Cinemax Friday: Not Of This Earth (1988, directed by Jim Wynorski)


Since today is director Jim Wynorski’s birthday, I want to review one of his early films.

A remake of the Roger Corman classic, Wynorksi’s Not Of This Earth stars Traci Lords as Nadine Story, a nurse who works in the office of Dr. Rochelle (Ace Mask) and who has a boyfriend named Harry (Roger Lodge) who is also a cop.  (The leads to jokes like, “Harry called.  He said he left his nightstick with you last night.”)  Dr. Rochelle’s main patient is the mysterious Mr. Johnson (Arthur Roberts), who dresses in all black, always wears sunglasses, and who needs frequent blood transfusions.  When Dr. Rochelle takes a look at Mr. Johnson’s blood, he sees that Mr. Johnson has a strange blood disease that has apparently never been discovered before.  Dr. Rochelle sends Nadine over to work at Mr. Johnson’s home as his private nurse.  Of course, Mr. Johnson is not of this Earth.  His planet is dying and, as Nadine discovers, he is on Earth to search for a new supply of blood.

Wynorski’s version of Not Of This Earth follows the exact same plot of the Corman original, right down to having a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman fall victim to the alien’s bloodlust.  (In the original, the salesman was played by Dick Miller.  In the remake, he’s played by Michael Delano.  Miller does not even get a cameo in the remake of Not of this Earth, which is surprising considering it was still a Corman production and Wynorski previously cast Miller in Chopping Mall.)  They’re both enjoyable movies, especially if you’re in the mood for something that won’t require much thought.  The main difference between the the two versions of Not of this Earth is that the Wynorski version features a lot more nudity and that it makes no pretense towards being anything other than a comedy.

This was Traci Lords’s first role in a non-adult film and she knocks it out of the park.  The scandal surrounding her adult film career has always overshadowed the fact that, for all of her notoriety, Traci Lords was actually a pretty good actress who could handle comedy.  While the deliberately campy humor in Not of this Earth is no one’s definition of subtle, Lords shows good comedic timing and, most importantly, she delivers her lines with a straight face and without winking at the audience.

Wynorski later said that the movie was so popular on video that he was able to buy a house with his share of the profits.  Not of this Earth is a classic Wynorski production, featuring everything that made Jim Wynorski a late-night cable and direct-to-video favorite in the 90s.

One response to “Cinemax Friday: Not Of This Earth (1988, directed by Jim Wynorski)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 8/10/20 — 8/16/20 | Through the Shattered Lens

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