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|Written by||Sebastian Gutierrez|
|Directed by||Sebastian Gutierrez|
|Theme music composer||David Reynolds|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Cinematography||Thomas L. Callaway|
|Running time||91 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Creature Features Productions, LLC.|
|Distributor||Columbia TriStar Television|
She Creature (originally billed as Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature) is a 2001 made-for-television film starring Rufus Sewell, Carla Gugino, and Rya Kihlstedt and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez . It is the first in a series of films made for Cinemax paying tribute to the films of American International Pictures. The films in this tribute series reused the titles of old American International Pictures films, but are not remakes of the earlier films.
In 1905, in Ireland, two carnies, Angus Shaw (Rufus Sewell) and his wife Lillian "Lily" (Carla Gugino), encounter a Mr. Woolrich (Aubrey Morris) during one of their shows. Having heard that a mermaid will be on show, he is relieved to find that it is just Lily impersonating one. They offer him a ride home, where he shows them documented sightings of mer-people throughout history including a map of their home, the Forbidden Islands, and that they can take human form during the full moon. He then reveals to them an actual mermaid (Rya Kihlstedt), whom he captured back in his admiral days, and explains how she killed his wife. Naturally Angus and Lily are astonished. Sensing Angus's desire to use her as a freak show attraction, Woolrich warns him against it.
Unbeknownst to Lily, Angus and his colleagues Bailey (Reno Wilson) and Gifford (Mark Aiken) break into Woolrich's home during the night but are caught. During the scuffle, Woolrich suddenly dies of a heart attack, allowing Angus and the crew to abduct the mermaid and smuggle her aboard their ship.
Lily is less than thrilled about this idea, despite her husband's attempts to persuade her it's for the best. However, during the voyage to America, the mermaid seems to take a liking to her.
One night, Lily is cornered by a drunken Miles (Gil Bellows), one of the crew members, who reveals that they have bad history together. When she returns to her cabin, he goes missing and the mermaid is found somehow tangled in the crew's nets. As she is returned to her tank, she spits out Miles' ring, prompting Lily to realize that she ate him as a favor to her. She attempts to explain this to Angus but he dismisses it, but he admits that they did abduct her rather than buy her from Woolrich and that they didn't mean to kill him.
Lily later seemingly becomes possessed by the mermaid, who tries to kill Angus while they are making love; luckily, Lily is able to come to her senses. Worried that the mermaid will do further harm, Lily attempts to free her, but she is caught by Bailey, who then is devoured by the mermaid. Lily tries to explain herself but Angus accuses her of being unstable and locks her in their room. After he leaves, Lily realises she is pregnant, much to her horror, as she is supposed to be barren. She then reads the late Mrs. Woolrich's diary, which confirms her worry that the mermaid grants fertility by possessing women during sex. She manages to escape and encounters the terrified mermaid, now in her human form due to the full moon. Lily comforts her, but they are caught by the crew. Lily tries to tell them to leave her alone but she passes out. When she comes to, she tries to explain to a concerned Angus that she is pregnant, but he dismisses this as a symptom of her sickness.
Meanwhile, the crew angrily harass the mermaid before Angus intervenes. He and Gifford discuss the situation with the captain (Jim Piddock), who fearfully confesses that the mermaid made him do things against his will. Then he commits suicide. A storm begins to close in on them, and they gradually approach the mermaid's home, The Forbidden Islands, prompting the crew to realize that their captive had taken control of the ship and led them off course. While sharing a moment with Lily, the mermaid then reveals her true monstrous form as the Queen of the Lair and her intention to feed the crew to her people. The crew try to fight her off but are killed one by one, save for Lily, who is spared.
Lily is rescued by the crew of a passing ship a fortnight later. They question her about what happened but she refuses to say anything, honoring the Queen with silence. The film ends by showing Lily and her daughter, whose eyes resemble those of the mermaid.
- Rufus Sewell as Angus Shaw
- Carla Gugino as Lillian "Lily" Shaw
- Jim Piddock as Captain Dunn
- Reno Wilson as Bailey
- Mark Aiken as Gifford
- Fintan McKeown as Skelly
- Aubrey Morris as Mr. Woolrich
- Gil Bellows as Miles
- Rya Kihlstedt as Mermaid
- Hannah Sim as Queen of the Lair
- Jon Sklaroff as Russian Eddie
- David Nott as Cook
- Dan Hildebrand as Christian
- Preston Maybank as Navy Captain
- Brian Sieve as Officer Dixon
- Matthew Roseman as Officer Jenkins
- Gabriel Gutierrez as Young O'Donnell
- Isabella Gutierrez as Miranda
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The film was released on DVD by Columbia Tristar both on January 1, and April 2, 2002. It was later released by Lions Gate on April 18, 2006, as a part of a double-feature with another film in the series The Day the World Ended. On June 1, 2010, it was released by Sony Pictures as a two-disk double-feature with Candy Stripers. Mill Creek would release the film on February 25, 2014 and on June 7, 2016; as a part of two multi-feature movie packs.
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Maitland McDonagh from TV Guide awarded the film 3/5 stars, calling it "surprisingly imaginative", commending the film's performances, creature design, and claustrophobic setting. Arrow in the Head gave the film a score of 7/10, "The many astounding performances also contributed to make the fantastic premise even more engrossing... Add to that some solid special effects courtesy of Stan Winston Studios, gorgeous cinematography, a couple of intense scares, stylish directing and you get a very strong horror offering." David Nusair from ReelFilm Reviews awarded the film a negative 1.5 out of 4 stars, calling it "cheesy". Nusair criticized the film's first hour as being "limp", writing, "all we really want out of this movie is a bad-*** mermaid killin' lots of folks. But we don't get that until the final 15 minutes."
Awards and nominations
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- Saturn Award (Best Single Television Presentation).
- Hollywood Makeup Artists and Hair Stylist Guild Award (Best Special Makeup Effects - Television Mini-Series/Movies of the Week).
- She Creature - Dvd Archived 2006-05-19 at the Wayback Machine
- "She Creature (2001) - Sebastian Gutierrez". Allmovie.com. AllMovie. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- McDonagh, Maitland. "She Creature - Movie Reviews and Movie Ratings". TV Guide.com. Maitland McDonagh. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "She Creature - Horror Movie Reviews". Joblo.com. The Arrow. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "She Creature (2002) - A Review by David Nusair". ReelFilm.com. David Nusair. Retrieved 21 June 2018.