THE SHE-CREATURE (1956) Reviews of hypno-regression horror – free to watch online

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‘It can and did happen! Based on authentic facts you’ve been reading about!’
The She-Creature is a 1956 American horror film about a hypnotist who reverts his female assistant back into a prehistoric sea monster.

Directed by Edward L. Cahn (The Four Skulls of Jonathan DrakeCurse of the Faceless Man; It! The Terror from Beyond Space; Invasion of the Saucer Men; Zombies of Mora Tau; Voodoo Woman; Creature with the Atom Brain) from a screenplay written by Lou Rusoff (Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow; Cat Girl; It Conquered the World; Day the World Ended; The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues) based on an original idea by Jerry Zigmond. Produced by Alex Gordon for American International Pictures (AIP).

The scenario exploited the interest in hypnosis and regression that had been spawned by the case of Bridey Murphy – already made into the Paramount Pictures production The Search for Bridey Murphy (1956). The case also influenced Roger Corman’s The Undead (1957).

In 1967, American International commissioned Larry Buchanan to remake the film in colour as Creature of Destruction for sale to television. It was loosely remade again in 2001 as a TV movie.

she-creature paul blaisdell

Plot:
Lombardi, an oily carnival hypnotist (Chester Morris), conducts experiments in hypnotic regression to take his unwitting female subject (Marla English) to a past life as a prehistoric humanoid form of sea life. He uses the physical manifestation of the prehistoric creature to commit murders…

Reviews [click on links to read more]:
“Unfortunately, Cahn’s listless direction makes it even harder to appreciate Lombardi’s complexity than it is to appreciate what ought to be the hilarity attendant on the blonde-haired, torpedo-breasted lobster woman and her lumbering attacks on characters who are obliged by her sloth to stop fleeing periodically in order to give her a chance to catch up.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

“It’s not perfect, but it certainly isn’t as bad as Mystery Science Theatre 3000 made out when they did an episode on it. The “of their time” bits are brief enough to not get you riled up, and the plot points that don’t add up are gone quicker than you can really get annoyed by them. It is daft, it is silly, but it is fun. And it really does have one of the grittiest bad guys of cinema in it.” Bunkazilla

“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…” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“One of the most fascinating parts about the film is Marla English’s performance. She has a wonderfully haunted look and her doomed, fatalistic relationship with Chester Morris forms the centre of the film […] In a dapper pencil moustache and perpetually cross expression, Chester Morris, an early sound era matinee idol, comes across as swarthily thuggish. Paul Blaisdell’s monster is unique and memorable.” Moria

The She-Creature remains an imaginative idea looking for a better production. They could only afford one negligee-like performance gown for the gorgeous Ms English! […] It’s likely that everyone from the actors to the director worked at a bargain rate.” Trailers from Hell

“Some interesting concepts were touched on, but quickly pushed to the background in the name of plot development, which in this case is one cliche after another.” TV Guide

“The best scenes of the movie are between Lombardi and Andrea and Lombardi and Erikson as the two men compete for Andre’s mind and soul. There are a few cocktail party sequences featuring El Brendel and Flo Bert as a butler and maid team that is meant as intentional comic relief.” The Uranium Cafe

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