Roger Corman's Cult Classics: Not of This Earth Jim Wynorski

Roger Corman's Cult Classics: Not of This Earth Jim Wynorski
Here are a few things worth considering while watching Not of This Earth (1988), the latest entry in Shout! Factory's line of exploitation films from the Roger Corman vault. Corman rarely budgets a movie without foreign, TV, video and, today, On Demand presales already tabulated to ensure he'll make a profit before shooting even starts. Also, Corman helped launch the careers of Nicholson, Coppola, Scorsese, et al., so he attracts hungry, young talent hoping to follow in their footsteps. (But since Scorpius Gigantus isn't exactly a one-way ticket to superstardom, they'll settle for some rent money and IMDB entry padding.) Traci Lords (20-years-old and taking her first post-porn job) was presumably happy to take any semi-mainstream work she could get. Jim Wynorski (whose recent credits include Dinocroc vs. Supergator, something called The Devil Wears Nada and who is the signature director of Corman's Concorde/New Horizons companies) likes naked breasts and is happiest when he's capturing them on film. Video store customers renting a barely released, vaguely disreputable low-budget horror comedy with Traci Lords in 1988 were less interested in horror and comedy than in Traci Lords' breasts, and by those standards this movie delivers. Finally, anyone buying a barely released, vaguely disreputable low-budget horror comedy with Traci Lords with a "Roger Corman Cult Classics" label in 2010 is looking for something to watch ironically, perhaps with friends, perhaps in an altered state. Now, I could go on about how Not of This Earth isn't a high-quality film, but what good would that do? Sure, I could waste everyone's time listing off flaws, like how it keeps switching from day to night in the final chase; how the same picture keeps reappearing in different rooms of the mansion set; the contrived romance between Lords and Roger Lodge; the lame, lecherous banter between Lords and Lenny Juliano; how it's neither funny nor scary; or how Wynorski really has no right to pad an 82-minute film with so much stock footage, including an entire scene from Hollywood Boulevard. But, really, who cares? Then and now, forever and ever, Not of This Earth is one of those movies that doesn't need to be good. The DVD extras feature two commentary tracks, including one where Lords says to Wynorski, "The special effects make-up is a little… it looks like someone threw egg on her face." Also included is an interview with Lords, who reveals that Wynorski made a bet with Corman that he could make this film even quicker than Corman made his original 1957 version and who diplomatically reports, "Continuity wasn't always something that was taken into consideration. And I, at the time, I don't think I really knew what continuity was." (Shout! Factory)