Thursday, September 23, 2010

Canon MST3K Review: The She Creature

Earlier this afternoon, I decided to watch Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episode 808, which is a little movie called The She Creature. Yes, The She Creature is as bad as it sounds. Anyway, this movie was made in 1956 and directed by Edward L. Cahn, who directed a whole bunch of other movies that are nowadays found on DVD for 1 dollar at Wal-Mart, and stars a lot of B-movie veterans such as the leading man of This Island Earth, Lance Fuller. The plot of this movie is as follows; a man named Dr. Carlo Lombardi is summoning up The She-Creature for reasons unknown, and the She-Creature is going around killing people. Meanwhile, Lombardi has a woman named Andrea under his hypnotic trance, and Lombardi is desperate to prove that his whole schtick of reverting people to past lives and summoning sea creatures is all legit. To do so, he tries to convince a Mr. Ted Erickson (Fuller), a professor of Psychic Research. Erickson is skeptical of Lombardi, but becomes smitten with Andrea and spends the rest of the movie trying to free Andrea from Lombardi's psychic hold. A few notes about this movie:

- Man, there's some bad acting in this film. Fuller in particular is just horrible, as his acting ranges from a state of disinterest to acting like he's been shot with a tranquilizer dart. He never bothers to make eye contact with any of the other actors, often has a blank stare on his face, and mumbles his lines to the point where you can't hear what he's saying and he just trails off. The show even featured a skit with Mike Nelson trying to perfect Lance Fuller's particular brand of acting, or non-acting, as it were. As it turns out, it was a little harder than expected, such is the depth of Fuller's wooden performance.

- Meanwhile, Dr. Lombardi, played by Chester Morris, was a deadly serious man who acts as if humor and wit is a foreign concept. He has a creepy relationship with Andrea, sends the She-Creature to kill innocent people for little to no reason and has an ego the size of Montana. Plus, he has a dark thin mustache and wears a cloak, so you know he's evil. He's also much more interesting than Erickson, so you kind of find yourself rooting for him to kill off Erickson.

- It was mentioned during the film that the woman playing Andrea (Marla English) should have been given a Purple Heart for her role in the film. That may be a little far, but considering she spent most of the movie with Lombardi right up in her face the whole time, and Lombardi is not a handsome man by any means, she should have at least been given a bonus.

- The best actor in this cast is, by far, the dog that played King. He barks and growls and cowers on command, and actually shows more than one emotion, unlike most of his costars. Actually, he was the only character I was interested in seeing on the screen.

- Erickson, for reasons unknown to me, hangs around an older rich gentleman named Chappel and his daughter Dorothy, who is smitten with the professor. This in spite of the fact that he expresses on multiple occasions a disdain for the wealthy and affluent. Yet he still keeps coming back to their parties, eating their food and being served by their butlers. What's more, Erickson has a rich, pretty blonde women whose way into him and seems to be pleasant enough, yet he chooses to go after Andrea, who has more baggage than the Atlanta airport and has all the personality of a house plant. Come to think of it, Erickson has that same personality, so maybe they're meant for each other.

- As for the She-Creature, well she's some sort of crustacean type who is about as big as The Great Khali and can not be slowed down with bullets. She also moves about as slow as the Great Khali, and her finishing move is the same as Khali's an overhead chop to the head, which is rather effective with her claw hands. Now, how can you tell she's a She-Creature, you ask? Well, the designers of the costume decided to make the She-Creature rather well-endowed, so to speak, making for one strange looking sea monster.

Overall, I think Mike Nelson summed it up best when he said that he'd like to put this movie in a stump grinder. There's so much wrong with this movie. The acting is terrible, the lighting is nearly as bad, and the plot is rather simple and full of holes to boot. Even the riffs on the movie seemed to be lacking something. I'd give the movie a 2.0 out of 10, and the episode a 4.8 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future reviews, or comments about this review, then share them either by leaving a comment or by sending me an e-mail at

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