Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

NOT OF THIS EARTH (1957)


NOT OF THIS EARTH (1957). Director: Roger Corman. Screenplay by Charles B. Griffith and Mark Hanna.

The inhabitants of the planet Davanna are dying from a blood disease due to nuclear war so an emissary is sent to Earth to see if human blood will be suitable for inter-species transfusions. Paul Birch is perfect as the emissary who calls himself Paul Johnson, even affecting a kind of otherworldly accent as if English is not his natural language. Beverly Garland is also top-notch as a nurse who comes to work for Johnson when he offers her an unusually high salary. Jonathan Haze of Little Shop of Horrors is Johnson's human assistant. Johnson walks around in dark shades with a suitcase in which he puts a person's blood after he has removed it all. He also has hypnotic powers and a cosmic death stare. The movie is at times a black comedy -- funny Dick Miller of Bucket of Blood is one of the victims -- but it's also creepy and disturbing, particularly the scene when one poor guy is sent through a teleporter to be dissected but winds up crushed instead [off-screen]. A flying bat-like monster that attacks and kills one cast member is not that convincing but it's still shuddery in spite of it. Exciting climax. Hanna also scripted Amazing Colossal Man and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. Griffith scripted Attack of the Crab Monsters.

Verdict: Effective B movie with many nice moments and good acting. ***.

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