Saturday, December 26, 2009

Now they've gone too far! Nazis are turning sexy chicks into monsters!

She Demons (1958)
Starring: Irish McCalla, Tod Griffin, Victor Sen-Yung, and Rudolph Anders
Director: Richard Cunha
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

An obnoxious an rich girl (McCalla) and two of her daddy's employees (Griffin and Sen-Yung) are shipwrecked on an uncharted island. They must fight fight for survival against a Nazi mad scientist (Anders) who has harnessed the secret of perpetual motion and is using it and processes he perfected in the WW2 concentration camps to steal the beauty of native island girls (who like all native girls only want to dance) and transferring it to his wife, in the hopes of restoring her fire-ravaged body. The process reduces them to horribly mutated, violent monsters.... you know, She-Demons!

My summary gave away the element that almost earned this film a Four Rating. It's going along likea fairly standard, low-budget castaways-on-a-jungle-island-with-monsters-and-a-hot-babe movie when suddenly Nazis appear on the scene. And they're not just any Nazis... they're led by a mad scientist Nazi who, although his research is dedicated to restoring his wife's beauty (at the expense of a bevvy of hot bikini-babes) he immediately wants to do the horizontal mambo with Aryan beauty Irish McCalla.

That strange turn resulted in this film perhaps being the greatest combo of B-movie/exploitation movie/"grindhouse" movie mainstays ever made. (Uncharted island, jungle inhabited by strange creatures, a mad scientist transforming humans into beasts with his weird experiments, Nazis--sadistic, whip-weilding Nazis no less--a wife with a disfigured face who only Weird Science can restore, wise-crakcing colored sidekick, and exploding volcaones. All this movie needed was a flying saucer, nudity, and lesbian vampires, and it might have been been the Platonic ideal of crappy movies.)

Of course, it would need better acting and something resembling decent dialogue to truly be worth viewing. Only Rudolph Anders as mad scientist Colonel Osler was truly any good, because he went waaay over the top with smariness and superior attitude. Irish McCalla did an okay job, because her character was so obnoxious that I wanted Osler to turn her into a She-Demon because it would shut her up.

On its own, "She-Demons" is not worth your time or money. It might be odd enough to be a secondary feature for a Bad Movie Night, but if you are going to get it, look for a DVD multipack that includes it and one or two movies you know are good. That way, this becomes a "bonus feature", and you've gotten your money's worth.