A live-in nurse suspects her patient, an eccentric man who kills people and drains them of their blood, is a being from another world.
This 1957 science fiction film directed by Roger Corman is about a man named Mr. Johnson who’s “not of this Earth” – he’s an alien from the planet Davanna who wears sunglasses to conceal his white eyeballs that have the power to kill people instantly.
Davanna is at war with some other planet, and Johnson’s people are all dying from a deadly blood disease. He’s been killing humans and draining/studying their blood to see if he can find a cure to this disease…whatever the cost.
At the beginning of the film, Johnson goes to a doctor and recruits his assistance via mind control; a nurse named Nadine is assigned to live in Johnson’s house and tend to his health.
Johnson’s also hired a man named Jeremy to act as his chauffeur and do whatever he asks, no matter what – like bring over three drunkards for Johnson to use as test subjects.
Anyway, Nadine and Jeremy observe all this weird stuff Johnson’s been doing and realize that he’s a murderer and an alien!
Johnson kills Jeremy and tries to send Nadine to his planet as a specimen, but she runs away and gets help from her cop boyfriend. There’s a car chase and Johnson crashes and burns…but gets a proper burial in the end: “Here lies a man who was not of this Earth”
Many low budget ’50s horror/sci-fi films can be pretty boring – not this one! It’s actually pretty fun, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much it sucked me in. While the premise is simple, it works just fine; Not of This Earth is well-structured and well-paced, with nothing dragging it down.
Paul Birch was fantastic – a hoot, even – as the emotionless Mr. Johnson, and reminded me a bit of Roscoe Lee Browne’s Kingpin in Spider-Man TAS.
And of course it’s always nice seeing Dick Miller, who has a small but very memorable role as the door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman.
This film is notable for featuring not only Dick Miller, but Jonathan Haze, who deserves his own festival! Your readers will also be glad to know that this 1957 was remade in 1988 as a vehicle allowing Traci Lords to emerge from porn.
And I’ll be reviewing the 1988 remake very soon!
FT Maddux says
I agree with your review, as I have much in the way of warm feelings toward this picture. On the other hand, and contrariwise, I have little in the way of warm feeling about the 1988 remake.