She Beast aka Revenge of the Blood Beast – Italy, 1966

She Beast  – Italian title: Il lago di Satana (“The Lake of Satan”); aka The She Beast; The She-Beast and Revenge of the Blood Beast – is a 1966 Italian horror film directed [as Mike Reeves] and co-scripted by [Michael Byron] by Michael Reeves (The SorcerersWitchfinder General).

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American writer Charles B. Griffith (Dr. Heckyl & Mr. Hype; A Bucket of BloodThe Little Shop of Horrors), a frequent collaborator with Roger Corman, was the 2nd unit director and provided some comedy scenes that wrevenge-of-the-blood-beast-lobby-cardere mostly deleted from the final edit.

The film stars Barbara Steele, John Karlsen, Reeves’ school chum Ian Ogilvy (also in The Sorcerers and Witchfinder General), Jay Riley, Richard Watson, Ed Randolph, Peter Grippe, and Lucrezia Love (The Sexorcist). American actor and director Mel Welles (Maneater of Hydra) has a cameo role as Vladisvar Groper, a voyeuristic landlord.

In Britain, this twenty-one-day quickie-shot horror homage was distributed by Miracle Films, specialists at circulating European-lensed horror and sexploitation titles, but for US cinema release it went the rounds with Venice-set Italian mystery-thriller The Embalmer as She Beast.

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Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

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Although largely unseen for many years, renewed interest in Reeves’ short directorial career in the 1990s ensured that battered 16mm prints began to be circulated as VHS copies. These apparently public domain versions still pop up on the internet but their quality makes them unwatchable.

A restored widescreen version of the film was finally released on DVD in 2009 by Dark Sky Films with an audio commentary by producer Paul Maslansky (Race with the Devil) and stars Ogilvy and Steele.

On January 17, 2017, Italian company Raro Video release the film on Blu-ray.

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Amazon.com

Featurette by Nocturno (a documentary on the making of the Film)
A fully illustrated booklet | New HD transfer | New and improved English subtitle translation

A couple on their honeymoon in Transylvania crash their car into a lake. Her body is then possessed by the spirit of an 18th-century witch who was killed by local villagers and is bent on avenging herself on them. The witch takes over the wife’s body and it’s up to her husband and a descendant of Van Helsing to save her…

Cast and characters:

  • Barbara Steele as Veronica
  • John Karlsen as Count Von Helsing
  • Ian Ogilvy as Philip
  • Mel Welles as Ladislav Groper
  • Joe “Flash” Riley as the She-Beast Witch (Vardella)
  • Ennio Antonelli as the truck driver
  • Lucretia Love as Groper’s niece
  • Michael Reeves as Michael Byron (writer)

Buy Dark Sky Films DVD: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com

El lago de Satan Spanish Rompeoplas VHS

She Beast US Gorgon Video MPI VHS

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She Beast _ The Embalmer (Half Sheet)

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Offline reading:

Michael Reeves (British Film Directors) by Benjamin Halligan, Manchester University Press, 2003

Image credits: Cinema ArcanaThe Scene of Screen 13

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