Mr. Johnson (Arthur Roberts) is an odd man dressed in a dark suit who comes to Dr. Rochelle (Ace Mask), in search of a cure for his unusual blood condition. It seems his blood is literally evaporating from his body. To this end, he has hired a nurse, Nadine Story (Traci Lords) to give him regular transfusions of fresh blood. The truly remarkable thing about Mr. Johnson, is he is in fact an alien who has a habit of stalking the night for young woman to zap with his strange eyes. He then relieves them of their blood via a machine that he has enclosed in a silver suitcase.
This 1988 remake of Not of This Earth (1957) allegedly exists because director, Wynorski bet Roger Corman that he could remake Corman’s 1957 original for the same budget (adjusted for inflation), the same script, and under the same time constraints. The primary difference between the 1988 and 1957 versions is the inclusion of quite a bit of female nudity and, of course, adding Traci Lords to the cast who was looking to distance herself from her controversial porn career. Beyond that, it is virtually identical to the original. Interestingly, by playing out the original script with much of its dialog unaltered and juxtaposing it with a more modern exploitation sensibility, it creates a much more campy atmosphere, as opposed the more straightforward narrative of Corman’s version. This campy attitude gives the movie it’s own personality, otherwise it might just feel like a pointless exercise in duplication.
|Bruce Vilanch in a role that will surprise you.|
Special effects are simple and kept to a minimum, which works just fine for a story the is far more about character than gloopy alien effects. The music is similar, a simple serviceable synthesizer score that does what it should with a minimal of fuss. These elements are a perfect emulation of Roger Corman’s no-frills ethos.
|"For the last time, I am not interested in taking your temperature."|