Monday, November 10, 2014

Strange Killers: She Creature (2001)

After Halloween, I was inspired to revisit some more underrated Horror Films.  That leads me to today's film; She Creature.  This is an odd one to try and explain, but I'll do my best.  The Film is a Remake of Corman's 1956 Film The She Creature, in which a woman is turned into a Sea Monster.  The thing is this: this is not exactly a Remake either.  This is part of that trend when old movies (many by Corman) were being 're-imagined' for a new audience.  Previous attempts include earlier Reviewed film like Earth vs. The Spider (2001) and Teenage Cavemen (also 2001).  Those were weird and not that good.  Is this better?  The short answer: yes.  The long answer: this Review.  The Story involves a couple (Rufus Sewell and Carla Gugino) get the break of a lifetime and try to make it to America to cash in.  That break is a Mermaid, a great attraction for any Side Show in their Era (the early-19th Century).  The trip doesn't go smoothly, as you might imagine, and all sorts of hell breaks loose.  If you haven't seen this movie yet (like many, I'm sure), let me show you what you've been missing...
After some black-and-white foreshadowing, we meet out heroes.  They run a Side Show and they run it well.  They intrigue one person with their fake Mermaid (Gugino) and he wants to show them something.

Fun Fact: this Role was almost played by Christopher Lee.  Nothing on this guy, but...what could have been!
He has a real Mermaid!

Through some shenanigans, the guy dies of a heart attack and our heroes end up taking the Mermaid.
They keep their cargo secret until it nearly escapes from the Deck.  Needless to say, the Captain is a bit annoyed...but will take their money still.  Good guy.
People on the Crew start to act weird as they spend time with the Mermaid.  Gugino, in particular, gets curious and starts to read the Journal of the Mermaid's previous owner (from the Intro).
She starts to have weird visions and her mood starts to change.  Is she infected?  Can this end well?
So yeah, the Mermaid may have a thing for her.  What could she want from Gugino though?
Eventually, things really go to shit and the Mermaid reveals its true nature/form.  It is less pretty.
The Mermaid is also not alone (although I won't SPOIL exactly how/why) here.
Who is this kid?  Why does she have freaky eyes?  I won't SPOIL that either.

You really should check this one out, so...I'll just stop here.  The End.
A really neat and interesting Film- even if it didn't lead to more things.  I didn't really mention this earlier, but the unofficial Title to the Film is Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature.  Can you name the other Films in this series?  Trick Question- there are none.  So yeah, I'm not sure where this was supposed to go or why it didn't happen.  Regardless, this Film still works as a one-off, giving you enough of an actual Ending to be satisfying as a solo feature.  Not all of them do that- I'm looking at you Ridley Scott's Robin Hood and Paul W.S. Anderson's Three Musketeers!  The key player here is not ever actually seen on Film: Stan Winston.  His make-up/prosthetic work here is top-notch.  Accepting certain handicaps related to Practical Effects work (like the need for precise camera work), I have no complaints.  There are brief uses of CGI here and I have no problem with it.  They are used when CGI should be- when you can't do it right without it.  The overall presentation here- Set Design, Effects, Writing, Production- is all top-notch here and deserving of more esteem.  The Story is nothing too new, but works quite well.  If you haven't seen this one, you really need to.  It takes two tricky things- a Period Piece and a Horror Film- and makes them work together.  If nothing else, you can at least appreciate their commitment to showing you what old-timey Racism looked like...
Up next, I celebrate Veteran's Day with another tale of military might.  After a 'satirical' explosion of a movie, why not cut the Budget by 95% and see what happens.  Stay tuned...

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