I was ten minutes into a 1956 monster move when I decided I couldn’t watch it by myself. It was entirely
too hokey to enjoy alone. I needed someone to share the experience.
Kay wouldn’t even consider watching it with me. She doesn’t like scary movies even when they’re not. I was trying to position her for the fireman’s carry so I could haul her buns to the living room, but she said, “Don’t do that. You’ll hurt your back and I’ll throw up.” That was TWO possible bad effects. One is sometimes enough.
Kay’s a doodle. But, Jill… Jill was coming up for the weekend and she’d watch “She Creature” with me. She’d beg to. And we’d have a blast making fun of it.
I don’t remember seeing “She Creature” at the Capitan Theatre. I remember seeing “Sea Creature”, “The Creature”, “The Creature from The Black Lagoon,” “Creature form Outer Space” and “Creature with the Gigantic Eyeball.” I think the last one had another name, but I can’t remember it.
But no “She Creature.” Jill and I were pumped. And, the movie did not disappoint. In the 50s moviemakers had absolutely no respect for viewers. They came up with the stupidest monsters you can imagine. Must’ve thought we were all imbeciles.
A little background: Boston Blackie hypnotizes his buxomy wife and sends her mind all the way back to primordial days. Back to the time when she was a buxomy amphibian. A real ugly creature with really large buxoms. As a kid, I doubt I noticed that feature, but it was sure staring me in the face during this viewing.
Pardon? No, it wasn’t actually Boston Blackie. It was the guy who played him. Chester Morris. I think they named a cigarette after him.
Where was I? Oh, the She Creature was slower than slow. And, probably not even a she. Hard to tell what was inside all that glued on stuff. Had she tried to move fast her outfit would’ve come apart. The thing was flopping all over the place. Her eyeballs had these black buttons in ‘em that moved around independently of one another. She even had horns coming out of each kneecap. Or tusks. Hard to know for sure.
Jill and I were having a heyday... and, no, I have no idea as to the origin of that term. I’m pretty sure it’s spelled right, ‘cause Microsoft Word didn’t underline it in red. One of the few words not underlined in this thing.
I warned the first victim, “No! Whatever you do, don’t run! Stand there and scream until this slow-moving rubber-scaled twit gets to you and swats you with its big sponge claw.” Sure enough, that’s what happened.
Jill warned the cop, “Empty your gun on the thing and then when it gets three feet away from you, throw your pistol at it!” It was a prophetic call. Yet another person killed by blunt-force trauma caused by a sponge claw.
At what point in a movie do you stop the director and say, “Hey, this isn’t happening for me. My character is not stupid enough to die this way.”
Hey, I’ve been killed in some low-budget movies, so I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been mauled by two different monsters, strangled by a crazy guy and hacked to pieces by a serial killer.
|From: Return of the Outlaws. Strangled then shot.|
I’m here to tell you that each death was a smart kill. Except for the one where I died with my eyes open. I’ve mentioned this before. If you get killed next to a campfire, you need to die with your eyes closed, because the director will shoot about a dozen takes of you lying there, and the smoke is gonna kill your eyes. I don’t know how many times the Chuck yelled, “Cut! Mark, dead men don’t blink!”
It was the toughest acting I ever did. Keeping my eyes opened as the smoke burned the daylights out of ‘em. Anything for the arts.
In ’56, producer people weren’t thinking a whole lot about art. “She Creature” just did not hold up to the careful scrutiny of time. Now, Frankenstein held up to time’s scrutiny. Yes, a lot of people failed to run away from him, but I can see where Boris Karloff might paralyze you with fear.
She Creature? Jill and I almost paralyzed ourselves with laughter. It turned out to be one of my favorite movie experiences. Kay even dropped in once to see what was so funny. She didn’t stay long, though.
Click on pic to view Brad and Mark’s review of “Chofa’s Sports Bar and Grill."