Saturday, July 21, 2012

Never getting tired of Not of this earth!

By - Steve Mezo

I'll never forget when my friend Warren F. Disbrow
 received this in the mail on VHS.
 Not of this earth (1988)
Written by R.J. Robertson and Directed by Jim Wynorski

The second Warren told my friend Shawn T. Reich and me what it was we just about ran to the editing room's (entertainment) VCR to see it. But before that we had to make a run to WAWA for some movie food and a couple gallons of Iced Tea. 

Now if you've read anything on this site before you know that I make no apologies for loving Cheesy Movies. Not bad movies (Even they can have a huge budget) but Cheesy Movies where the person responsible entertains me for an hour and a half with a good story and the best of their abilities.

And does this one deliver! It has footage from a Drive - In Cheese Master "Mister Roger Corman" and great add in's to the original script from 1957.

Yup, "Not of This Earth" was originally done in 1957. 
It was written by Charles B. Griffith along with Mark Hanna
 and directed by Roger Corman.  

It's one of my favorite Drive - In black and whites and has Paul Birch as the original Alien Space Vampire .

The inhabitants of Davanna who are at war with each other send "Mr. Johnson" to Earth to see if he can find a viable blood replacement for their own that's diseased and evaporates. While he's here he needs his own replaced so he can continue his research. He enlist the help of a doctor specializing in blood and hires his nurse to do daily transfusions of new blood. 
The only problem unknown to the nurse is Mr. Johnson gets his blood supply from people in the area after he kills them with his eye death rays and drains them with a machine he keeps in a briefcase. 
And when she finds out about his mission the fun really starts. 

Now when Warren had shown us the 1988 remake he had told us that it was shot with the original script, but writer R.J. Robertson and had made some add on's to make it appeal to 80's Video Store audiences.

They had cast Traci Lords as the nurse and Arthur Roberts as "Mr. Johnson". You would probably remember him as the bad guy from allot of the 70's and 80's cop shows. 

Extra points if you remember him as this guy!!!
Within the first minute and a half we were cracking up because during the opening credits. I guess to establish the Sci-Fi feel of the movie they had used clips from "Battle beyond the Sun" (1960), "Battle Beyond The Stars" (1980) Which has John Saxon and is a pretty good movie with a Battle Star Galactica feel to it, "Forbidden World" (1982), "Galaxy of Terror" (1981), "Humanoids From The Deep (1980) Love that one, Piranha (1978) Another favorite and for some unknown reason the matte painting castle from "The Raven" and a bunch of other Roger Corman "Edgar Allen Poe" movies that he made. All of the one's I listed are Corman's but we couldn't figure out why they used the castle?

The movie had a ton of production goofs like not framing the set so you couldn't see where the tops of the foyer set walls ended, and there were some really bad continuity match ups with complete scenes from Hollywood Boulevard and Humanoids From The Deep.
But it still kept to the story and was a fun watch. Another one of the coolest things about it was they used some of the original props from the 1957 movie. Then add to that Traci Lords and the rest of the cast did a great job of keeping the story moving and getting you to like the characters, so you didn't mind the production flaws.