Cast & Crew
One night when geologist Dick Cutler, who is working on a research project in the San Gabriel Mountains in California, is out walking his collie dog, he sees what appears to be a meteor crash to Earth in the distance. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Margaret Chaffee, a rich, young socialite, is kidnapped by two hoodlums, Nat Burdell and Brad Conley. Later, they are joined by Esther Malone, Nat's drunken mistress, and they drive to a hideout in the mountains. As Conley speeds around the mountain curves, the glowing, shimmering, strange-looking figure of a woman suddenly appears standing at the edge of the road. Conley swerves to avoid the figure, which then vanishes, but the car crashes, forcing the passengers to proceed on foot. Eventually, they come upon Dick's cabin and at gunpoint order Dick to turn over his jeep. After Dick points out that the vehicle's lights do not function, Conley tries unsuccessfully to repair them. When the kidnappers then decide to stay at the cabin until dawn, Dick realizes that Margaret is their prisoner. After Conley sees the female alien from the cabin's window, he pursues her through the woods, shooting at her. His bullets have no effect upon her, but when she approaches him and touches him on the neck, he dies instantly. When Conley fails to return, Burdell gives Malone a gun and tells her to guard Dick and Margaret while he looks for Conley. Burdell takes Dick's dog with him, but when he finds Conley's body, the alien appears and, feeling threatened by the dog, kills it. Although Burdell fires all his bullets at the alien, the bullets have no effect other than causing her to retreat. When Burdell returns to the cabin with Conley's body, Dick detects symptoms of radium poisoning on the corpse and wonders if what he thought was a meteor might have been a spaceship bringing an alien to Earth. Burdell, panicked, wants to leave immediately, but Dick warns him that he could have become infected through contact with Conley. When a fire warden, who heard the shots, phones to inquire about the reason for the gunfire, Dick lies that he was shooting at a bear. Later, a news bulletin broadcast over the cabin's radio reports that Margaret's parents have decided not to pay the ransom and that the police believe they are closing in on the kidnappers. Burdell is anxious to get to a doctor but is prevented from leaving by the alien lurking outside the cabin. Believing that the alien is protected by a thin, metal covering which he may be able to destroy, Dick makes a deal with Burdell to release Margaret if he can eliminate the alien. After an attempt to set fire to the alien fails and results in Malone's death, Burdell points his gun at Dick and insists that they leave in the jeep. When they encounter the alien, she kills Burdell while Dick and Margaret escape and race back to the cabin. Dick then theorizes that if he can disintegrate the alien's protective shield, which is probably made of platinum, exposure to the Earth's atmosphere will kill her. Dick mixes the acids he uses in his geological research to make a small bomb, which he throws at the alien when she re-enters the cabin. She then falls to the floor, disintegrates and vanishes, leaving behind only a medallion she was wearing. Donning gloves against the radiation, Dick opens the medallion and finds a message in English from the Master of the Council of Planets offering to advise the Earth on how to solve the planet's problems and requesting that a response be given to his emissary. Dick tells Margaret that obviously the alien was on a mission of good will and had only killed when she was threatened or attacked. Dick wonders how the Council will react when the emissary fails to return ¿ will they send another in peace or will they avenge the emissary's death?
Egan, A Dog
William C. Thompson
The way you keep puttin' your foot in your kisser, it's a wonder you don't get athlete's mouth!- Nat Burdell
During filming, Shirley Kilpatrick's costume ripped, and since the film was done on a low budget and on a tight schedule she couldn't get a new one - this is why she walks backwards as she leaves a room.
The film's working title was Naked Invader. Alhough the print viewed bore a 1957 copyright statement for Ronnie Ashcroft Productions, the film was not registered for copyright at that time. However, Ronnie Ashcroft Productions did register the film on January 7, 1985, at which time it was issued the number PA 276-739. Opening, narrated sequences depict the star galaxies, from which the meteor emerges, and the kidnapping of "Margaret Chaffee."
In his autobiography, actor Robert Clarke stated that The Astounding She-Monster was planned to be shot in seven days on a budget of $50,000. It was eventually made in less time for $18,000 and sold to American International for $60,000. Interiors were shot at Larchmont Studios and exteriors at Frazier National Park, Griffith Park and in Brentwood, CA. According to Clarke, after the first day of exterior shooting, director of photography William Thompson was replaced by Brydon Baker. A modern source lists Scott Douglas as the narrator and Al Avalon as a radio newscaster.
Released in United States Winter January 1958
Released in United States Winter January 1958