What is it?
The 2001 television movie She Creature (Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature).
What is it about?
This is how Rotten Tomatoes describes this television movie:
A couple running a rideshow discover the find of a lifetime, only to realize it could well be the death of them in this horror story.
Angus Shaw (Rufus Sewell) and his wife, Lillian (Carla Gugino), run a travelling carnival which barnstorms the countryside in the early 1900s.
The Shaws’ circus includes a sideshow which promises much in the way of monsters and human oddities, but for the most part delivers second-rate actors dressed up in costumes or using smoke-and-mirrors effects to fool the customers.
Lillian herself offers the most spectacular illusion, posing as a fake mermaid.
One night, Angus offers a helping hand to an aging sailor (Aubrey Morris), and the old salt offers to show Angus and Lillian something truly amazing — a real, honest-to-Pete mermaid (Rya Kihlstedt).
Astounded by what he’s seen, Angus decides the fortune he could make exhibiting a real mermaid is too great to resist, and he steals the creature from the sailor.
Angus and Lillian waste no time booking passage to the United States with their find, but en route to America they discover this mermaid is hardly a benign creature — she has a taste for human blood, and soon the ship’s crew is shrinking at an alarming rate.
Lillian also finds herself developing a strange psychological bond with the mermaid, a connection more powerful than her vows to her husband.
She Creature was produced for the Cinemax premium cable service as part of a series of “Creature Features” produced by special effects wizard Stan Winston and former American International Pictures head Samuel Z. Arkoff, most of which were inspired by horror films AIP made in the 1950s.
I would sometimes see the cover for the DVD of this movie at work sometimes at the library, it would catch my attention, and I assumed that it was just some low-budget not so good creature feature-type movie from the 1990s.
Recently my female coworker JB recommended it as a movie that she liked, and so I decided to check it out.
Me and my brother GC watched it last night, and to our surprise it was better than we had expected especially for a television movie.
The visuals, the acting, the tone, et cetera were better than we had expected.
It was not goofy or corny like I had expected, and to my surprise there was a bit of mystery that kept me trying to guess where this was going.
The movie was more contained than I had expected, most of the movie took place on a ship to my surprise, which helped set a certain mood (though it would have been nice if it had taken place in more locations, but they probably had a small budget).
This movie held up surprisingly well and was better than some movies that I have seen this year, which is impressive, and it is a shame that I could not find any reviews of this movie on YouTube or a good quality trailer of it.
Thank you JB for another recommendation that ended up being better than I had expected.
- John Jr