After doing military service in the Middle East, British archaeologist Holly, his valet and his gorgeous young friend Leo are spotted in Palestine and approached by a mysterious oriental who identified Leo by his canning likeness to the portrait on an ancient coin.
An adventurous search for the lost Pharaonic city of Kuma with a map the acquired leads their hasty mini-expedition to a hidden city, where the Hellenistic age is still alive. It's ruled by the supernatural Ayesha, 'She who must be obeyed', who believes he is is the reincarnation she waited for all those centuries of Callicrates, a companion of Alexander the Great, and offers him immortality to share the throne as her eternal love, but it goes tragically wrong...
Hammer are famous for making horror movies (obviously), and 'She' is often considered amongst Hammer's horror offerings. I beg to differ from that notion, as although it certainly has horror elements: this is most definitely an adventure movie.
Still, the delirious Hammer style is definitely still there and this movie succeeds in conforming to the camp ideals that Hammer became famous for (and that I love them for!). This is also one of many (though not enough!) movies to feature the immense talents of both of Hammer's super-heavyweights; Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, and both deliver to their regular high standard.
The plot follows three men who travel to a lost city in search of riches that have been promised to them upon their arrival. However, the city is ruled by the powerful 'She who must be obeyed' (Ursula Andress) and she believes one of the men to be her reincarnated love, so sets about making him conform to her way of thinking...
The film exudes a sense of sleaze, in spite of not being essentially sleazy. This has come about due to the central theme of the woman being the dominant party, and as the woman in question is played by the domineering Ursula Andress, that sense is exuded quite plainly.
Also joining in the fun aside from Cushing, Lee and Andress is Hammer favourite André Morell, who completes a rather fine cast. The low budget is more than obvious on a number of occasions, mostly through the cheap looking sets, and it seems as if the producers have been a little over ambitious. It doesn't matter, though, as the low budget adds to the charm and appeal of the movie, which ensures that the movie is even more fun for the viewer.
The moral to the story has some credibility too, and the ending actually succeeds in being fairly powerful.
On the whole, 'She' isn't a prime example of how great the adventure genre can be; but it's a solid film, and fans of low budget kitsch will find something to like.
# 'Andre Morell' re-voiced by George Pastell.
# For the final stage of Ayesha's disintegration, makeup was not applied to Ursula Andress, but to an uncredited elderly actress who doubled for the star.
Ursula Andress ... Ayesha (She who must be obeyed)
Peter Cushing ... Holly
Bernard Cribbins ... Job
John Richardson ... Leo
Rosenda Monteros ... Ustane
Christopher Lee ... Billali
André Morell ... Haumeid (as Andre Morell)
Soraya ... Soraya
Julie Mendez ... Night Club Dancer
Lisa Peake ... Night Club Dancer
Cherry Larman ... Handmaiden
Bula Coleman ... Handmaiden