Not of This Earth (1988)

Director Jim Wynorski made Roger Corman a bet: he could remake the 1957 film with the same budget and schedule thirty years later.

Luckily, he had a not-so-secret weapon. Let’s be honest: Traci Lords being in a Merchant-Ivory movie about malaria would make me watch that movie ten times in a row. Wyrnorski is a smart guy. After all, he told John McCarty in The Sleaze Merchants: Adventures in Exploitation Filmmaking from the ’50s to the ’90s, “While we were at an optical house doing some effects work for Big Bad Mama II, I came across an original print of the old Corman film. Kelli Maroney was there, and Raven, and we had a big hoot watching it. So I said “I think we could have a blast remaking this picture.” And they said “Well, who are you going to get to play the Beverly Garland part?” There were some newspapers lying around, and I saw a story in one of them about Traci Lords. So I said, “Let’s get Traci Lords!” She even looks a little bit like Beverly Garland.”

Lords, however, didn’t want to be found in the wake of the scandalous idea that she made adult films underage. But he convinced her to be in it and was surprised that she improved as an actress as the filming went on.

Traci plays Nadine Story, a nurse who soon gets hired to be the personal blood transfusion person for Mr. Johnson, who is really an alien from the planet Davanna. So yeah, it’s a vampire movie — and fits into the “Not-So-Classic Monsters” theme this week — while also being an alien movie.

To get the movie under budget, some scenes are directly lifted from other Corman movies, like a stalker from Hollywood Boulevard and a foggy scene of a woman being followed from Humanoids from the Deep.

The opening also has a quick blast of scenes from past Corman movies like Forbidden WorldBattle Beyond the Stars, Galaxy of Terror, Battle Beyond the Sun and Piranha.

This being a Wynorski movie, he filled it with plenty of gorgeous women. So look out for Rebecca Perle (Savage Streets), Becky LeBeau (Bubbles in the hot tub from Back to School; her voice is dubbed by Michelle Bauer), Roxanne Kernohan (Critters 2), Monique Gabrielle (61 magical films to choose from and I’ll pick Young Lady Chatterley II), Ava Cadell (Ava from the world of Andy Sidaris), Cynthia Thompson (Body Count), Kelli Maroney (Night of the Comet) and Kim Sill (AKA Kimberly Dawn, AKA Kim Dawson, star of a ton of movies you snuck watch on Cinemax in your puberty).

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