THE LEECH WOMAN

Shoulda stuck to Oil of Olay

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 1960 | 12 | dVd

Di­rec­tor ed­ward dein Cast Grant Wil­liams, Coleen Gray, Phillip Terry, Gloria Tal­bott

This en­joy­ably de­ranged B-movie is pow­ered by a queasy trin­ity of old-fash­ioned sex­ism, ageism and racism.

Coleen Gray plays June, em­bit­tered wife of a sci­en­tist seek­ing a way to de­lay age­ing. Af­ter ac­quir­ing a se­cret pow­der that’s just the tonic, he heads off to Africa in search of the source, drag­ging his wrin­kled spouse along to act as a guinea pig. This doesn’t end well as June be­comes a sort of vam­piric cougar, re­liant on pinch­ing pineal hor­mones to main­tain her newly youth­ful looks.

With its spear-wav­ing sav­ages and lines like “Old women al­ways give me the creeps!” it’s a film li­able to make mod­ern-day au­di­ences cringe – though as the script clearly dis­ap­proves of the hus­band who views his wife purely in terms of her or­na­men­tal value, you could ar­gue it makes a fem­i­nist point.

But what re­ally sticks in the mem­ory isn’t that, or the ter­ri­ble old-age make-up, or even the mur­ders. It’s the name of the African tribe, the Nan­dos, which re­peat­edly re­sults in peo­ple dis­cussing “the se­cret of the Nan­dos”, as if try­ing to crack the recipe for the chicken chain’s Peri-Peri sauce…

Extras Trailer. Ian Ber­ri­man

June pinches pineal hor­mones by stab­bing peo­ple in the neck. But the pineal gland is deep in the brain!

Mavis re­acted badly to Sunny De­light.

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