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3 out of 5 stars
The She-Beast
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
throw out your old dvd or vhs copy of this michael reeves cult classic on april 28th and get THE legitimate,restored and remastered version on dark sky video!!for years all there have been are terrible copies of this movie floating around but now this is the chance to see this on dvd the way it was meant to.the late michael reeves(1943-1969)made only a handful of movies in his short life and career but each one is unique and should be seen by fans of horror movies.the story takes place in 1960s era communist europe with a couple traveling on their honeymoon and the wife(barbara steele)supposedly drowns in a car crash and when a truck driver tries to save her,up comes the most horrifying movie witches you will ever see.the characters in this movie are different to say the least and while unfortunately barbara steele is really only seen for a brief few minutes--it is a unique and fascinating movie that only a genius like michael reeves could have made(and don't miss mel welles,famous for playing gravis mushnik in the original "little house of horrors")as the sleazy motel innkeeper!!thank you dark sky video.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
The She-Beast has been released as a special-edition DVD by Dark Sky Films. Dark Sky is a company committed to making high-class DVD's of rare and unusual horror product. Their version of The She-Beast is no exception.The print looks about as good as this film will look, and it is anamorphic 2:35 widescreen. The DVD also includes a commentary with stars Barbara Steele, Ian Ogilvy, and producer Paul Maslansky. For Barbara Steele fans, this commentary may be the main reason for purchase, since Steele has made very few interveiws. This film was the official directorial debut for cult director Michael Reeves. Reeves is most famous for Witchfinder General, which The She-Beast has some elements of.
Unfortunately this film has some problems plot-wise. The ending of the film is ruined by a Mack Sennet-style chase which is at odds with the rest of the film. There are some creepy scenes, but the film's low budget and its inconsistent tone make it more cult than classic. However, this DVD is highly recommened to Barbara Steele and Michael Reeves fans.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
As an aficionado of silent films, it's amazing the impact that a restored print can have on the viewing experience. The same is true of regular movies as well, including a low budget drive-in special like this one. Throw in the fact that this was the debut feature of the tragically short lived British filmmaker Michael Reeves (who would go on to make the legendary WITCHFINDER GENERAL with Vincent Price and like Heath Ledger would die of an accidental prescription drug overdose in his 20s) and you have something really special.

Shot in Italy on a budget of around $40,000 and released in 1966, THE SHE BEAST (REVENGE OF THE BLOOD BEAST in England) clearly prefigures WITCHFINDER GENERAL in some of its scenes and even in some of its camera shots. Compared to the old beat up 16mm prints that were available up to now, this 35mm transfer is a revelation and shows that Reeves had an extraordinary cinematic eye for composing the look of his films. Very few directors could have gotten so much out of so little as he does here.

Barbara Steele was available for one day and is little more than a guest star but she helped to sell the picture. Ian Ogilvy in his first film is all he needs to be while John Karlsen and Mel Welles add necessary spice to the proceedings. Watching this reminded me again of what was lost when the drive-ins disappeared. Today there is no low budget training ground for young directors where their works can be seen by a large number of people. A movie like this would now go straight to DVD and into rental and bargain bin oblivion.

This Dark Sky DVD release is everything a cult film lover could wish for. Not only is the print quality absolutely gorgeous but the guest commentary by Ogilvy, Steele and producer Paul Maslansky is both informative and quite amusing. It helps to explain why the film wildly veers between being an outright horror film, a political satire, and a Keystone style slapstick comedy. Taken as a whole it isn't very good but it does have its moments and is very enjoyable. THE SHE BEAST deserves to be seen by anyone interested in low-budget filmmaking and as a look at the beginning of a short but remarkable career.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2009
Format: DVD
I was interested in "The She Beast" because it was Michael Reeves first solo effort as director/writer, released in 1966. Most people reading this know that he went on to work with Vincent Price on 1968's "Witchfinder General" (aka "Conqueror Worm") before he died of an accidental overdose in early '69 at the too-young age of 25.

"The She Beast" is about a hideous witch in modern Transylvania who is resurrected via the drowning of man's wife (Barbara Steele). The husband teams up with a ghoul-slayer to destroy the witch and, if possible, resurrect his wife.

This is a decent spooky mid-60s flick for the Fall season -- nothing great or even really good, but decent. What particularly works is the hideousness of the witch. On the downside there's an attempt at slapstick comedy with the police chase that doesn't fit. Regardless the film is worthwhile for Reeves' fans.

But it's almost impossible to see any worth in the Alpha Video version of this film (or Westlake Entertainment Inc.). Imagine the worst EP VHS you've ever seen -- that's how bad it is. It's so bad I wouldn't even give it away. So bad, in fact, that it belongs in the trash! No kidding.

If you must see or own this film STAY AWAY from this version and seek out the Dark Sky release (available here at Amazon).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2009
Format: DVD
I am very pleased with this dvd of a true classic of the esoteric - you'll be too. The transfer is excellent compared to the older, dark and unwatchable one from Alpha Video. Now, watching the Dark Sky release, I actually can tell what the movie is about! The picture quality is very good, and makes this dvd worth adding to your video library. I have watched it three times already! I love this movie! If you like Fearless Vampire Killers or a Vampire Happening, or the Dracula Saga, you will appreciate She-Beast, especially the print from Dark Sky!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
Format: DVD
Michael Reeves made only 3 1/2 films before his tragic death in the late 60's. This was his first feature film and what a film it is. It has moments of high camp and a few moment of light relief, however the horror in this film are some of the strongest for the early 1960's. Who can forget the Witch, played here by a man! Then theres the scene where a poor guy gets hacked to death by Vardella the witch. Superb!

Dark Sky's print is superb. I saw a clip on their website and it is miles ahead of the old Alpha DVD! Buy this one...
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2003
Format: DVD
I wonder why any movie with BARBARA STEELE on DVD (with the exception of SYNAPSE'S stunning CASTLE OF BLOOD) has to look like crap? I mean this one takes the cake...of course it is only $, but I found it unwatchable.
And the truly bad pan and scanning treats you over and over to BARBARA STEELE'S amazing talking nose. I guess they did not think in anyway about the framing.
Also the sound is hideous, the print is completely faded to the point of almost black and white at parts. And it looks like swamp mud, what can I say. It really is not worth the bucks...wait until someone puts out a decent copy.
A lot of ALPHA'S releases are fine but this one is just really horrendous. The print quality is much scarier than the witch in the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
In cold war Transylvania, Philip (Ian Ogilvy) and Veronica (Barbara Steele) opt to take a vacation. As luck would have it, they come upon a town cursed by a witch who lived 200 years ago, a witch that will come back while they are there. Fear not, Count von Helsing (John Karlsen) is still there in spite of the socialism.

The first hour or so of the film is a comedy, making fun of the conditions of Eastern Europe. The horror aspect consisted of a man wearing a grotesque mask pretending to be a witch, a witch that didn't seem to have a lot of witch powers.

A camp movie that is worth seeing once for free. Part of a movie 15-pack I got for $5.00 at my local Walmart.
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Format: DVD
Real name of the film "La sorella di Satana" and Sorella is played by Joe 'Flash' Riley. That is why we watch the film. Oh yes there are other actors as Barbara Steele; however no one would buy a movie because of that.

My star rating is a two. However there is no telling for taste. If you like witchy women with bad completions this can be a good addition to your film library.

Innocent newlywed Veronica (Barbara Steele) meets Count von Helsing (John Karlsen). Due to a little mishap her VW goes into the lake and she is displaced by the Witch of the Lake.

What should have been a straight forward bad witch movie turns into a slapstick auto chase with such lake-luster dialog as "is he able to talk", "No he is dead", "then he is obstructing justice."

If you like the original Keystone Cops you can appreciate this film.

They are only missing a good title song like "Get me to the lake on time."
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on February 7, 2011
Format: DVD
Well, much has been said about the great and long awaited restoration of this. It's great to have it in wide screen and color. Good job Dark Sky Films. It's quite a different effect watching it this way as compared to the full screen black and white with lots of aberrations in the picture. And I think it's a pretty good film too. It certainly has one of the most horrific looking witches ever in cinema. And they kill her off, so they think, in a pretty horrific way. This movie has one of the best starts in any gothic horror film, as what I described is prominent there. There are also a few comic sections of the film, not unintentionally. Definitely worth adding to your collection of goth and horror from that era. We've got to keep supporting companies like Dark Sky and Anchor Bay for delivering the goods like this one and others.
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