Saturday, February 23, 2019

THE VENGEANCE OF SHE (1968) Blu-ray review

The Vengeance of She (1968) d. Cliff Owen (UK) (101 min)

In this very loose sequel to the 1965 Ursula Andress vehicle (based upon H. Rider Haggard’s novel, itself first adapted for the screen in 1908 and remade at least a half-dozen times over the course of the century), a beautiful blonde amnesiac named Carol (Olga Schoberova, rechristened Olinka Berova by Hammer execs) is drawn toward the east, plagued by hallucinatory voices calling her “Ayesha,” better known as She Who Must Be Obeyed. After an encounter with a lascivious lorry driver, she arrives on the shores of Monte Carlo where, aboard the yacht of a wastrel millionaire, she meets up with Dr. Philip Smith (Edward Judd). Fascinated by the bikinied beauty’s tale, Smith travels to Africa with Carol, eventually arriving at the lost city of Kuma where she is greeted as the reincarnation of King Killikrates’ (John Richardson) beloved Queen. The lovestruck monarch, overjoyed by this apparent twist of destiny, encourages Ayesha to walk through the blue flame of immortality and stay with him forever, much to the dismay of Dr. Smith who smells a rat in the form of high priest Men-Hari (Derek Godfrey).

Vengeance falls squarely in the middle of the studio’s wave of “lost civilization” features, launched by She and followed by One Million Years B.C. (with Richardson, Raquel Welch, and Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion dinosaurs), Prehistoric Women (with Martine Beswicke and no dinosaurs), When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (with no big stars and Jim Danforth’s dinosaurs), and Creatures the World Forgot (featuring no stars and no dinosaurs).

At this point, Hammer was running low on funds and could only afford actors like Judd and Andre Morell (The Plague of the Zombies) who were dependable but brought little marquee value. Before long, the studio would start experimenting with more female nudity in their projects (The Vampire Lovers, Twins of Evil), and one can only imagine this might have boosted this film’s appeal. (Czech actress Schoberova, who would go on to marry Warner Bros. executive John Calley, was a former Playboy model.)

However, without star-power, prehistoric beasts, or exposed naughty bits to tickle the senses, viewers are left with a fairly mundane adventure yarn – perfunctorily directed by Owen – that is essentially a retread of the 1965 feature with the destinies of Killikrates and Ayesha flipped. Still, fans of Hammer glamour will enjoy seeing our blonde starlet wander wide-eyed throughout various exotic locales in various revealing outfits and production values are still high enough to not let the seams show.


NEW 2K scan of the original film elements

NEW audio commentary by The Monster Party Podcast Hosts Matt Weinhold, Shawn Sheridan, Larry Strothe, and James Gonis

NEW Interview with Assistant Director Terence Clegg (3 min)

NEW Interview with Visual Effects Artist Joy Cuff (8 min)

NEW Interview with Clapper/Loader Trevor Coop (6 min)

World of Hammer TV episode – “Lands Before Time” (25 min)

Theatrical Trailer

TV Spots

Still Gallery

The Vengeance of She is available now from Shout! Factory on Blu-ray and can be ordered HERE:


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