Movie Review: "The Unearthly" (1957)
By John Roberts
Los Angeles, California
February 10, 2016 9:05am CST
"The Unearthly" is a typical campy mad scientist picture from 1957 that boasts a former Miss America and Playboy Playmate of the Month in the cast. The brisk 73 minute film stars that old ham John Carradine chewing up the scenery as Dr. Charles Conway who is seeking to discover the key to immortality. He has created an artificial gland that he keeps unsuccessfully implanting and naturally the results are disastrous. What self respecting mad scientist does not have a dungeon full of deformed freaks? His estate is conveniently remote and the good doctor is in need of fresh subjects who are supplied by shady Dr. Loren Wright (Ray Gordon). Victims need to be without family so as not to arouse suspicion. Conrad's cohort Dr. Sharon Gilchrist is played by Marilyn Buferd who was crowned Miss America in 1946. Schlock movie fans will recognize the actor (a loosely applied term) playing the hulking attendant Lobo. Former Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson was a member of Ed Wood's stock company and graced such "classics" as "Plan 9 from Outer Space." Patient Natalie is portrayed by vintage Playboy centerfold Sally Todd who also posed for other men's magazines. That the doctor experiments on this blonde bombshell is a cryin' shame. Female lead Allison Hayes plays newest patient Grace. Hayes attained cult status for all her horror and science fiction films most famously as star of "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman." Lobo captures Mark Houston (familiar western actor Myron Healy) whom the doctor recognizes as an escaped convict and murderer ripe for experimenting. Or is he? The audience can pretty much figure that out right quick. Events proceed as expected. The film was directed by the obscure Brooke L. Peters who was actually a Russian named Boris Petroff. "The Unearthly" is fun and corny viewing and Carradine is a hoot because he always approached his roles with dead seriousness.
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