A’hoy, fright fiends! Let’s dive right in shall we? This week’s Fiendish Flick is a tale of dangerous beauty on the high seas! I’ll be honest, I’m not usually one for high fantasy. I’ll take Call of Cthulu over Dungeons & Dragons any day (sorry, my geek is showing). The one thing that will win me over though is putting a dark spin on a fairy creature’s tale…err…tail in this case, mermaid tail to be exact. This is what She Creature is all about, what happens when beauty and greed make men blind.
Rufus Sewell (Dark City) & Carla Gugino (Watchmen) play Angus and Lily, 2 circus Carnies, called out by an audience member after trying to pass off a fake mermaid as real. The old man says he can prove their existence, convincing the 2 to come to his estate to see a real mermaid. When he delivers on this promise, Angus becomes obsessed with the idea of buying her, convinced that with a real mermaid he’ll become rich beyond his wildest dreams, but the old man isn’t selling. He has his own reason for wanting to keep her in his clutches, not greed, but revenge. He blames her for the madness and death of his wife, and believes that it’s his right to watch her die. Warning Angus that she is pure evil does little to deter him, he decides that if he can’t buy her, he’ll steal her (and the man’s foreshadowing notes on the creature as well, of course!). With book and mermaid in hand, they set sail from Ireland, heading to America to make their fortune.
The majority of this period piece (set around 1900) takes place on the ship, and does well to capture the feel of the time, as well as the superstition ingrained in the hearts of the sailors on board. We see through the eyes of Lily, the only human female on the ship. Feeling isolated and alienated, she first feels a bond to the creature, but that bond turns to fear as she starts to suspect that the mermaid is leading her to the same fate as the old man’s wife. When men begin to die, and the Captain reveals that the ship has veered off course, panic aboard ensues. Greed, lust, insanity, rage, what more can you ask for in a horror flick? Oh, and I have to give the actress that played the creature in this creature feature, Rya Kihlstedt, praise. Floating topless in tail and tank through 95% of this fiendish flick, and without dialogue beyond hisses and squeaks, she conveys everything that you would expect from a menacing mermaid. Being lovely and foreboding, she does a fantastic job convincing us that she will no doubt lead these men to a horrible fate. She Creature is a fun flick offering something a little different from the standard vampire/zombie fare. So savor a good seafood meal, and enjoy it from the safety of your sofa.
That’s it for this week, my diabolical dears! Casting off -Ruby