There are many movies that can classified as bad but good and most would dump this film in with the lot, but surprisingly, The Woman Eater, or Womaneater as it was known when first released, is not all that terrible. There were some obvious faults of course, all films have them, but The Woman Eater is a lot of fun, the kind that you can only get from science-fiction and horror films from the 1950s and 1960s. Whether it is cheesy dialogue, bad acting or shoddy effects, people love a bad B movie and though this film has all three, it is actually quite enjoyable.
The overall story concerns a mad scientist played by George Coulouris who is looking to learn the secrets of resurrection from a native tribe. Said secret resides in their tree-god that feeds on a diet of usually lovely women. So if he has to do so, Dr. Moran feeds the tree all the women it can handle so that it will in turn produce the serum that will return the dead to life.
While the plot is not wholly original, you have to give the writers some credit for doing something a little different with the introduction of a rebirth element into the picture. More often than not, the creature of these films only take life and is not capable of giving it, in any way, shape or form. As such, you really have no idea just where it is that this picture is going to go, though you can guess what Dr. Moran has in mind. The tree itself was not particularly frightening though for the most part, you have to use your imagination to picture what the makers of this film really had in mind. It is a little creepy, especially with its vines and tendrils and whatnot, but budgets and effects being what they were at the time of its making, the woman-eating tree will not haunt your dreams. The great thing about this creature is that it was not your standard humanoid being that everyone usually goes to the well for. Going against the grain, the filmmakers did something unique which made it a little extra special.
Coulouris was all right as the lead of the film, but Vera Day lent a bright spot to the movie and brought a modicum of talent amid a sea of mediocrity. It was not as if the actors in the film were essentially bad, it was simply for the fact that the script could have used a little work perhaps and the players themselves putting a little more of themselves into the work. When all was said and done though, you did not mind so much as you know going in that this is not going to be an award-winning film.
As far as pictures go that feature trees as monsters, this film can be considered a win.
3 out of 5