Hollywood gangsters kidnap a Beverly Hills socialite in her Cadillac convertible and whisk her off to a remote mountain cabin where a curvy "starlet" in a spandex spacesuit lands in her "white light' spaceship to bring han... more »dsome leading man Robert Clarke a message and to heat up his hormones. One problem with this cosmic encounter--her touch is deadly! An Atomic Age cult classic that could have only come out of the Hollywood B-movie factory of the 1950s. If tough gangster dialogue, sleazy dames, petty crooks, rubber snakes, and Ed Wood films speak to you, this is the one!Hollywood gangsters, a kidnapped socialite, and leading man Robert Clarke encounter a curvy "starlet" from space in a spandex spacesuit. But beware--her touch is deadly in this Atomic Age B-movie classic.« less
"The most astounding thing about the she-monster is the very
well-endowed (37-26-36) former stripper/nude model Shirley
Kilpatrick's slinky, sexy walk in her skin-tight, glowing spandex
body suit. She looks almost naked, the suit is so form-fitting (not
surprising, since the original title was going to be The Naked
Invader.) In fact, according to the liner notes, it was so tight she
couldn't sit down in it, and had to rely on a back-board to lean
against between takes. She certainly doesn't look like a "monster!" She has not a single
line of dialog in the film, not even a snarl or hiss, just a scream at
the climax. This movie was evidently not only her debut on screen
but also her final appearance. She doesn't seem to have ever been
in anything else. I first saw this movie on late-night TV back in
the `60s, I think, and she's the only thing I ever remembered about
it! Well, that, and the final scene where star Robert Clarke reads a
lengthy, ludicrous speech from a tiny scrap of paper!The whole movie is ludicrous, with bad acting, inane narration and
dialog, silly plot, inept direction, and homemade special effects
that Ed Wood would have been ashamed of, but it's still fun, a
perfect example of how an enterprising wanna-be film-maker can
borrow money (in this case just $18,000!) and locations, and using
his friends and relatives and a few professionals, can churn out a
movie in a few days that makes a tidy little profit.Writer/producer/director Ronald Ashcroft studied under the
master, Roger Corman, on Day the World Ended, and learned
how to do it. Actor Clarke learned from Ashcroft and he, too,
went on to try his hand with The Hideous Sun Demon.This DVD edition has just average image and sound quality, a
chapter index, and the theatrical trailer, but there's also two pages
of liner notes by film historian Tom Weaver that's very
informative, with quotes by Ashcroft. Add this one to your `50s
cult classic collection!"
Cheap. Inept. And Totally Wonderful.
Doghouse King | Omaha, NE United States | 07/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here is a brief synopsis, followed by some of the other miscellaneous reasons I like this flick so much:The AS-M (who kills with a mere touch) stalks a geologist, a pretty socialite, and three kidnappers who are hiding out at the geologists's isolated hilltop cabin during what may loosely be deemed "night." Suffice it to say, some of them don't live through it. Then there's an ironic sort of ending that achieves absolutely no irony whatsoever because it is all wrong for a number of reasons. Essentially, it's an extremely poor man's 'Key Largo' meets an equally impoverished man's 'Alien.' Or you could look at it as a precursor to 'The Beast From Haunted Cave,' only quicker and sillier. (I guess I could add that it makes more sense than Plan 9, and is perhaps equal in coherency to Bride of the Monster. But somehow is more enjoyable than either, at least to me.)The spaceship is represented in flight as a lit match; the actress playing the spacebabe split her skin-tight suit early during shooting, so she has to back away from the camera for the entire movie (actually, this is oddly effective); blaring chords sound when nothing is happening; people keep referring to the shapely alien lady as a horrible monster; everyone keeps returning to the cabin for safety, even though the AS-M can and repeatedly does enter at will through a huge (and broken-out) window.The funniest bit of all is revealed in the liner notes: the saga of the bear(s) used during filming. I won't ruin it for you, but it will make me laugh and cry forever. It is one of the most pathetically messed-up things I have ever heard happen in moviemaking, Battlefield Earth not withstanding.If these things sound like a fun time to you, buy this movie posthaste. Others beware.I personally only wish I could have witnessed them making this movie at the time. That had to have been even MORE entertaining.P.S. The DVD transfer is just OK, but I'm quite sure that's only because the original film itself was pretty shaky."
If you love the movie, it'll do; mainstream consumers beware
Surfink | Racine, WI | 08/25/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First off, unless you're a bad film aficionado (which you probably are if you're reading this) The ASM will probably be a disappointment. It's likely not quite wacky (think Ed Wood) or lurid (think any late-50s AIP flick) enough even for bad film fans either. This is one of those (like Mesa of Lost Women, Beast of Yucca Flats, or The Creeping Unknown) whose illogic and strange, minimalist atmosphere will either cast their spell over you or bore you to tears. There is little "action," lots of static dialogue scenes, no special effects, and a "monster" that's pretty much just a babe in tights (and not nearly as luscious or exciting a babe as the one portrayed in the film's advertising materials). As far as the DVD itself, it's better than the movie, but not perfect either. The tonal values are good and it's sharp enough, but the print is somewhat worn. There is a near-constant light flecking, and light vertical scratches are quite common. Not to the point of major distraction, but not as clean as most of the Image discs I own. Am I sorry I bought the DVD? No. I cued up my VHS copy (recorded off late night TV 10+ years ago) for comparison and felt vindicated. The print shown by the TV station was awful in comparison to the DVD, in fact some scenes were so dark that people further back in the frame were rendered invisible by the murk, and driving scenes revealed little more than moving headlights! All this time I thought the film was badly photographed! So this turned out to be a substantial upgrade for me, but I have not owned a VHS pre-record of this title so I can't make that comparison. Bottom line: if you love this movie you probably won't feel burned... Mainstream motion picture consumers-caveat emptor!"
What a gem
Fast Forward | Nagoya, Aichi Japan | 01/24/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In 1958, I was a seven-year old boy, scared as I munched popcorn and watched this movie at the local moviehouse. When you're that age, it seems like an eternity between appearances of the monster on screen and this flick really makes you wait for interminably long stretches, probably to heighten the suspense. Unbelievably, the whole film is only 62 minutes long! I was elated when I found out that this was available on DVD and wasted no time in buying it.
As an adult, I noticed other things I missed the first time around: the endless and funny narration, the day/night montages, the way that one gal really blows down the booze, and the constant overacting of the kidnapped woman. So many bad things to enjoy!
The people go endlessly out of the cabin and come back into it, evading the shapely babe with the jet-propelled eyebrows. During all of this, the music track just goes bananas, in a sort of negative-counterpoint with the often-boring visuals. If you've ever wondered what they mean when they say "it's so bad it's good", then by all means, get this movie. It's entertainly inept.
I am greatly satisfied with the DVD picture quality. The sound level is awfully low at times and super-loud at others, but I suspect that it's the sound editor's fault, and not that of the DVD engineers."
Her Touch Is Deadly!
Robert I. Hedges | 04/23/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
""The Astounding She-Monster" was made by directorial genius Ronnie Ashcroft for an amazing $18,000. He and star Robert Clarke did so well that Clarke netted enough to fund his own masterwork, the equally horrible "Hideous Sun Demon." Later Clarke stooped to new lows by conspiring with Grade Z film legend Jerry Warren to foist the unbelievable "Frankenstein Island" on an unsuspecting world with the help of superstar John Carradine. (If you haven't seen "Frankenstein Island" and you like bad movies, go order it now!)"The Astounding She-Monster" is an astounding tale of a stripper in a skin tight Lycra outfit with Mr. Spock eyebrows and a deadly touch. The film also contains subplots about geology (Typical line of dialogue: "I just never realized that a geologist used so many kinds of acid in his work." In other words: yawn.), and kidnapping, which are used to ensure that all the action takes place on one set out of concern for the budget. This movie has all the horrible black and white devices of convenience used: silly stock footage of animals, inappropriately used; very cheesy special effects (The She-Creatures spaceship is represented by a lit match. Really.); the depiction of her 'radium covering' by merely not focusing the camera; 'day for night' effects far worse than any ever used by Ed Wood (yes, even in "Plan 9"); and perhaps most annoyingly, narration provided by a voice who can't stylistically decide if he wants to sound more like Rod Serling or Criswell. Not to be confused with stock footage, they actually shot film of a bear. When the bear became unavailable for some shots they dressed costar Kenne Duncan in a bear suit to finish out the required footage. This is genius on the level of Ed Wood! I also particularly liked the music, which is of the 'all trumpet fanfare' variety, performed by the Stuttgart (Germany) Symphony Orchestra! Forget the plot, it's a standard atomic cautionary tale from space done in thousands of other films, but be prepared to laugh at the incredibly inept package as it comes together in a 62 minute extravaganza of hilarity and non-scariness. I deducted a couple of points for the tedium of the wandering around in the woods scenes, which are interminable. Still, all told, it's a fun slice of yesteryear. The only special feature is the original trailer, though the DVD does have excellent liner notes by Tom Weaver, the noted sci-fi historian."