The She Creature

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For the 2001 film, see She Creature.
The She Creature
The She Creature FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Edward L. Cahn
Produced by Alex Gordon
Israel M Berman
Samuel Z. Arkoff
Written by Lou Rusoff
Based on an original idea by Jerry Zigmond
Starring Chester Morris
Marla English
Tom Conway
Cathy Downs
Golden State Productions
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date(s)
  • August 1956 (1956-08)
Running time 77 min
Language English
Budget $104,000[1]

The She Creature (also known as The She-Creature) is a 1956 American black-and-white horror film produced by American International Pictures from a script by Lou Rusoff (brother-in-law of AIP executive Samuel Z. Arkoff), produced by Alex Gordon and directed by Edward L. Cahn.


The plot concerns an oily carnival hypnotist (Chester Morris), whose experiments in hypnotic regression 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. The hypnotist's motives are never explicitly described, and the murders happen, apparently, either for revenge or notoriety.



The story was inspired by the success of the best-selling book The Search for Bridey Murphy, which concerned hypnotism. Exhibitor Jerry Zigmond suggested this subject might make a good film and AIP commissioned Lou Rusoff to write a script.[1]

AIP did not have enough money to finance the film entirely themselves so asked Alex Gordon if he could come up with the remainder. A colleague of Gordon's brother Richard, Israel Berman, knew a financier called Jack Doppelt who agreed to provide $40,000 of the film's $104,000 budget.[1]

Edward Cahn persuaded his old friend Edward Arnold to play the hypnotist[2] for $3,000 for one week's work, and also cast Peter Lorre to act opposite. Arnold died two days before production, prompting Lorre to read the script, after which he pulled out of the film. The producer had to find a substitute cast quickly.[3]


Gordon, who deferred his $2,500 producer's fee until the film returned its cost, said the movie was in profit in a year and half after release.[1]


In 1967, American International commissioned Larry Buchanan to remake the film in colour as Creature of Destruction for television. The original film was later featured in an episode of Cinema Insomnia,[4] as well as in the movie-mocking television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.


  1. ^ a b c d Tom Weaver, Science Fiction Confidential: Interviews with 23 Monster Stars and Filmmakers McFarland, 1 Jan 2002 p 123-126 access 18 April 2014
  2. ^ Drama: Actor Arnold Signs for 'She Creature' Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 25 Apr 1956: 34.
  3. ^ Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p54-56
  4. ^ "Cinema Insomnia, with your Horror Host, Mister Lobo! - SHOW INFORMATION". Retrieved 21 November 2010. 

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