The She-Creature (1956)

THE SHE-CREATURE (1956)
Article #555 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-21-2002
Posting date: 2-14-2003

A hypnotist regresses a woman to prehistoric times, causing an early monster version of her to rise out of the sea and commit murders.

There is a clever concept behind this attempt to combine the Bridey Murphy concept with a monster movie; unfortunately, a poor script and some ineffectual acting hamstring the attempt. The script is too cluttered, spending too much time on unnecessary subplots or issues; the romantic triangle has nothing to do with the main story, and the whole storyline involving the entrepreneur who is trying to make money off of the mentalist could be eliminated. The character of the skeptic trying to debunk the claims of Dr. Lombardi are also poorly handled, as he makes no attempt to figure out how Lombardi is pulling off is tricks and merely stands there being skeptical; it was almost as if the writer didn’t know what to do with the concept. Marla English’s character is also poorly developed; I would have traded much of the wasted screen time for some insight into how she hooked up with Lombardi in the first place. I also found both Chester Morris and Lance Fuller less than satisfying in their respective roles; they both need a much wider range of emotions than they display, in particular, a scene where Fuller is threatened by a mad dog requires a lot more from the actor than is ever given. On the positive side, Edward L. Cahn tries his best, with a few scenes that have a nice visual sense to them. One particularly nice sequence near the end involves Erickson convincing policemen to shoot at a fire in which they don’t see anything. And the monster outfit is perhaps Paul Blaisdell’s crowning achievement. Incidentally, the scandinavian butler is El Brendel, who was pulling off that same shtick as far back as JUST IMAGINE.

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