The Astounding She-Monster (1957)

59m (UK), 62m, 5343 feett
35mm film, black and white
mono, English

An American science fiction film directed by Ronnie Ashcroft.

Plot Summary

The remote cabin home of a geologist is taken over by a gang who have kidnapped a rich woman and are planning to hold her to ransom. But they soon fall foul of a glowing female alien whose touch can kill.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Ronnie Ashcroft
© MCMLVII [1957] by Ronnie Ashcroft Productions
Hollywood International Pictures presents an American-International release
Produced by: Ronnie Ashcroft
Production Manager: John Nelson
Story and Screenplay by: Frank Hall; Ronald V. Ashcroft *
Director of Photography: William C. Thompson
Chief Electrician: Lee Cannon
Grip Master: Charles Morris
Editor: Ronald V. Ashcroft *
Music by: Guenther Kauer
Sound: Dale Knight
Costume by: Maureen [real name: Maureen Portoghese]
Wardrobe: Norma McClaskey
Make Up Artist: Nicholas Vehr
Property Master: Tony Portoghese
Creative Consultant: Edward D. Wood Jr *
Locations: Frazier Park, California, USA *; Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California, USA *

Robert Clarke (Dick Cutler)
Kenne Duncan (Nat Burdell)
Marilyn Harvey (Margaret Chaffee)
Jeanne Tatum (Esther Malone)
Shirley Kilpatrick (The She-Monster)
Ewing Brown (Brad Conley)
Al Avalon [radio newscaster] *
Scott Douglas [narrator] *

Alternative Titles

The Astounding She Monster
Mysterious Invader
– UK

Extracts included in
Bride of Monster Mania (2000)

See also
Alienator (1989)


Monthly Film Bulletin vol.25 no.298 (November 1958) p.144
The feminine monster shimmers and wobbles and oscillates on each of her many sinister appearances – but, unfortunately, the rest of the picture behaves accordingly, and it is only the absence of the monster that allows the image to remain static. The film is a feeble and ridiculous contribution to the science fiction library, weakly scripted and poorly acted.

Video Watchdog no.42 (1997) pp.8-9
Despite its low rent origins (Egan, who plays Clarke's dog, was actually Clarke's dog!), and partly because of them, the film becomes a hypnotic exercise in minimalism; the She-Monster is mostly limited to one endlessly recycled, rippling shot of her sashaying down a wooded road, while the rest of the cast is restricted to a room and exteriors that seem equally finite and boxed-in by the beam of an arc light. Photographed by William Thompson – without even the limited opportunities for style he found in Ed Wood's Glen or Glenda? and Plan Nine from Outer Space – the movie is deliriously scored with library music, some of which accompanied the infamous “chicken trip” sequence in The Weird World of LSD. We've always had a strong suspicion – based on the closeups of her eyes – that Shirley Kilpatrick, reportedly an exotic dancer at the time, later became the character actress Shirley Stoler (The Honeymoon Killers). – from an illustrated review by TL [Tim Lucas]



  • Fangoria no.167 (October 1997) p.33 – note
  • Femme Fatales March 1996 p.62 – article
  • Kine Weekly no.2666 (18 September 1958) p.28 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.25 no.298 (November 1958) p.144 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.210 no.13 (29 March 1958) p.773 – credits, review
  • Video Watchdog no.42 (1997) pp.8-9 – illustrated review (by TL [Tim Lucas])


  • American International Pictures: A Filmography by Robert L. Ottoson pp.27-28 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films: A Checklist by Donald C. Willis p.28 – credits
  • by Walt Lee p.18 – credits
  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook by Alan Frank p.14 – credits, review