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Ronnie Ashcroft, an editor-turned-producer, made his directorial debut with The Astounding She-Monster, a shoestring-budgeted sci-fi film that was shot in a total of about eight days. Kenne Duncan, Ewing Miles Brown, and Jeanne Tatum play a trio of hoods who kidnap an heiress (Marilyn Harvey) and try to elude the police by hiding out in a lonely mountain cabin, holding geologist Robert Clarke hostage. They arrive just as a mysterious alien visitor (Shirley Kilpatrick) lands in the nearby countryside; totally mute, clad in a shimmering silver suit, and possessing a lethal radioactive touch, she wanders around the woods, and the kidnappers and their victims are now trapped, Key Largo-style, in the cabin. The film isn't terribly good but it is diverting and moves at a reasonably brisk pace, and it has a certain appeal unique to its low budget. Shirley Kilpatrick -- who some sources claim later changed her name and became a more substantial actress as Shirley Stoler -- was a well-endowed performer (a real-life stripper, in fact) who split the back of her skin-tight costume on the first day's shooting, which is why her character only backs out of scenes, her front to the camera, for the entire movie.

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ID2201CO Astounding She Monster DVD (1958/Robert Clarke) $14.99