Saturday, April 17, 2021

THE ASTOUNDING SHE-MONSTER- "Evil... Beautiful... Deadly" (1957)

This Saturday Night Special is a Sci-Fi classic called "The Astounding She-Monster," and I can't believe we didn't already do it years ago, but I guess not. How ridiculous, the poster is even part of our header collage!

"The Astounding She-Monster" came out in 1957, and is not nearly as bad as people say it is, and a lot more watchable than at least 50% of the crap made today! It had an estimated budget of $18,000, or the equivalent cost of lunch for the crew of a film today.

The cast consists of six actors, period, and stars Dungeon hero Robert Clarke!

Pin-up model Shirley Kilpatrick had the role of the She-Monster. Shirley died in 1971 at the age of 35, but I cannot find out why or how, but what you can find are lots of cheesy photos of her with a quick search of her name!

Here's what's happening. This trio kidnapped a rich heiress with plans on making a lot of ransom money and are heading for higher ground.
 From left to right we have perennial heavy Kenne Duncan as Nat Burdell, who had 273 credits including Dr. Acula in Ed Wood's "Night Of The Ghouls." Nat was also a good drinkin' buddy of Ed's and made him executor of his estate!
 Next to him is Marilyn Harvey as the gagged kidnap victim Margaret Chaffee. The next woman is Jeanne Tatum as the drunkard girlfriend of Nat, Esther Malone, and driving is Ewing Miles Brown as the other thug, Brad Conley. Ewing's nickname was Lucky, and he lived to be 97, so I guess he was compared to most of the rest of the cast.

Driving along, Brad suddenly sees what he thinks is an apparition, and crashes the car.

The cops are after them, and they need to lay low, so they get out and start walking.

Robert Clarke as geologist Dick Cutler and his dog Egan saw a bright light come down from the sky, and headed back to their cabin in the woods..............

..............When Nat and the gang show up, and start making trouble!

Esther is very thirsty and kills a fifth of whiskey almost all by herself.

Tough guy Nat likes to slap dames around, and it's starting to piss Dick Cutler off!

Brad sees the strange woman at the window, and decides to pursue her, and after emptying his pistol into her without any results, she approaches him, and her mere touch is enough to kill him.

When Brad doesn't come back, Nat goes out looking for him, but finds the space woman instead, and fires way more bullets than his pistol could ever possible hold.

Meanwhile Esther is left alone to keep her eye on Dick and Margaret. She has a bit of a problem staying focused!

Nat finds Brad's dead body and drags it back to the cabin. Dick explains that it looks like her hand print is charged with radium, and tells Nat that he needs to go see a doctor immediately since he came in contact with Brad when he brought the body back.

"The She-Monster" breaks in through the window of the cabin, and all Hell breaks loose!

They decide to douse her with gasoline and light her up like Dr. Danger, but that doesn't work either!

She chases Nat to the edge of a cliff, and he is able to sidestep her, and she plunges to her death, so he thinks, but she just shakes it off, and gets back up!

Probably the weakest part of the film is the poor use of day for night towards the end! I mean seriously, does this look like night to you?
Everybody except for Dick and Margaret get knocked off, including "The She-Monster," and the only thing left is her medallion!

Inside it, they find a letter that says that "The She-Monster" wasn't a monster at all, but more of an emissary sent to get Earth to join up with the rest of the civilized Universe. It was all just a big case of misunderstanding and miscommunication!
Because of a lot of similarities, "The Astounding She-Monster," and "Beast From Haunted Cave" would make a riveting double feature for any fan of 50's Sci-Fi, and I'm sure you would agree!


Randall Landers said...

This is a decent flick, and always reminds me of Terror from the Year 5000. Love the ending, in fact. Thanks for the review!

Grant said...

It is similar to Terror From The Year 5000.

A lot of stories seem to sort of blur the line between "invaders" and "misunderstood" creatures. There's those two, and there are also Man From Planet X and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, where they ARE invaders but they're still attacked first.

EEGAH!! said...

Okay, you guys are right, it would be the perfect triple feature with "Terror From The Year 5000," and "Beast From Haunted Cave!"

Randall Landers said...

:) I love Beast from the Haunted Cave as well.

The horrible truth is that as much loved as "Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers" is, it's the chilling tale of our military that opens fire on the dying aliens who may be trying to negotiating for colonization rights on our planet. We started a war with them, seemingly unprovoked, and barely beat them.

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??