“I am Ayesha, who some call She — who waits.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
The real box-office draw here is, naturally, Ursula Andress in the title role, bedecked in either a slinky white sheath or an elaborate gold feather headdress, repeatedly intoning the line quoted above. While she’s no great actress, she’s weirdly believable as an uber-goddess determined to secure Richardson for herself after literally eons of waiting around and ruling her mini-universe.
But the whole affair is ultimately just typically low-budget Hammer fare, only must-see for true fans of this particular sub-genre.
Note: My favorite moment in the film:
Cushing looks at a series of mummified skeletons lining the walls of a cave, and asks Christopher Lee (Ayesha’s right-hand man, Billali), “Who are they?”
Lee’s deadpan response: “High priests like myself, to Ayesha – but with one difference: they are dead.”
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: