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She Demons

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1958). Screencraft Enterprises/Astor Pictures Corporations. Produced by Arthur A Jacobs. Directed by Richard E Cunha (credited as Richard Cunha). Cast includes Rudolph Anders, The Diane Nellis Dancers, Tod Griffin, Irish McCalla, Leni Tana and Victor Sen Yung. Written by Cunha and H E Barrie from their original story. 77 minutes. Black and white.

Beautiful but spoiled heiress Jerrie Turner (McCalla) and boyfriend Fred Maklin (Griffin) wash up after being shipwrecked in a storm at sea on an uncharted South pacific Island along with friend Sammy Ching (Yung). They are almost immediately captured by ex-Nazi Colonel Karl Osler (Anders), and taken to an Underground laboratory where Osler has been conducting glandular experiments combined with radiation treatments in an effort to restore his wife's disfigured face. He has been using several young women (The Diane Nellis Dancers) captured after a previous shipwreck as test subjects – turning them into the titular she-demons, also now terribly disfigured. Osler has the two men placed outside in cages to be tortured by a handful of former Nazi stormtroopers who have remained loyal to him for reasons not entirely clear, while he makes romantic overtures to Jerrie. This arouses the jealousy of his wife Mona (Tana), and she finally helps the three escape in order to be rid of Turner. This proves fortunate as the US Air Force has chosen the island as a nuclear test site, and it is destroyed shortly after they are a safe distance away.

This poor film is notable for the attractive presence of Irish McCalla, but has little else to recommend it. McCalla, primarily remembered as the star of the Television series Sheena, Queen of the Jungle (1955-1956), was an athletic lady who enjoyed great success as a magazine-cover model but self-confessedly had little real acting talent. She retired from acting in the early 1960s after a handful of further film and television appearances. [GSt]


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