(director: Lee Sholem; screenwriter: Charles Lang; cinematographers: Ted and Vincent Saizis; editor: John Bushelman; music: Walter Greene; cast: Peter Coe (Jacques Guillot), Helen Forrest (Callie, the Gris-Gris Woman), Harry Lauter (Clay Lanier), Betty Lynn (Lili Guillot), Nan Peterson (Nina Duprez/alias Minette Lanier), Howard Wright (Cob), Robert Richards (Pierre Guillot), Rosalee Calvert (The Real Minette Lanier), Tyler McVey (Dr. J. B. Opie), Smoki Whitfield (Burt, the Manservant); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Charles M. Casinelli; Alpha Home Entertainment; 1959)
“Though the plot is dumb, the dialogue trite and acting leaden, it offers low-brow trashy entertainment for those in love with second-rate exploitation pics.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Lee Sholem (“Hell Ship Mutiny”/”Sierra Stranger”/”Pharaoh’s Curse”) after a brief stint as a film director became a longtime TV director (perhaps best known for directing The Adventures of Superman serial). Hedirects this lurid “swamp trash” drive-in B movie as if he really wanted to do a porn film. Though the plot is dumb, the dialogue trite and acting leaden, it offers low-brow trashy entertainment for those in love with second-rate exploitation pics. It’s poorly written by Charles Lang, who fills it with comical sex scenes, awkwardly executed sibling rivalry scenes and has the sexpot star portraying a greedy grasping femme fatale who lacks any acting chops.
An attractive young woman calling herself Minette Lanier (Nan Peterson) is found unconscious in the woods by an elderly crazy bayou woman named Callie (Helen Forrest). She requests the help of Jacques Guillot (Peter Coe) and his helper Cob (Howard Wright) to carry the woman to her cabin. Instead Jacques takes her back to his cabin in the secluded bayou known as The Pit and Cob gets Doc. J. B. Opie to treat her. The Doc orders Pierre (Robert Richards), the younger brother of Jacques, who just married Lily (Betty Lynn), to care for her till she regains her strength. Jacques and Pierre, who are partners in a fish, fur and moss business run from their shack on the banks of the river, have just had a falling out over Lili, someone Jacques loved and feels bitter that she chose his brother.
Minette seduces Pierre on his wedding day and when he comes to his senses kicks her out. She then is taken in by Jacques and begins a steamy affair with him. When Pierre warns him that she’s a bad woman, the irate Jacques dissolves the business partnership. Later Doc shows Pierre a month old copy of a New Orleans newspaper that has a story of the wealthyMinette Lanier committing suicide. This leads Pierre and Lily to travel to the real Minette’s nearby residence in Grange Hill, where they meet her drunken crestfallen husband Clay (Harry Lauter). The loyal servant Burt (Smoki Whitfield) tells how the woman posing as Minette is really Nina Duprez, a factory worker hired to be a companion for Minette when she became crippled during a horse riding spill. It tells a tale of adultery that led to the suicide and her banishment from the house when a contrite Clay vows to kill her if he ever sees her again.
In the end, the brothers reunite, Clay realizes it wouldn’t bring his wife back to kill the hussy and returns home, and the buxom Nina is kicked out of town but fakes a stalled Jeep to get a ride with another unsuspecting male she lures with her sex appeal.
REVIEWED ON 7/29/2010 GRADE: C