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A certain Doctor Conway (John Carradine) receives a steady stream of
patients from Doctor Wright (Roy Gordon) whom he treats at his mansion in
the middle of nowhere, for conditions that are never disclosed or even
hinted at. However, it soon becomes apparent (to the audience, not
Conway's patients) that Conway actually performs inhuman human experiments
to create a gland that will grant humankind immortality. So far though,
all his experiments have failed and only created monsters, whom Conway
keeps in his basement, all but Lobo (Tor Johnson), whom he has
domesticated and made his servant.
Enter Mark Houston (Myron Healey), a
killer on the run, whom Conway considers to be a perfect specimen to test
his finalized immortality formula on. For some reason, Conway is naive
enough to tell Houston of his plans. At first, Houston is fine with it,
after all being immortal isn't too bad, is it, but then he has secons
thoughts. especially when one of the doctor's pattients (Sally Todd)
disappears, and he becomes quite friendly with another patient, Grace
(Allison Hayes). Conway is against this relationship, partly because he
wants Grace for himself - much to the dismay of his assistant Sharon
(Marilyn Buferd), who's of course in love with him.
Conway has almost
convinced Grace that Houston is suffering from paranoia and delusions, but
then Houston shows her the patient who has gone missing a few days ago but
who has not turned into a monster - and she knows whose side she's on.
Under Houston's leadership, the patients plan a breakout, which is stopped
cold by Conway and company - or so Conway thinks, because Houston, who's
not a killer on the run at all but a gouvernment agent, has already
alerted the authorities, and then there's one of the doctor's experiments
(Harry Fleer), whom he recently buried, who now comes back to the grave to
kill the doctor ...
Need I mention that in the end, the hero gets the
Pretty much your typical low budget drive-in science
fiction fare: Its science angle is more than a bit silly, its story as
such is overly formulaic, it always puts sensationalism over inventive
story ideas, and its emphasis on monsters lacks a proper pay-off. On the
acting side of things, John Carradine of course hams it up just like you'd
expect him to and enjoy him to, and Tor Johnson does his usual hulking
around-routine, delivering a handful hilarious lines of dialogue along the
way, but the rest of the cast is merely mediocre.
What I want to say
with all of this, The Unearthly is not at all a good film, but a
must-see for 1950's-drive-in-afficionados ...