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The Woman Eater (1958)
"Womaneater" (original title)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi  -  July 1959 (USA)
4.4
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Ratings: 4.4/10 from 226 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 10 critic

A mad scientist captures women and feeds them to a flesh-eating tree, which in turn gives him a serum that helps bring the dead back to life.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Coulouris ...
Dr. James Moran
Vera Day ...
Sally Norton
Peter Wayn ...
Jack Venner
Joyce Gregg ...
Mrs. Margaret Santor
Joy Webster ...
Judy, girl at club
Jimmy Vaughn ...
Tanga, the native
Robert MacKenzie ...
Lewis Carling
Norman Claridge ...
Doctor Patterson
Marpessa Dawn ...
Native Girl
Sara Leighton ...
Susan Curtis, the redheaded victim
Edward Higgins ...
Sergeant Bolton (as Edward Higgings)
Harry Ross ...
Bristow - Carnival Owner
Alexander Field ...
Fair Attendant - Sharpshooting Booth Attendant
David Lawton ...
Man in Club with Judy
John A. Tinn ...
Lascar (as John Tinn)
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Storyline

A mad scientist captures women and feeds them to a flesh-eating tree, which in turn gives him a serum that helps bring the dead back to life.

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

See the nerve-shattering Dance of Death! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Woman Eater  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Promotional material released by Columbia in the United States gave the title of this film as "The Woman Eater." The title on the film itself is simply "Womaneater." See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Margaret Santor: There was a time when you trusted me.
Dr. James Moran: My dear Margaret, I have never trusted you or any other woman with anything I didn't want anyone else to know.
Mrs. Margaret Santor: There's evil all round me. It's here tonight! I can feel it!!
See more »

Connections

Featured in 42nd Street Forever, Volume 2: The Deuce (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lurid Genre Entertainment
23 May 2000 | by (Out there in the dark) – See all my reviews

There is something strangely appealing about this low-budget, nearly forgotten British horror film from 1957. It made the US rounds on the B side of horror double features in the late 50s and then pretty much dropped out of sight. Most movie review tomes dismiss it as a waste of time, but the horror genre (apart from a few "monstres sacres") is generally dismissed as a whole by these surveys. If approached within the confines of the late 1950s monster/horror movie genre, "Womaneater" holds it own quite well.

In terms of acting, there is really nothing to criticize. George Coulouris seems, for better or worse, born to play a faustian madman. He can achieve a wide-eyed look that is frankly rather disturbing. Joyce Gregg, as the housekeeper and frustrated former lover, is also successful at suggesting turmoil under the surface.

The film has the perfect horror-film look of its period: stock jungle footage plus shadowy studio interiors. Edwin Astley's soundtrack is heard to advantage on the DVD, and it's appropriately creepy. There is an overall luridness about this film that is just plain compelling. We first experience it in the so-called "dance of death", during which the native girl victim (Marpessa Dawn) does no dancing whatsoever, but rather swoons to an intoxicating drum beat. Later, a potential victim has her blouse ripped just enough so that we may glimpse her bra-strap. And when the mad doctor needs more plant food, he visits what looks like a seamy district of Soho (a highly effective location sequence, by the way). Such little concessions to a prurient audience add to the charm of the film. In addition, there is a walking dead scene that hearkens back to the 1930s Universal horrors.

On to the monster. Here is where the film makes a tiny claim to immortality. This is no vampiric stalker, resurrected dinosaur, or bloodthirsty alien. It is, quite simply, a tree. But what a sinister, malevolent-looking tree it is! This fairly nightmarish invention is covered with shaggy tendrils and has two kinds of apparently powerful tentacles with which to grasp its prey. Of course, the prey must be placed into, or forced to enter the clutches of the tree, but that contributes to the originality of the conception.

This little gem has been out of circulation for many years. Previous video incarnations have been extremely shoddy, using broken elements with nearly inaudible sound. The DVD issue presents "Womaneater" in what must be the best condition possible, which is pretty good. See it, if you dare.


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