, as Edward Arnold ("Secret of the Blue Room") was set to play Dr. Lombardi but died, then Peter Lorre turned it down after reading the script. Morris was originally signed to play Timothy Chappel, millionaire backer to Lombardi, but got the part after John Carradine also rejected it, with Tom Conway aboard as Chappel. Among the supporting cast only Lance Fuller fails to convince as Lombardi's rival and enemy, Dr. Ted Erickson, who takes a shine to gorgeous Andrea Talbott (Marla English), the mesmerist's test subject and key to success. Lombardi accurately predicts murder near a seaside park, by a female creature that rises from the ocean, a physical manifestation of Andrea's earliest incarnation back to the dawn of time, while also allowing her to speak as a 17th century British maiden named Elizabeth Wetherby. The police are baffled because they know he's responsible, and his smarmy retorts that they can't touch him are an additional sore spot. Dr. Erickson is at least able to work with Andrea to try to break Lombardi's evil spell, but his power is so great that no one can stop him from gaining wealth and recognition (what he desires most however is Andrea's love and she rebuffs him). Blaisdell himself wears the cumbersome costume, savage looking and not exactly feminine in appearance, its attacks leaving behind footprints that both emerge from then return to the waves. Frank Jenks does his patented bit as a wisecracking cop (again making cracks as a truck driver in "The Amazing Colossal Man"), Luana Walters ("The Corpse Vanishes") is still lovely as a party guest, El Brendel ("The House of Fear") looks and sounds the same as always with his mangled Swedish (Alex Gordon used to seek out forgotten actors flattered and grateful to be working). Marla English, Tom Conway, and Lance Fuller would all be back for Gordon and Cahn in "Voodoo Woman," but Chester Morris essentially retired from the big screen. He was flying the friendly skies shortly after completing his role, seated next to actress Audrey Hepburn, who was absolutely fascinated by his description of his most recent picture! Morris debuted a star at the dawn of talkies (one such title was 1932's "The Miracle Man," featuring Boris Karloff), who became Boston Blackie in the 14 film Columbia series during the 40s, but only did three later movies prior to his 1970 suicide. Like "Voodoo Woman," "Invasion of the Saucer Men," and "Suicide Battalion," plus a pair of Roger Cormans, "Day the World Ended" and "It Conquered the World," "The She-Creature" underwent the color remake treatment with Texas filmmaker Larry Buchanan, his Azalea Pictures signing on to deliver a total of 8 new films in 16mm to pad out an AIP-TV syndication package in color. His "Creature of Destruction" is probably the worst of them all, as he could only manage a guy in a wet suit, fish mask, and ping pong ball eyes for a monster (reused in "Curse of the Swamp Creature" and "It's Alive!"), inexplicably leaving salt water tracks despite now rising from a fresh water lake (Lake Texoma to be exact). Les Tremayne ("The Monster of Piedras Blancas"), a former carnival barker himself, offered up the one professional performance, Patricia Delaney no exotic beauty like Marla English, as wooden as AIP regular Aron Kincaid in the Lance Fuller role. The sole distinction of the remake is its downbeat ending, as both hypnotist and subject die, whereas in the 1956 original Lombardi releases Andrea with his dying breath, allowing her to live happily ever after with dullard Erickson.
  • It's amazing that audiences of 1956 didn't riot after being charged admission to watch this excruciating exercise. I have never seen Andy Warhol's "Empire" (1964), but I have read that Warhol placed a stationary camera aimed at the Empire State Building and shot eight hours of film. I cannot imagine what Warhol was trying to accomplish, but viewing "Empire" must be a similar experience to sitting through "The She Creature". I made the mistake of starting to watch rather late one night, and found that my eyelids were drooping so badly that I had to stop the tape halfway through and continue the next day. Boring and dull, with leaden performances from cast members whose careers were all in severe decline. It is a sad thing to see previously successful and talented performers end up like this. As others before me have said, this is the absolute pits, to be used as a sleep aid only.
  • This 1950's horror flick, starring Marla English (she was a poor man's Elizabeth Taylor) had much potential, but unfortunately that potential was wasted. The She Creature, a creation of fabulous monster maker Paul Blaisdell, was actually a scary looking creation. For some inexplicable reason the makers of this movie did not show the creature very often. The plot is pretty predictable; Marla portrays Andrea, a young woman under the spell of a slimy hypnotist/con man, portrayed by Chester Morris. Tom Conway is his usual hammy self as a man who is bankrolling the evil Dr. Lombardi. Of course we have to have a young hero to come save the beautiful maiden, and that part was played by Lance Fuller, in a drop dead dull performance...did the man have botox injections in his face, or what? He never changes expression throughout the movie. This movie was made when the whole Bridey Murphy reincarnation phase was popular, and the makers of the film want us to believe that we apparently didn't evolve from apes, but we evolved from some weird half lobster, half reptilian creature from the ocean...don't ask. The movie plods along with various killings that are orchestrated by Dr. Lombardi to get publicity for his show...again, the premise had promise, but it just seems to drag on and on. The Creature rarely appears, and when it does, the killings are more funny than scary. This isn't the worst of the 1950's monster movies, but it could have been so much more than what it was, which is a shame.
  • In the 1940s, Chester Morris and Tom Conway were reasonably successful and respected actors. Both made B series films (Boston Blackie and The Falcoh respectively) as well as A and B films...quite a few of them. But by the mid-1950s, both these actors were having problem finding roles on TV or films...and they were sadly reduced to acting in a schlocky film like this. Fortunately for Morris, he still had a few good projects in him (such as "The Great White Hope") but Conway would soon become a pathetic guy without work, a home as well as broken health. A sad end for a very good actor.

    In this film, Chester Morris plays Dr. Lombardi--a stage hypnotist with amazing powers. He is able to exert amazing power over people and claims to even be able to use age regression to bring out a physical manifestation...in essence, a monster. As for Conway, he plays Timothy Chappel, a guy who wants to exploit Lombardi's reputation in order to strike it rich. Little does he know that Lombardi's Svengali-like powers are real...and he's a very dangerous man.

    Apart from looking at how beautiful Lombardi's muse (Marla English) is, there isn't a lot of positive things to say about this cheap film. The monster, in particular, is pretty comical looking...and instead of instilling fear in the audiences watching the movie, it likely just elicited laughter. Plus, nothing about this film even seems scary...just kind of silly.
  • Interesting 'B' horror pic from AIP about a carnival hypnotist (Chester Morris) who is able to use hypnotism to make a woman regress to her prehistoric self, a humanoid sea monster. Naturally he uses this amazing ability to have this she-creature kill people. Chester Morris has seen better days and appears to have a quart of oil in his hair, presumably to make him look younger. Tom Conway is well past his prime, as well. Both do fine for what kind of movie they're in. The rest of the cast is unremarkable, except for sexy Marla English who plays the woman who transforms into the title monster. She's the highlight of the movie, along with Paul Blaisdell's cool monster suit. I also thought a few scenes were genuinely atmospheric and impressive, so it's not all schlock. Undoubtedly this was trying to capitalize off of The Search for Bridey Murphy, a popular book in the '50s about hypnotic regression and past lives that had a film adaptation released the same year as this. It's not great but it is enjoyable for fans of old B horror movies. Certainly better than a lot of the other garbage AIP put out. Director Edward Cahn would reunite with stars Conway, English, and Lance Fuller the following year for Voodoo Woman, an uninspired effort that tries (and fails) to recapture this movie's charms. They even reuse the same monster suit.
  • There are a few good things to be said about this schlock- I wouldn't just say its all bad and forget it. Yes it is slow at times, but better than you might expect with Chester Morris staying totally in character for every second he is on screen displaying acting skill and supreme polish. He is good as a strange, creepy hypnotist, although you don't get the impression that he relishes this role.

    Marla English is a cut above the average 1950's big-chested b-actress in her role as the she-creature. Tom Conway is obviously washed-up but is OK in his role as a sleazy, cynical "event promoter".

    The director framed Morris in most scenes to enhance his screen presence. Also there is some directorial skill in a few other scenes, such as when you have a three-layer deep scene with Ms. English close to the screen, the leading man in mid distance, and a carny operator in the background- this scene is a good piece of directing and staging as it ends focused on the carny who was in the background to start. Most 50's cheap-o films would not take the time and effort to plan and stage scenes as well as this.

    The hypnotist (Morris) and the creature at times are menacing and overall Morris is hypnotic to watch, if at times slow-moving.

    Washed up cheap cast and cheap 50's B&W but somewhat entertaining and not just a time-waster, despite its basic schlock nature.
  • preppy-318 January 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    POSSIBLE PLOT SPOILERS!!!! Hypnotist Dr. Lombardi (Chester Morris) puts his assistant Andrea (Marla English) into a deep sleep. When this happens her thing in a past life (the title creature) comes out of the sea and kills people. Lombardi knows this and "predicts" the killings. Dr. Ted Erickson (Lance Fuller) thinks Lombardi is a fraud and tries to prove it. He also falls in love with Andrea which bothers Lombradi a LOT....

    Absolutely ridiculous story but this isn't a total bomb. Some of the discussions on reincarnation and past lives are interesting, there's good direction and a really eerie music score. Also the creature itself has become one of the legends of horror movies. It looks pretty scary and has HUGE breasts!!!! You just have to laugh when the creature attacks people--and they just stand there and do NOTHING so it can kill them! The acting wavers. Fuller seems to be (wisely) kidding the material but isn't bad. Morris is VERY serious (and dull). English is just stunningly beautiful and very good in a tricky role. Tom Conway shows up in a small role and has fun with the material.

    So--this has its good points but the silly story and slow pace really wears you down. Worth catching at least once for the monster. I give it a 3.
  • I saw this film as part of the show Mystery Science Theater 3000. I am doubting I would have ever seen it without the aid of that show as horror films in the era this one was made tended to just not be very good and they usually age horribly. Sure, there are a few Hammer horror films from this era I like, as I enjoyed the Christopher Lee Dracula a lot, but for the most part the films feature ridiculous monsters. This movie for instance, though it does not look more foolish than those monsters with hot dogs in their mouths from, "Horror At Party Beach"; heck, the monster in this one even looks better than the monster in, "The Blood Waters of Dr. Z" which was in the 70's when generally the monsters looked pretty good. Still, it looked goofy as it had a bosom and its back fins looked like cushions. Then there is the cast which features a couple of guys who mumble nearly all their lines, two horrible foreign comic relief characters and an oily villain. Granted, the guy who played Dr. Carlo Lombardi at least did a relatively good job and his assistant was a pretty sight.

    The story in this film has a man who uses hypnotism in an act that does not look all that entertaining. Dr. Vorelli from another MST3K riffed film, "Devil Doll" had a pretty lame act too, but the one in this film makes that one look positively mind blowing by comparison! Anyways a monster is killing people, the evil hypnotist predicts these deaths and uses it to get money. Meanwhile, a man is staying with a family and he mumbles constantly and seems to do his best to not maintain eye contact with anyone. He makes John Agar look like an Oscar caliber actor! Well this man falls for the evil hypnotist's assistant and wishes to break the hold Dr. Carlo Lombardi has on her because she is attractive leaving me to wonder why so many females fall for this guy.

    This made for a very funny episode of MST3K featuring many good riffs as there was plenty to work with even if you only take into account Lance Fuller's acting ability. The one thing that they never riffed which seemed like a prime target was the house Fuller's character was staying at. My question is why was he there in the first place? It apparently belonged to a rich couple and their daughter was living there too and she seemed to like Lance, but he showed no real interest in her and seemed to positively loathe them all. Maybe it was cut out, but there seems to be no good reason for him to be staying with the family if he doesn't like them.

    So not really a great movie in my eyes as it is one of a number of films that feature a monster that comes out so infrequently that at times you forget the movie features it. The acting was very bad with the exception of the guy playing Dr. Carlo Lombardi and he may not of been doing that great, but acting next to a guy who mumbles and looks at the floor is going to make anything look a lot better by comparison. I notice a lot of other films with the title She Creature and I wonder if they are a play on this film and I may check them out as they came out later which means perhaps a better looking monster, some good gore and maybe a topless assistant!
  • Another film brought to you by Ed Cahn.He did actually lens a few films that were watchable for the right reasons.This isn't one of them.This quickie was made to cash in on the "Bridey Murphy" reincarnation craze.

    Professor Lombardi (Chester Morris)hypnotizes Andrea(Marla English)sending her back through past lives.All the way back until she was a sea creature from the pre historic days.This creature is under his control and kills wantonly.While the creature suit is a fondly remembered favorite, it isn't enough to save this bomb.

    Chester Morris acts like he's ready to foreclose on the mortgage to the orphanage.A very far cry from his Boston Blackie days.The bags under his eyes looks like luggage.He spends most of his time looking grim and drooling over Marla's supine body.Her acting is confined to holding her breath and trembling.

    Frankly, Lance Fuller as the hero is scarier than anything in this picture.He acts as if he's only visiting this dimension for a short time. He appears to act as if his lawn furniture has come to life and he's not sure if it is reality or he's still stoned.Probably needs just a little more time to stare thoughtfully into the camera...I swore the deck chair just winked at me.

    Ron Randall as a policeman does the worst Humphrey Bogart impression I've ever seen.For a better & funnier Bogart act check out Anthony Carbone in Creature From The Haunted Sea.Tom Conway who played the Falcon is in this as well.One of the doctors in a scene was played by one of the villains who starred in a majority of the Three Stooges reels.I kept expecting Moe & Curley to show up.Spread out!!One actor does a Foster Brooks drunk act years before Brooks.Not nearly as funny either.

    Forget the plot.If you have to watch this beast do so only for the unique "acting" abilities of the cast.
  • One from "The Arkoff Library" released as R2 DVD exclusives and a film I was intrigued by after viewing its trailer in view of the theme (reincarnation-by-hypnosis inspired, as was Roger Corman's similarly fanciful THE UNDEAD [1957], by THE SEARCH FOR BRIDEY MURPHY [1956]) and the cast (led by old hands Chester Morris and Tom Conway). The former as the villainous hypnotist gets a chance to ham it up, but the latter is rather wasted as Morris' host and subsequently business manager (incidentally, their roles were originally to have been played by Edward Arnold and Peter Lorre respectively!); also involved are Ron Randell as a dour Police Lieutenant and Hollywood's idea of a comic-relief Swede, El Brendel (another relic of a by-gone era), as Conway's manservant. Apparently, Morris is able to take his subject as far back to the beginning of time where the titular creature emerged from the sea to kill(?!); of course, he cannot resist bringing it back again to do his evil bidding…that is, until the girl concerned falls for (and learns to resist his will thanks to) a rival yet much younger 'practitioner'. Actually, the design of the monster (looking a bit like the gill-man from Universal's "Creature From The Black Lagoon" series) is quite effective and the film as a whole (anticipating in its carnival/watery setting Curtis Harrington's decidedly more poetic debut feature NIGHT TIDE [1961]), though hardly essential genre fare, is somewhat more tolerable than I was expecting it to be – given a less-than-stellar reputation. Still, the constant hypnosis sessions for the benefit of Conway's would-be jaded guests do become repetitive after a while...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The 'giant' lobster from Teenagers from Space was a lot scarier than the She Creature, although I'll admit it wasn't quite as lame as the Corman killer carrot from Venus in It Conquered the World.

    The plot of this movie is totally, irrevocably senseless. Apparently a stupid sideshow hypnotist named Dr. Carlo Lombardi(if this guy is a real doctor, then I'm a Nobel prize winning physicist) keeps a pretty woman under hypnosis(this guy is the early version of Rohypnol, the date rape drug) for no other reason except that he can, and she won't touch him when she's awake. Under hypnosis, her spirit reverts to a WAY former life, back to when she was a proto-human who lived in the sea. This energy, or her spirit, or whatever, take on physical form, which the good doctor can direct(huh? what i mean to say is..HUH?!) He sends this laughable creature out to kill, mostly for his own pleasure but partly to make money off of gullible rubes who think he can protect them from the monster. Which he can, since he's the one telling it to turn people into Chicken of the Sea.

    The protagonist(sort of), is a dull guy who's a psychic researcher, who claims what he does has a scientific basis. Uh-huh. Therefore, he's different from the deranged quack Lombardi, although we're never sure how. He discovers Lombardi's little scam, saves the girl(again, we're not sure how, since he's a total puss), and there's an end shot on the beach with an 'invisible' monster that only the researcher can see(saving on special effects, I see). End of story, wherein the plot dies away not with a bang but with a whimper.
  • This picture is most famous for its grand monster creation: a lobster-like, humanoid female prehistoric beast that's a reincarnation of the leading lady (Marla English). It was designed by Paul Blaisdell, a mega-talent creator of many of American-International's monsters. The seaside scenes seem to be photographed with diffusion filters, an interesting touch, with the beast almost illuminated when she first rises from the Pacific ocean. Veteran actors Chester Morris, Tom Conway, Frieda Inescort, Ron Randell, Cathy Downs and William Hudson (co-stars in "The Amazing Colossal Man") give good performances. English (is that a wig?), whose body English is great, resembling either Elizabeth Taylor or Vivien Leigh, and Lance Fuller are adequate. The eerie music is by Ronald Stein, and there's just enough to get fairly thrilled about in the Bridey-Murphy inspired script (the reincarnation craze in the mid-1950s).
  • Gafke12 February 2005
    Oily hypnotist Carlo Lombardi has virtually enslaved young carnival follower Andrea with his incredible mind powers. His amazing sideshow act consists of hypnotizing young Andrea and forcing her to relive her previous incarnations for a spellbound audience. Soon, Lombardi and Andrea are accepting invitations to the homes of the elite and powerful, where Andrea continues to speak of her life as a young girl in 1600s England. But Andrea has fallen in love with stoic young scientist Timothy Chappel, who is determined to break Lombardi's hold over the girl and release her forever. However, a series of brutal murders has been plaguing the coastal town and Lombardi is the prime suspect. What no one yet realizes is that Lombardi has somehow managed to take Andrea back to her very first incarnation - that of a killer sea monster. The monster can take physical form and obeys Lombardi's every command, and his next command is to kill Timothy! Will Andrea's love be able to save him from her previous self?

    This is a very dumb, very cheap and very dull movie. I had to pity Chester Morris as Lombardi, who very obviously wasn't happy about doing these cheesy roles in low budget B movies towards the end of his career. Tom Conway as Timothy Chappel is awful, delivering a stiff, lifeless performance, perhaps two facial expressions and mumbling every line he was given. One has to wonder what Andrea sees him in, although the performance of Marla English isn't much better. She's lovely to look at, but literally sleepwalks through the entire film. The She Creature Itself is a great rubber costume, looking like a cross between a giant catfish, a lobster and a Horror Of Party Beach reject. However, one great rubber monster costume just isn't enough to save this film. The plot doesn't make much sense and the whole thing just kind of stumbles along until it finally dies.

    Mike and the bots once again do a great job of making this watchable. Without their comedy commentary, this film is just a stagnant snoozefest.
  • Psychic / occult practitioner / carnival performer, Dr. Carlo Lombardi (Chester Morris) has been dabbling in hypnosis and age regression with grim, tragic results. It appears that something has been coming out of the sea and killing the locals. Lombardi's cohort, Andrea (Marla English) is able to go into deep trances, allegedly going back to some primordial state. Is she somehow responsible for a string of terrible deaths? THE SHE-CREATURE is a fairly dull affair, w/ the monster making only a few, scant appearances in her own movie! Said monster's costume is ludicrous, but gets points for originality. Lombardi's ultra-serious, cantankerous manner is amusing. He looks like he could either fly apart, or lift off and sail heavenward at any moment! For her part, the beautiful Ms. English plays her role as a suffering "slave" of her "master", w/ as much aplomb as possible, considering the subject matter. Co-stars the unmistakable Tom Conway as the greed-driven promoter, Timothy Chappel. Overall, worth a watch on a rainy Saturday afternoon. BONUS POINTS FOR: Spotting the rubber band around the poor dog's mouth to make him look mean! Grrr! I'd be mad too!...
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