Nothing shows fear quite like a man with a suitcase and a pair of shades. I kid you not, it maybe the ultimate in cheap alien costume but it’s surprisingly effective. Who better to bring the best out of a B-movies microscopic budget than that man, Roger Corman. Not Of This Earth was a pure delight, not only had I never seen it but I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did.
An extraterrestrial humanoid going by the Earthly name of Paul Johnson (Paul Birch) has landed in a Los Angeles suburb. Dress in his black suit, trilby and sunglasses, Paul is on a mission. Unfortunately for humankind Paul’s on reconnaissance for that essential warm red stuff flowing through our veins. Paul’s after blood.
Paul Johnson is an agent from a distant dying planet called Davana. Having transported through space he’s been assigned the duty of collecting blood samples and a blood host to transport back to help try to save their doomed race. Like Paul, their blood is decaying, drying up from constant radioactive wars. The need to replenish their blood supplies is imperative. Paul’s job is of vital importance. One man on a mission and he himself is in urgent need of a blood transfusion. How can he achieve his goal?
Lucky for Paul he has a straightforward manner to him, a commanding voice that has the ability to control. But best of all, and his main aptitude, his freaky face. If Paul doesn’t want you around anymore then just a quick look at his face with his glasses removed and you will be no more. Your brain instantly burnt through your eye sockets!
Tagline – Somewhere in this world stalks a thing that is… NOT OF THIS EARTH!
He needs help. With the help of persuasion and his hypnotic ways he gets himself a servant of sorts. A young wideboy/beatnik Jeremy (Jonathan Haze) becomes his chauffeur, driving him around town for subjects and cooking breakfasts that he’ll never eat. With Paul’s constant need for blood transfusions he manages to arrange for sexy nurse Nadine (Beverly Garland) to live at the mansion he has acquired.
During blood transfusions, pulling up her stockings and fending off the advances of Jeremy, Nadine becomes suspicious of this strange otherworldly man ways. Investigating the strange ongoings inside the mansion and the strange forgetfulness of her boss, Dr Rochelle (William Roerick). He’s started showing odd mannerisms everytime she enquired about Paul’s case. Lucky for Nadine she dating motorcycle cop Harry (Morgan Jones). He’s around to help but our Nadine is one tough cookie and she sure can handle herself.
Can Nadine work out what’s going on? Can see resist the urge to look into Paul’s eyes and have her brain chargrilled? Can see save the world from total annihilation? All whilst running around in a nurses outfit! It’s well worth every 67 minutes of your time to find out.
- I just read that Beverly Garland made an important first in the 1957 TV series Decoy where she became the first female cop to head a show. Starring as Casey Jones, a New York City police woman going undercover to catch criminals in some of the seediest and dangerous parts of town.
- Not Of This Earth screenplay was written by Charles B Griffith and Mark Hanna. Griffith would also pen the classics The Little Shop Of Horrors and Death Race 2000 and may of dropped some ideas into the sexy Jane Fonda sci-fi gem Barbarella.
- Look out for a brilliant appearance from one of the most recognisable faces in movies, Dick Miller. A master of cameos, bit parts and extras. He pops up here as a vacuum cleaner salesman and he’s superb.
- Not Of This Earth fell into public domain as is available to stream on youtube here if you fancy it.
- Oh also check the opening animated credit sequence made up of crumbling skulls, otherworldly caves and floating eyes. I read they may have been created by Paul Julian, if anyone knows for sure please let me know.
Can you believe that this film actually spawned two remakes?
Director Jim Wynorski took on the project as a kind of bet. Saying he could remake it for around the same budget as Roger Corman. Sounds like he achieved this! He managed to get porn actress Traci Lords to star. She had literally came off the back of hundreds of naughty flicks through 1984 to 1986. From the likes of the Electric Blue series to titles like Lust In The Fast Lane, Passion Pit, Private Fantasies to Swedish Erotica. She was massive on the scene. After what must of been an insane two years she took a much needed break. Whilst recouping she decided to concentrate on mainstream acting. Then she got the call from Wynorski to play Nadine the nurse and Traci Lords was back.
The second remake was directed by Terence H Winkless and had Roger Corman as executive producer. Though this time Nadine isn’t included in the cast! Jennifer Coolidge is credited as “nurse” but the Nadine character name might of been changed to Amanda Sayles and played by Elizabeth Barondes? The alien Paul Johnson is here and played by Michael York of all people! I haven’t seen either films and can safely imagine they haven’t got anything on Roger Corman directed original.
The original is superb. It’s darkly twisted but has devilish humor dashed through in equal measures. Whether it was deliberate or not I don’t know, besides it gives the film so much charm. I was so impressed that it’s jumped right near the top of my Corman favorites. With another coming soon to my science fiction month of January special. Pop back in to see what it will be if your intrigued.
Thanks for joining me on my sci-fi journey. Keep having fun with movies… Mikey Wolf