The Astounding She-Monster (1958)

Released as part of a double feature with Roger Corman’s The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent — also covered this week — American-International Pictures’ The Astonishing She-Monster is all about what happens when a gang kidnaps a rich heiress and just happens to run into an alien woman who emerges from a meteorite. You know, everyday stuff.

Nat Burdell (Kenne Duncan, the “Meanest Man In the Movies”), Esther Malone (Jeanne Tatum, The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow) and Brad Conley (Ewing Miles Brown, who produced Blood From Dracula’s Castle) kidnap wealthy society girl Margaret Chaffee (Marilyn Harvey, who appears as Dr. Sapirstein’s receptionist in Rosemary’s Baby) and hide out to wait for the ransom to come rolling in.

Meanwhile, a geologist named Dick Cutler (Robert Clarke, The Hideous Sun Demon) watches a meteor land in the forest. He misses the fact that a glowing blonde in a skintight leotard — that ripped during filming — which is why she backs out of every room instead of turning around — has emerged and that she can kill with just a touch.

So, in an amazing coincidence, the gangsters end up in Cutler’s cabin. One of them chases after the alien woman, who quickly dispatches him with radiation before taking out the other gangsters one by one.

Only Cutler and Chafee remain, but he’s one of those 1950’s scientists that can come up with a solution no matter what. He someone deduces that the alien’s body is made up of radium and platinum, which he uses to come up with the perfect acid solution that instantly disintegrates her.

The jokes on him, as she was holding an invitation from the Master of the Council of Planets of the Galaxy for Earth to join the Council. Only now do they realize that she only killed in self-defense and their actions may have doomed our world.

Ronnie Ashcroft directed this, but he had help. Yes, he brought along Edward D. Wood, Jr. who wanted to title this movie Naked Invader. While it was originally planned as a $50,000 production with a seven-day shooting schedule, the final product only cost $18,000 to make and was sold to AIP for $60,000. Most of the actors were paid $500 a week and several actually made decent residuals as it played for at least four years in theaters and drive-ins. So it’s not a great movie, but it is a happy story, right?

As for how it ties in to our week, it promises you an alien femme fatale, but really only delivers a mute alien in high heels and a skintight outfit killing men. Actually, I’m all for that, when you put it that way.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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