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Professor Charles Conway is a mad scientist attempting to develop the proverbial fountain of youth by creating "the 17th gland". Ignoring all aspects of scientific ethics, his research subjects are people who have no family and are under the impression that the doctor can cure their depression. However, his research hasn't been successful and his subjects are turned into grotesque zombies. Some of Conway's patients begin to catch on to his scheme and intend to stop him. Written by
Brian D. Switzer <email@example.com>
John Carradine's character, Dr. Conway, has a big problem in "The Unearthly." His experiments on a newly discovered synthetic gland keep going wrong, and as a result, all his human guinea pigs have been transformed into mutant critters that are now overcrowding his basement. We get to see this mutant collection at the end of the film, and it is both the funniest and most horrifying section of this surprisingly well-done little B picture. I say "surprising" only because most film books downplay this movie as hopeless shlock, but I found it to be fairly entertaining. Not too many unintentional laffs, and with fairly good acting, too, especially from Carradine and cult fave Allison "The 50 Foot Woman" Hayes. Tor Johnson, everyone's favorite lumbering mound of monstrous blubber, is also on hand, as Carradine's imbecilic helper, and his is always a welcome presence. Surprisingly, his character's name is Lobo...the same name he sported in Ed Wood's "Bride of the Monster"!!! This may very well be Tor's finest film...but when your other credits include "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and "The Beast of Yucca Flats," two of the worst ever, I suppose that's not saying too much. Compared to the other John Carradine "mad scientist" film that I saw recently, "The Astro-Zombies," "The Unearthly" is a little gem of script, acting and direction. Again, I suppose that's not saying too much. But the bottom line is, I really did have fun with this one. Give it a try!
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