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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Not So Much Badly Made As Just Plain Uninteresting
Dr. Conway (John Carradine) runs a strange medical home in a decayed and isolated mansion. How strange is it? Well, it's so strange that Lobo (Tor Johnson) works there.
Ed Wood occasionally receives a writing credit for this bit of 1957 drive-in dreck; in truth his only contribution to the film is the character Lobo, which is lifted directly from Wood's 1955 BRIDE OF THE MONSTER. Even so THE UNEARTHLY, scripted by John Black and Jane Mann, is certainly bad enough to be an Ed Wood movie. Unfortunately it isn't nearly as funny.
Dr. Conway's newest patient is Grace (Allison Hayes), who is unaware that the place is a front for unnatural experiments involving artificial glands. Fortunately for Grace, murder-on-the-run Mark (Myron Healey) stumbles onto the grounds and proves more than a match for the good doctor and his evil associates. Throw in Marilyn Buferd, Arthur Batanides, Sally Todd and an idea or two yanked from H.G. Wells' ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU and there you go.
By this point John Carradine had been typed in mad doctor roles and he delivers a typical John Carradine mad doctor performance. Allison Hayes, a beautiful and interesting actress who never got the breaks she deserved, is an always welcome sight--and yes, it is fun to see Tor Johnson doing his slack-jawed routine again. But in a general sense THE UNEARTLY isn't so much a badly made film as it is an utterly uninteresting one. If you're among the hardcore fans of 1950s drive in fare you might enjoy it, but I'm not holding my breath on it.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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