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She Creature (2001, Rufus Sewell, Carla Gugino)

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Angus Shaw (Rufus Sewell) is a carnival huckster working in turn-of-the-century Ireland with his girlfriend Lily (Carla Gugino) the key attraction, a living mermaid. But one night, old salt Captain Woolrich (Aubrey Morris) exposes the fraud and he should know, he has a genuine mermaid (Rya Kihlstedt). Seeing an opportunity to make a fortune, Shaw steals the the mermaid and sets off to America with Lily. Unfortunately, this mermaid is no Miranda or Madison from Splash but a creature that prefers human blood to fish. As the voyage progresses, so the crew gets smaller while Lily starts to form a psychic bond with the mythical creature.

A remake of the old AIP B-movies produced by Samuel Z Arkoff, this is fittingly produced by his son, Lou. The film exudes menace, with Kihlstedt eschewing the traditional blonde tresses to cover her assets in favour of a sultry sexiness that turns into venomous bloodlust. The growing relationship between her and Gugino has fascinating sexual undertones that Gutierrez wisely underplays to provide a frisson that undercuts what would otherwise have been a gory horror movie.

production details
USA | 91 minutes | 2001

Writer and Director: Sebastián Gutiérrez

cast
Rufus Sewell as Angus
Carla Gugino as Lily
Reno Wilson as Bailey
Mark Aiken as Gifford
Fintan McKeown as Skelly
Aubrey Morris as Mr. Woolrich
Gil Bellows as Miles
Rya Kihlstedt as Mermaid
Hannah Sim as Queen of the Lair
Jon Sklaroff as Russian Eddie
David Nott as Cook
Dan Hildebrand as Christian
Preston Maybank as Navy Captain
Brian Sieve as Officer Dixon
Matthew Roseman as Officer Jenkins (as Matt Roseman)
Gabriel Gutierrez as Young O’Donnell
Isabella Gutierrez as Miranda
Jim Piddock as Captain Dunn