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 manster costume was created by master make-up artist Paul Blaisdell and is considered one of his best.
The film was released by American International Pictures as a double feature with It Conquered the World.
An oily carnival hypnotist Dr. Carol Lombardi (Chester Morris) conducts expermiments in hypnotic regressio that take his unwitting female subject Andrea Talbott (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 muders.
- Chester Morris as Dr. Carol 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 Duboy as Johnny
- William Hudson as Bob (as Bill Hudson)
- Flo Bert as Marta
- Jeanne Evans as Mrs. Brown
- Kenneth MarcDonald 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 concrerned 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 entilely finance the film, so the company asked Alex Gordon if the 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 buget.
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 untill 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 televison show Mystery Science Theater 3000.
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