Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Movie review - "Not of this Earth" (1988) **

I was never a massive fan of the original, although I'm partial to the work of Roger Corman and Charles Griffith. Corman remade this, handing the duties over to Jim Wynorski, who agreed to do it for a cheap price. The film is probably best remembered today for giving a straight (ish) acting part to Traci Lords.

At first I thought this was terrible. Instead of opening credits which are creepy, like the original, there's a grab bag of footage from other Corman productions such as Galaxy of Terror (the opening card is "Miracle Pictures" from Hollywood Boulevard.) The opening scene feels like Screwballs, which Wynorski co wrote... you have a couple having sex when the creature comes along and kills them. Arthur Roberts feels out of place as the vampire - not in a good way. The atmosphere and tone of the film didn't seem to work.

But then I got into the film's rhythm. The story does hold, there is imagination, and Lords was a plucky heroine. I mean, I laughed sometimes at her delivering her lines, but not in a bad way - she's kind of sending it up. but she's got spirit and independence. She has this sort of sly humour thing going on.

She has a shower and shows off some butt, hangs around in a bikini a fair bit and takes place with an awkward sex scene having a stylised orgasm. But she's brave and smart - it's actually a decent role now I think about it. She's better than the male actors who tend to be weak.

Some changes from the original - Roberts kills some hookers, plus a stripper who turns up at the wrong address. They keep the vacuum cleaner salesman sequence - just not the same without Dick Miller. There's a weird slasher murder sequence that makes no sense. Actually I struggled to follow a few of the scenes. The story has momentum and the chase scene at the end is ridiculous. I ended up going with this movie and quite enjoying it.

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