HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Aurora Encounter, The
Breaking In
Breaking In
Please Stand By
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, The
Deadpool 2
Smart Money
Lupin the Third vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
Castle of the Creeping Flesh
Ghost Stories
   
 
Newest Articles
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
   
 
  Leech Woman, The Terrifying And JuneBuy this film here.
Year: 1960
Director: Edward Dein
Stars: Coleen Gray, Grant Williams, Phillip Terry, Gloria Talbott, John Van Dreelen, Estelle Hemsley, Kim Hamilton, Arthur Batanides
Genre: Horror
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In his lab, scientist Dr Paul Talbot (Phillip Terry) and his wife June (Coleen Gray) are fighting again, which has driven her to drink, and the drunker she gets the more Paul fights with her in a vicious circle of ill-feeling. Eventually she tells him she wants a divorce, but he responds that she will soon be so inebriated she won't remember such a demand and they will be back to square one. Anyway, he has his work to get on with, so after sending June on her way back home, he is told by his assistant Sally (Gloria Talbott) that the woman he wanted to see for his research is here...

And who knows where that might lead? The Leech Woman was one of those films, like The Alligator People for example, which was made not through any pressing desire to tell a rattling good yarn or put across some meaningful message, but simply to fill out the bottom half of a double bill, so the quality you might have expected to be rather substandard. In spite of the low expectations, this was brief enough not to outstay its welcome and succeeded in being very eventful, so while you could chuckle at its camper elements, it was busy enough not to be dismissed outright, no matter its lowly origins.

A couple of years before Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? we were intended to find old women a source of grotesque chills, which the dialogue here stated outright was an entirely understandable reaction. All of which was very unfair to a vast swathe of the planet's population, but the fear of growing elderly and seeing your youthful good looks fade was the main impetus of the horror, not something exclusive to The Leech Woman, but seeking a midway point between H. Rider Haggard's She and Countess Dracula, only here the elixir of life was something more complicated to get at. As informed by the old woman Malla (Estelle Hemsley), Talbot discovers that for himself.

What she tells him is that she has a special powder, a supply of which she brought over from Africa one hundred and forty years ago (!), and while it may not make her young, it does prevent her from dying for a long time. But there's more: she says her tribe has a secret of reverting the partaker to a younger state, and if he should care to travel to Africa and seek out that tribe, he will receive the gift himself, so apparently unaware there is surely some kind of catch, he takes June and off they go. She is understandably sceptical, but Talbot sweet talks her into accompanying him and soon there's a welter of stock footage passing before our eyes as all the clips of African wildlife the Universal library could get their hands on are put into practice.

This was very much a film of two halves, but to cut a long story (well, not really that long) short when June returns she is posing as her niece Terri (Terri and June?! Be intrigued, sitcom fans) since the magic worked and now she is restored to her former glowing appearance, before alcoholism took its toll. This also has Gray glammed up appropriately, as for a famed beauty she was brave enough to spend most of the movie in particularly unflattering makeup, ah, but it doesn't last since the effects of the powder only endure so long. Oh, and the extract of the pineal gland too. That's right, June has to now go around draining the gland in the brain with her special gemstone ring nicked from the tribe, which essentially makes her a murderer, and all for that attractiveness we are supposed to believe is worth killing for. Naturally she suffers so she can have her just desserts, but funnily enough we don't really fear her, for Gray conveyed a pathetic quality to her character which made June more the object of pity. What it said about the worth of female vanity was probably best left in 1960, however.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1186 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: