The She Creature
|The She Creature|
|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|
Golden State Productions
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|Running time||77 min.|
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). It was produced by Alex Gordon and directed by Edward L. Cahn. The film was released by American International Pictures as a double feature with It Conquered the World.
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.
- Chester Morris as Dr. Carlo Lombardi
- Tom Conway as Timothy Chappel
- Cathy Downs as Dorothy Chappel
- Lance Fuller as Dr. Ted Erickson
- Ron Randell as Police Lt. Ed James
- Frieda Inescort as Mrs. Chappel
- Marla English as Andrea Talbott
- Frank Jenks as Plainclothes Sgt.
- El Brendel as Olaf
- Paul Dubov as Johnny
- William Hudson as Bob (as Bill Hudson)
- Flo Bert as Marta
- Jeanne Evans as Mrs. Brown
- Kenneth MacDonald as Police Doctor
- Jack Mulhall as Lombardi's Lawyer
- Spike as King
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.
AIP did not have enough money to entirely finance the film, so the company asked Alex Gordon if he could contribute the remainder. Israel Berman, a colleague of Gordon's brother Richard, knew a financier called Jack Doppelt, who agreed to provide $40,000 of the film's $104,000 budget.
Edward Cahn persuaded his old friend Edward Arnold to play the hypnotist for $3,000 for one week's work, and also cast Peter Lorre. 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.
Gordon, who deferred his $2,500 producer's fee until the film returned its cost, said the movie was profitable a year and half after release.
In 1967, American International commissioned Larry Buchanan to remake the film in color as Creature of Destruction for television. The original film was later featured in an episode of Cinema Insomnia, as well as in the movie-mocking television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- Tom Weaver, Science Fiction Confidential: Interviews with 23 Monster Stars and Filmmakers McFarland, 1 Jan 2002 p 123-126 access 18 April 2014
- Drama: Actor Arnold Signs for 'She Creature' Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 25 Apr 1956: 34.
- Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p54-56
- "Cinema Insomnia, with your Horror Host, Mister Lobo! - SHOW INFORMATION". Retrieved 21 November 2010.