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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
Chester Morris regresses Marla English's soul to an ancient she-monster that materializes
"The She-Creature" is getting a bum rap in the IMDb ratings at 2.9. It's below par, as many of the 50s cheaper sci-fi movies are, but it's a fun movie that has its share of positives that make it entertaining.
First, we have a novel story or way of introducing a 50s type monster. Hypnotist Chester Morris has Marla English fully under his control. He manages to take her back ("regression") through earlier lives (reincarnation) and then materializes one of them (the she-monster) to do his bidding, which involves killing people. Next, we have the she-monster, which comes out of a haze, leaves big footprints while invisible and then materializes. And Marla manages at times to control the beast, making for an interesting plot turn. Third, the acting, apart from the lead scientist played by Lance Fuller, is very good. He seems to be channeling John Agar at his worst. He seems bemused throughout. Chester Morris is excellent. He was always a professional, and one who simply didn't deliver bad performances. He has a voice. Tom Conway has an interesting part as a promoter who promotes Morris into an item in demand, raking in lots of dough. Conway is another thorough professional with an excellent voice and way of holding one's interest. Cathy Downs makes an attractive socialite, a part she fills perfectly. When all else fails, there is Marla to ogle. Ron Randall is not up to his usual standard in this one. He seems too on edge most of the time.
The story itself is a bit of a mess, rather jumbled. This is the main thing that brings the film down. Counteracting that is the fact that we get some fine noir cinematography, sometimes with good contrast and at other times with a fuzziness that suits the misty seashore and the strange status of the creature.
I had never seen it before, and I found it a pleasant surprise and addition to my list of 50s sci-fi movies.
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