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The Unearthly (1957)

Approved | | Sci-Fi, Horror | 28 June 1957 (USA)
Mad doctor uses patients at his isolated psychiatric institute as subjects in his attempts to create longevity by surgically installing an artificial gland in their skulls, with disastrous results.


(as Brooke L. Peters)


(original story), (screenplay) (as Geoffrey Dennis) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Mark Houston (as Myron Healy)
Dr. Sharon Gilchrist (as Marylyn Buferd)
Arthur Batanides ...
Danny Green
Sally Todd ...
Roy Gordon ...
Dr. Loren Wright
Guy Prescott ...
Raymond Guth ...
Police Officer Miller (as Raymond Guta)
Harry Fleer ...
Harry Jedrow
Gloria Petroff ...
Screaming Woman
Paul McWilliams ...
Police Officer Ed


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 <bswitzer@uoguelph.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An army of mutants on a mission from hell! See more »


Sci-Fi | Horror


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

House of the Monsters  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was distributed in the United States as part of a pre-packaged double feature with Beginning of the End (1957). See more »


When Natalie's surgery fails, her facial injuries - burns or decomposition, whatever they may be - are sellotaped to her neck. See more »


Police Captain George Reagan: [after seeing the victims of Conway's experiments] Good Lord - what if they DO live forever?
See more »


Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

At least John Carradine is in it.
10 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

John Carradine is one of those actors from a bygone era that seemed to look at acting as an actual job rather than something to do every now and then while living in multiple homes and living life of luxury. No, he seemed to go from one movie to another taking parts in really good films and really, really bad films. That being said, he has been in more than a couple of films that were featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and this was one of them. Not an entirely bad film, Red Zone Cuba was a much worse film that was featured on the show, this film is a bit slow paced even for a film that has a run time of just over an hour. Basically, just your typical mad scientist film that features a mad scientist, strange monsters and Tor Johnson as a sidekick named Lobo! Yes, Tor appeared as a sidekick named Lobo in like two other films other than this one, but while those two Lobo's were the same character, this one is a totally different Lobo...the distinction is apparently this one speaks. So, it has its moments and the film is upgraded a bit by John Carridine's performance, but overall, just seems like it needed a bit more going on.

The story has a mansion that seems to be in the middle of nowhere, but near the end of the film seems to be right in the middle of the city housing special patients who seem to think they are there for some sort of mental health treatment. Unfortunately for them, the good doctor who resides in the house plans on using them for his experiments to prolong man's life to an eternity using a special gland that he apparently created or something. A man caught outside the mansion and who the doctor believes is an murder on the run ends up being recruited to be a part of the experiments, but this man seems to know something is not right and tries to uncover the truth.

This made for a pretty good episode of MST3K as most films featuring Tor Johnson do. This film had not one, but two shorts which is a bit puzzling seeing as how the film ran 72 minutes which might merit the inclusion of one short, but not really two. Makes me wonder what they edited out of this one. A lot of the riffs in this one were geared to Tor Johnson's Lobo character and John Carridine's mansion that is just about the only place you see during the duration of this film.

So, not a horrible film, but just kind of slow. I would not really want to see the film in its entirety as I cannot imagine it really adding anything to this film. What I did see seemed pretty cut and dry as it was a mad scientist using people as guinea pigs for his crazy experiments. You get to see people misshaped by his experiments and I like how they treat the one girl as if she is dead. It's like, "Oh my, she is now unattractive, let's just leave her here to rot because her life is now over." So if you want to see a film featuring strange experiments, a mad doctor and Tor as Lobo this film fits the bill! Along with like at least two other films...

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