She Demons


1h 17m 1958

Brief Synopsis

Heroic, but dull, Fred Maklin and beautiful, but spoiled, Jerrie Turner wash up on an uncharted tropical island. They are soon captured by ex-Nazi Colonel Osler, who also has imprisoned a bevy of beauty contest winners whom he allows to be whipped by his slavering Nazi storm troopers. He has, you see, been extracting some glandular substance from the girls to inject into his wife Mona, who suffered terrible facial disfigurement, in efforts to restore her beauty. Things get worse as the island is used for test bombing by the US Air Force.

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Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Screencraft Enterprises
Distribution Company
Astor Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

An exploratory boat cruise sponsored by wealthy businessman Leslie Turner is caught in a fierce hurricane, sent off course and shipwrecked on a deserted volcanic island. Accompanying Turner's striking but spoiled daughter Jerrie on the motor launch is explorer Fred Maklin, radioman Sammy Ching and pilot Kris Kamara. Although Sammy salvages the radio, he soon discovers that it is unable to transmit messages. Angry at being shipwrecked, Jerrie demands that Fred find a way off the island and states that a squad of jet fighters overhead must be a search party. Sammy intercepts the jets's communications, however, and learns that the air force intends to use the deserted island for test bombing. As Fred concludes that the island is deserted, Kris discovers fresh footprints near the shore. Later, before settling down for the night, Sammy overhears a news report on the radio announcing that the wreckage of another boat is believed to be the Turner boat and that all aboard are presumed drowned. That night, the men hear the sound of drums in the distance, but do not tell Jerrie. The next morning Jerrie insists on joining Fred and Sammy for an exploratory trip around the island, but the trio soon gets lost in the jungle. Upon finding their way back to the camp several hours later, Jerrie and the others are stunned to find Kris murdered and their few belongings in disarray. Following a trail of blood Fred believes must belong to the murderer, he finds the body of a woman in native garb with a hideously disfigured face. After burying Kris, Fred decides they should move their camp into the jungle to avoid another possible attack. Deep in the jungle, Jerrie is surprised to find a stream of bubbling, steaming water that Fred explains is heated by the island's volcanic activity. The group is then surprised by the sound of drums nearby and upon cautiously investigating, find a group of native women dancing around a large bonfire. Men in Nazi military uniforms abruptly interrupt the dance and herd the women into a nearby tunnel. Fred trails them and sees the women imprisoned in large makeshift bamboo cages. Fred reports back to the others and as they all proceed through the tunnel, they come upon one of the Nazis whipping one of the women, who is tied to a tree. After the soldiers depart, Fred cuts down the woman, but she is dead. Several wild, caged women with disfigured faces then grab Sammy, who is standing near the cage. Spotting a door in a nearby mountainside, Jerrie and Fred pull Sammy away from the women and enter the door, which leads to a flight of stairs down into a large cave. Fred marvels that the cave has been formed by lava, but then discovers another large cave that houses an enormous laboratory. Hearing footsteps, Jerrie and the men hide, but Jerrie is found by Egore, a whip-wielding soldier. When Egore threatens Jerrie, Fred attacks him and in the chaos, Fred, Jerrie and Sammy escape. Egore follows, but is killed by the wild women after Fred unlocks their cage. Other guards capture Fred, Jerrie and Sammy and return them to the lab, where they are introduced to Col. Karl Osler. Fred recognizes Osler as "The Butcher," an infamous Nazi scientist who savagely tortured concentration camp inmates during the war and is wanted by the International War Commission. Osler insists his experimentation was legitimate work in support of Adolf Hitler's Germany, then explains that late in the war he was ordered to find a method to harness thermal energy for the Reich. Although his method has not been perfected, Osler declares that with his delicate machinery, he can run his laboratory off the volcanic island's lava steam. Osler then reveals that he has now dedicated himself to curing his wife Mona, his former assistant, who was horribly burned in an accident. With the use of the native girls and gene manipulation, Osler is able to restore Mona's beauty for brief periods. Although the native women assume Mona's disfigurement for only a few days, they are left permanently bestial and without memory. Osler then orders Fred and Sammy tortured while he attempts to seduce the belligerent Jerrie. Mona overhears her husband's plans and watches as Jerrie strikes the scientist on the head with a bottle and escapes. Outside, Jerrie finds Fred and Sammy in a locked cage and they urge her to hide in the jungle. After Osler revives, he orders a search for Jerrie in the jungle. Mona follows Jerrie and reveals the location of a rowboat on the opposite side of the island. When Jerrie insists on rescuing Fred and Sammy, Mona provides her a with a key to their cage, but warns Jerrie that she cannot help her if she is caught. As Jerrie returns to free Fred and Sammy, she is captured by Osler, who then takes them to his laboratory to prepare Jerrie for his gene transfer. Just as Osler starts the procedure, the island reels under the air force bomb attack. The continued bombing activates the island's volcano, causing Osler's lab to collapse around him. When Osler is trapped by a loosened steam pipe, Jerrie, Fred and Sammy escape. Mona directs them to a tunnel, but insists upon remaining behind with Osler. Jerrie, Fred and Sammy make a perilous escape across the shattered, burning island and find the rowboat and their way to freedom.

Photo Collections

She Demons - Lobby Card Set
She Demons - Lobby Card Set

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Screencraft Enterprises
Distribution Company
Astor Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

A September 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that Richard Cunha was Hollywood's first Hawaiian-born director. A modern source adds Wendy Wilde to the cast. Although generally panned by reviewers upon release, She Demons went on to become a cult favorite in later years. The film was the starring debut for Irish McCalla, a former "Varga Girl" model, who gained popularity as the star of the 1955-56 syndicated television series Sheena: Queen of the Jungle.

Miscellaneous Notes

Shown at Film Forum Summer Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction in New York City August 1989.

Released in United States Spring March 1958

Released in United States August 1989 (Shown at Film Forum Summer Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction in New York City August 1989.)

Released in United States August 1989

Released in United States Spring March 1958