Tuesday, August 17, 2010

She Creature (2001) - 3/5

I remember seeing a preview for "She Creature" way back when on a film called "Earth Vs. The Spider" in 2001 done by the same company Creature Features. When the chance to watch this missed B-movie gem came along, I snatched it up like a fish on a hook and decided to watch this buried treasure. Surprisingly enough for a super low budget monster flick, "She Creature" actually stands fairly well on its own and throws down a damn good time. Its cheesy, but a lot better than it probably should have been.

Angus (Sewell) makes a living out of conning people in a side show in the early 1900s. His team of actors and special effects people (including his romantic leading lady Lily (Gugino)) come up with clever schemes and stories to frighten people out of their money. When a wily old man calls their 'mermaid' attraction bullshit and takes them to see a real one that he has locked in a tank at his house, Angus plans to kidnap the beautiful woman/fish and use her to make a pretty profit. On their ship to America though, the circus group and crew find themselves at the mercy of a creature far more deadly than she appears to be.

Although similar in title to the 1957 film "The She Creature", this film was dubbed a remake even though the plot is completely different. Its really its own thing that was tagged with a title some people might recognize, so don't expect a hypnotist making a monster out of a lady. Instead we get your standard monster flick done with a lot of heart and some talent in its sleeves.

For its low budget and rather odd premise, its surprising how well "She Creature" actually floats. With a shockingly solid cast (Sewell is a cult favorite of mine due to "Dark City") and a rather well paced story, this movie buzzes right along and makes a lot of use out of its low budget. Although many moments are far too cheesy (the red screens when people die at the hands of the mermaid for example) and many of its CGI and sets are obviously low budget, this film makes up a lot for it with some clever camera work and heart.

The creature that the mermaid morphs into at the end is pretty awesome too being one part Alien, one part "Species", and one part Zerg (that's a "Starcraft" reference folks...yeah, I'm a nerd) and changes the general atmosphere of the film from being a modern myth take to a straight up monster/slasher. Its a nice change of pace though and ends the film nicely.

Overall, I was just rather amused and pleased with how "She Creature" turned out. Its a fun and sometimes campy B-movie that could have definitely used more budget, but it makes due with what it has and tells a mighty fine tale. Mostly for Horror fans and a nice lazy Sunday movie.

BONUS RANT: Its pretty obvious from its ending that this film was set to kick off a low budget franchise. Unfortunately, this is no long the 80s and getting one of those off the ground takes a damn miracle. In fact, its original title was "Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature". Yeah, so that didn't pan out and we are left with an odd final scene that more than likely we will never know any more of. Thanks modern cinema.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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