Woman Eater, The

Tagged: Film

Film (1958) (vt Womaneater 1959). Fortress Film Productions, Ltd./Eros Films (UK), Columbia Pictures (US). Produced by Guido Coen. Directed by Charles Saunders. Written by Brandon Fleming from his original story. Cast includes George Coulouris, Vera Day, Joyce Gregg and Jimmy Vaughn. 70 minutes. Black and white.

The sadistic, misogynist Mad Scientist Dr James Moran (Coulouris) returns from the Amazon with a tentacled carnivorous tree to which he feeds only women in order to extract a serum which can revive the dead. He is assisted by the South American native Tanga (Vaughn), from whose tribe he gained knowledge of the tree's powers. Moran wanders the seamier areas of London obtaining attractive victims for the tree, while constantly berating his ordinary-looking housekeeper and former lover Margaret Santor (Gregg). Sally Norton (Day) applies for a housekeeping position and comes close to being another victim; Moran falls for her, though, and spares her that fate. Margaret becomes increasingly jealous of Sally, and Moran eventually strangles her. Deciding the serum is ready, Moran injects Margaret's corpse – which revives as a mindless Zombie. Tanga reveals that his tribe withheld the secret of restoring a serum-revived person's mind from Moran; the doctor goes wild, setting fire to the tree in his hidden basement laboratory. He struggles with Tanga, who stabs Moran to death, then kills himself by walking into the blaze in which his "god" is being consumed. Sally's boyfriend Jack (Peter Wayan) arrives in time to help her escape the now-blazing building as the film ends.

A distasteful production full of voyeurism and violence towards women, The Woman Eater played briefly as the lower half of US double bills before vanishing into obscurity. [GSt]

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