Not of This Earth (1988)

Rating: B

Dir: Jim Wynorski
Star: Traci Lords, Arthur Roberts, Lenny Juliano, Roger Lodge

If you’re going to do a remake, use a film with room for improvement. On that basis, Wynorski is on solid ground, taking a cheapie Corman pic about alien vampires, and juicing it up with a title sequence of effects shot from other Corman works (I spotted footage from Piranha, Galaxy of Terror, and Humanoids from the Deep), dialogue that swings wildly between genius and dreadful, and a parade of breasts, not least those of Ms. Lords, in her first movie which didn’t involve her…well, y’know. She got $3,000 per week here, and didn’t earn much – Wynorski had a bet with Corman that he could do the remake faster than the original. He won, taking 11 1/2 days.

Bridging the gap between 50’s and late 80’s sensibilities well, this obviously knows its limitations and is clearly not to be taken seriously; on those terms, it’s a lot of fun. Roberts has the best lines as the alien, for example, “You are attempting to sell me a vacuum cleaner?” to a stripagram girl, and his explanation of a cure for cancer to a totally disinterested Lords is great. His deliberately-stilted dialogue, featuring words like “egress”, contrasts horribly with awful ‘romantic’ talk between Lords and Lodge (who now hosts Blind Date) – Wynorski the director should have fired Wynorski the writer. Credit though, for splicing in chunks from Humanoids and Hollywood Boulevard to save money, plus Monique Gabrielle in an odd little cameo as a bag lady. Dumb, but fun.

What we said then [5] – Lords, who gained notoriety in the States by becoming a porn queen at the age of 16, tries her hand at straight acting in this Roger Corman remake of a 1956 film as the nurse to a vampire from outer space, after Earth’s blood to save his race. Directed with just the right tongue-in-cheek style, Arthur Roberts is great as the alien and Traci Lords keeps her end up well[!], even if the hero is wafer-thin and the title sequence is the most irrelevant I’ve ever seen; ignore it totally! 7/10