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Friday, May 17, 2019

The Woman Eater (1958)




Let’s keep the Friday review fun rolling with yet another flick from the fifties. This was a new to me movie, probably because it was British. I’ve been digging these imports so much that I started looking for more. I don’t remember The Woman Eater playing on any of my local late-night shows and trust me I would have remembered this one.

Things kick off with a man, who we later find out is Doctor Moran, watching a native play drums with a woman swaying back and forth. When the drums stop, she gets fed to a plant. Why? Well after the credits roll, we get a flashback, though aren’t told that which can be a bit confusing, showing Doctor Moran entering and adventurers club. He tells of his plans to seek out a cure for death deep in the jungle. He goes and finds the natives worshiping the plant. Here is where things get even harder to follow.

Somehow the next time we see him Moran is sick with “Jungle Fever” and some other characters who have no name are concerned that he won’t’ make it. But then we see him back in England with the native and the plant. How did that happen? I don’t know because they never explain it. We see him sacrifice a woman to it so that the plant will provide him an elixir that will bring the dead back to life. So, to resurrect someone you have to kill them first? Seems a bit pointless. Eventually the story catches back up to the point before the credits. We also have a bit with a beautiful young housekeeper and her fiancé as well as some suspicious police. It doesn’t end well for Moran if you haven’t figured that out yet.

I really wish that they had done a better job with the plot so that the movie was easier to follow. First, they needed to point out that the opening was a flashback and make it more obvious when they caught up to it. It would have also been nice if they had explained how the doctor made it back to England with the plant and someone who knows how to use it. Even a bit of dialogue would have been sufficient. This is especially so given the ending and the hinting that there was some motivation behind the native helping him with the project.

The reason that I wish the plot was executed better was because in all other ways this is a decent movie. The acting is good, and the cast really sells what is admittedly a very silly plot. Even the victims of the monster seem to be genuinely scared while trying to wrap the rubbery branches around themselves. Speaking of that the creature itself looks good or at least as good as a rubber plant monster that doesn’t move could look on screen. Honestly this is one of those Fifties movies that is heavy on the cheese factor. But I enjoy that kind of flick.

The Woman Eater isn’t going to be for everyone. Again, the plot has some issues and can easily lose the audience. But underneath that very large flaw you can find some fun. If you like other killer plant flicks like Little Shop of Horrors or From Hell it Came then I think you will enjoy this one. With that qualification I recommend it.


© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer

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