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The She-Creature (1956)

 -  Fantasy | Horror | Romance  -  August 1956 (USA)
3.0
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Ratings: 3.0/10 from 1,013 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 18 critic

A mysterious hypnotist reverts his beautiful assistant back into the form of a prehistoric sea monster that she was in a past life.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The She-Creature (1956)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dr. Carlo Lombardi
Tom Conway ...
Timothy Chappel
Cathy Downs ...
Dorothy Chappel
Lance Fuller ...
Dr. Ted Erickson
Ron Randell ...
Police Lt. Ed James
Frieda Inescort ...
Mrs. Chappel
Marla English ...
Andrea Talbott / Elizabeth Wetherby
Frank Jenks ...
Plainclothes Sgt. with Lt. James
El Brendel ...
Olaf
Paul Dubov ...
Johnny
William Hudson ...
Bob (as Bill Hudson)
Flo Bert ...
Marta
Jeanne Evans ...
Mrs. Brown
Kenneth MacDonald ...
Police Doctor with Prof. Anderson
Jack Mulhall ...
Lombardi's Lawyer
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Storyline

Using hypnosis, Dr. Carlo Lombardi claims that he can have his patients regress and recover memories from their past lives, thereby proving that reincarnation exists. He also claims that the spirit of these past lives can be brought forth to take physical form.. A series of violent murders by a creature that seems to disappear into the sea suggests that Lombardi's claim may be correct. The medical and scientific community believe him to be a complete fraud but one enterprising businessman sees the opportunity to make a small fortune with Lombardi's ability. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It can and did happen! Based on the authentic FACTS you've been reading about! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Geschöpf des Schreckens  »

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dog that walks along the beach with Marla English is, in real life named Spike, and is the same dog who played the title character in Old Yeller (1957). See more »

Goofs

In the latter part of the picture, 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? See more »

Quotes

Andrea Talbott: [to Lombardi] I hate this place. I hate the sound of the ocean. I hate you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Horrible Honeys (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good to watch, if something of a shocker
16 July 2000 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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!


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