SEE the nerve-shattering Dance of Death! SEE The Woman Eater ensnare the beauties of two continents! SEE its hideous arms devour them in a death-embrace! It devours only the most beautiful! Half-mad scientist James Moran (... more »George Coulouris--The Long Good Friday, Citizen Kane) returns from the Amazon jungles with a sacred tribal tree which feeds on beautiful, young girls. The sap he extracts from the tree will, he believes, revive the dead. A blonde showgirl, Sally (Vera Day The Prince and the Showgirls, Quatermass II), is slated to be Moran's next sacrifice. Will she become another victim of this woman-devouring tree or can the police and Sally's boyfriend save her from the cannibalistic tree? No beautiful woman is safe from "The Woman Eater!"« less
"There is something strangely appealing about this low-budget, nearly forgotten British horror film from 1957. It made the US rounds on the B side of horror double features in the late 50s and then pretty much dropped out of sight. Most movie review tomes dismiss it as a waste of time, but the horror genre (apart from a few "monstres sacres") is generally dismissed as a whole by these surveys. If approached within the confines of the late 1950s monster/horror movie genre, "Womaneater" holds it own quite well.In terms of acting, there is really nothing to criticize. George Coulouris seems, for better or worse, born to play a faustian madman. He can achieve a wide-eyed look that is frankly rather disturbing. Joyce Gregg, as the housekeeper and frustrated former lover, is also successful at suggesting turmoil under the surface. The film has the perfect horror-film look of its period: stock jungle footage plus shadowy studio interiors. Edwin Astley's soundtrack is heard to advantage on the DVD, and it's appropriately creepy. There is an overall luridness about this film that is just plain compelling. We first experience it in the so-called "dance of death", during which the native girl victim (Marpessa Dawn) does no dancing whatsoever, but rather swoons to an intoxicating drum beat. Later, a potential victim has her blouse ripped just enough so that we may glimpse her bra-strap. And when the mad doctor needs more plant food, he visits what looks like a seamy district of Soho (a highly effective location sequence, by the way). Such little concessions to a prurient audience add to the charm of the film. In addition, there is a walking dead scene that harkens back to the 1930s Universal horrors. On to the monster. Here is where the film makes a tiny claim to immortality. This is no vampiric stalker, resurrected dinosaur, or bloodthirsty alien. It is, quite simply, a tree. But what a sinister, malevolent-looking tree it is! This fairly nightmarish invention is covered with shaggy tendrils and has two kinds of apparently powerful tentacles with which to grasp its prey. Of course, the prey must be placed into, or forced to enter the clutches of the tree, but that contributes to the originality of the conception.This little gem has been out of circulation for many years. Previous video incarnations have been extremely shoddy, using broken elements with nearly inaudible sound. The DVD issue presents "Womaneater" in what must be the best condition possible, which is pretty good. See it, if you dare."
Not as bad as all that
Robert E. Rodden II | Peoria, IL. United States | 04/19/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is obviously a small budget British horror film. There's only mild tension when the young beauties are being fed to the flesh eating plant, and it doesn't rate the 5 Stars of say "X-The Unknown" or "The Quatermass Experiment". But you could do worse, for instance, say with the majority of American made films made with the same low budget. The British cast in this is talented, and the story is character driven instead of monster driven, so somehow works in a way that's like reading a short story from a black and white pulp science-fiction magazine in the fifties. The "slightly" mad scientist is played by George Couloris, a veteran stage and film actor. You can also see him in a bit part that's a "bit" more colorful in Hammer's "Blood from the Mummy's Tomb". He does a good job here of giving at least a little meat to a stock mad doctor role. The real eye candy is not the man eating plant, but the gorgeous actress Vera Day, who plays Sally, a young girl who looses her job swinging her hips in a traveling fair dance show and hooks a job from the good doctor via a local car mechanic who meets her and falls in love in apparently ten seconds or less. But who can blame him. Vera Day was undoubtably a gorgeous blonde bombshell.The monster plant is cheesy enough to give the film that comforting Saturday Matinee feel. And Image Studios has released this DVD in widescreen, though it doesn't appear to be anamorphic. The packaging says the sound is Dolby Stereo, but I had to turn the sound up, as it seemed a little low and fuzzy at time. I have to say all-in-all, if you like black and white monster movies that take place mostly in old English manors, complete with dank cellar laboratory and volumptuous girl victims, you can't pass on this one, not for this low price."
Needs One More Scene
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 03/09/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"George Coulouris and Vera Day star in this silly tale of obsession and plant monsters. British explorers witness an African tribe sacrifice a maiden to a plant monster. Five years later, with no explanation, one of the explorers has the monster and priest on his estate where he is doing experiments on raising the dead.Women are given to the plant (it apparently does not like men) and fluid is drawn that become the elixir of life. The explorer, actually a doctor, falls for a new employee at his estate and appears to go slightly mad as his experiments near completion.But add the girl's boyfriend (possible fiancé), madness, love, hate, a fanatic priest and a killer plant and you wind up with a film that climaxes and stops suddenly. It could have been better by simply explaining how things went from jungle to estate. One scene would have done it. It would have been in character for the doctor to gloat some more and give the explanation of his genius.The ending is not what one expects but it does work into what little story there is. A must see movie for fans of bad monster films as this is one of the worst, but don't expect much."
A mildly enjoyable waste of time
Joshua Koppel | 12/02/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"WOMANEATER is a mildly enjoyable waste of time. The rather humdrum storyline has been covered before and in better pictures. So many elixirs to discover and so little time! Thankfully, the picture is only 70 minutes. How many "scientist gone awry" pictures do we need? Looking for cooky special effects to entice you? Well, if you find a man in plant suit cooky, then you will see this as a great achievement. For others looking for camp value, there is little to see here. As for the technical qualities of this DVD, the sound is actually quite clean and brilliant. The picture suffers from an aged print and some visual artifacts (though these are not terribly distracting, just annoying). As for the price of this DVD, its a bit steep for what you get. No extras on this disc. But with such a terrific cover, you might be able to forget this. Fun for a late night view once and a while."
The Woman Eater
T. W. Chamness | 08/01/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Fairly typical movie from the period. I enjoyed the offbeat performance of the "servant"."