Friday, April 19, 2013

The She Beast (1966)

Starring Barbara Steele, John Karlsen, Ian Ogilvy, Mel Welles, Jay Riley
Directed by Mike Reeves
(actor & director credits courtesy

A honeymooning couple visit a village in Transylvania where an accident imprisons the bride within the body of a hideous ancient witch.

Another starring vehicle for Italian horror queen Barbara Steele, but she's hardly in this one, as the character of her husband and a descendant of the Von Helsing family are tasked with saving her and the village from the curse of the ancient witch.  Played by actor Jay Riley, the witch is truly fearsome in a very grotesque makeup and Riley effectively bursts with violent speed toward her helpless victims, but Steele's transformation into the witch is sadly left off-screen.  Attempts to balance out the horror with humor from Welles' depraved hotelier and some bumbling policemen were welcome by me and help to compensate for some weaknesses in the script.  Filmed in color, this installment does not compare favorably to Steele's black & white horror showcases, and one wishes that the filmmakers could have found more for the talented actress to do here.

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