Friday, 9 December 2016

NOT OF THIS EARTH













d. Roger Corman (1957)

‘Do not run from me, Nadine, I am going to dispatch you’

As you might have guessed, I watch a lot of films with aliens in them. Occasionally they are benign, but mostly they are predatory and with conquest on their minds. The necessities of low budget film making render a full scale alien invasion virtually impossible, of course, so the idea of a lone envoy, an advance scout is a recurring motif. The sole alien has the fate of the Earth in his or her hands or, rather, it is up to us to thwart his or her plans before the Earth is taken over.
In Not Of This Earth the extra-terrestrial is a pockmarked middle aged man with an archaic turn of phrase and a house in the suburbs. Mr Johnson (probably not his real name) has sensitive ears, and his eyes are permanently covered by impenetrable black shades. He’s here because there has been a nuclear war on his planet, Davanna, and now everybody is dying of a disease that is turning their blood to dust. His mission is to find out whether human blood is a compatible substitute. If it is, they will invade; if it isn’t, the world will be destroyed.
To be honest, Mr Johnson is a bit of a horror, being a murderer and a vampire and having gloopy pupil-less eyes that, when turned on a human being, burn out their retinas and parts of the brain. When he’s not killing teenagers, winos or vacuum cleaner salesmen and draining their blood, he’s kidnapping people and sending them through a dimensional portal to be experimented on, or giving a female alien the blood of a rabid dog. He's far too evil to be wholly successful and so is thoroughly defeated. 

The fact is that you can’t just come down to Earth and start stirring without expecting human beings to fight back. We may be primitive, perhaps, and lack mind control and killer eyes, but, by Christ, we’re feisty, and it’s just a matter of time before we find a way to fuck you up.

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