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She Creature

She Creature on DVD

She Creature is a creature feature in the grand old tradition of such films.

Part of Columbia Tristar's new "Creature Feature" series, She Creature is a state-of-the-art old fashioned monster movie that's deliciously enjoyable and highly entertaining for those who love this kind of flick.

Which includes us!

Rufus Sewell and Carla Gugino star as carnival performers who, while traveling through Ireland with a side show, happen across the freak show find of a lifetime in a real, live Mermaid living in a tank inside the home of a crusty and mysterious stranger (Aubrey Morris). With visions of stardom and riches dancing through his head, Sewell's character and some friends decide to steal the mermaid and put her on display.

They sneak her and her tank aboard a ship heading for America, and here's where the action unfolds for the rest of the movie. It's a great, claustrophobic location because when the mermaid inevitably escapes and starts killing people, there's nowhere to which the humans aboard the ship can escape, leaving them as so much bait for this mysterious creature from the sea.

Not surprisingly, people begin disappearing and all hell breaks loose aboard the ship. But that isn't the worst of their problems: someone has made a devil's deal and the ship isn't heading for America at all, but for a destination guaranteed to chill the souls of those left alive.

During all this, Gugino's character discovers a psychic link with the Mermaid that throws a whole new light onto the situation. We imagine this brings She Creature as close to chick flick territory as a monster movie can come.

As mentioned, the best way to look at She Creature is to compare it with the old style monster movies like "Creature from the Black Lagoon," et al. As such, this new entry stacks up very well; it's cut from the same cloth, and that's a good thing.

The cast is very good and even though you can pretty well guess what's going to happen all along (yes, the monster gets loose and begins killing people) it doesn't matter; that's what this kind of movie is all about. Sewell and Gugino are entertaining in their roles, he as the driven and rather ruthless entrepreneur and she as the actress with a past who's looking for her big break. Also along for the roller coaster ride are Gil Bellows, Rya Kihlstedt as the Mermaid, and Jim Piddock, Reno Wilson, and Mark Aiken.

Even more important, Stan Winston and his studio are on hand for the all-important creature effects. Winston is arguably the ruling guru of mechanical monster effects these days (the Jurassic Parks, Terminators, etc.) and his work here is up to his usual standards until the final incarnation of the mermaid, at which point the movie's relatively low budget shows through. This doesn't destroy the film, however; rather, it works in the movie's favor, as an homage to the old monster movie traditions this film follows.

The Columbia Tristar DVD is very good. It's presented in anamorphic widescreen (16x9 TV compatible) and Pan&Scan versions, with Dolby Digital 5.0 audio. Picture quality is very good, with sharp images and good colors, though of course it's, in true monster movie tradition, a tad dark. The audio makes pretty good use of the surround channels.

Extras? Not a lot, but that's okay. You get a "Creature EFX" commentary track featuring Stan Winston and Shane Mahan, a short "making of" featurette, a photo gallery, filmographies, trailers, and Web links.

In all, a very satisfying roller coaster ride for those who grew up loving this type of movie.

She Creature, from Columbia Tristar Home Video
89 min. anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 TV compatible/Pan&Scan, Dolby Digital 5.0
Starring Rufus Sewell, Carla Gugino, Aubrey Morris, Gil Bellows, Rya Kihlstedt, Jim Piddock, Reno Wilson, Mark Aiken
Produced by Lou Arkoff, Stan Winston, Colleen Camp,
Written and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez


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Updated May 13, 2006