THE LEECH WOMAN
Shoulda stuck to Oil of Olay
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.