2 April 2019 | kevinolzak
Seen on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater in 1964
Although 1956's "She Devil" came from the same team that made its superior cofeature "Kronos," director Kurt Neumann must share the blame for a script that remains faithful to its source, Stanley G. Weinbaum's "The Adaptive Ultimate," but fails to capitalize on its possibilities as science fiction. For a change we have not one but two scientists conducting research on the 'most adaptive' insect of all, the fruit fly (foreshadowing Neumann's final film "The Fly"), trying to perfect a miraculous cure-all serum, which works on animals but has yet to be done on a human being. A terminally ill patient without any hope to live seems the best choice for a guinea pig, and that turns out to be Kyra Zelas (Mari Blanchard), receiving one injection of the wonder drug before making an incredibly rapid recovery. Not only does she radiate perfect health but she also proves immune to all disease, impervious to injury, and able to change hair color from brunette to blonde and back again during moments of crisis. Kyra also develops an amoral streak that sees her bash in a man's skull for his money, strangling another man's wife so she can wed his millions, then casually drive his car off the road to become a wealthy widow. More soap opera than horror, as the younger doctor (Jack Kelly) inevitably falls for his test subject while the elder (Albert Dekker) occasionally wonders if their achievement is against the laws of nature. One watches in the vain hope that something more than minor film noir will result, and sultry Mari Blanchard does deliver, in a role that would have been a perfect fit for Allison Hayes.