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Film / The Unearthly

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Lured into the house of monsters...and butts.

A No Budget B-Movie thriller from 1957, directed by Boris Petroff and starring John Carradine, Allison Hayes, Myron Healey, and Tor Johnson.

Professor Charles Conway (Carradine) is a Mad Scientist attempting to develop the proverbial Fountain of Youth by creating "the 17th gland". Ignoring all aspects of scientific ethics, Conway uses as his research subjects people who have no family and are under the impression that he can cure their depression. The research has been unsuccessful, however, and his subjects have all wound up as grotesque zombies. Some of Conway's patients begin to catch on to his scheme and intend to stop him.

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, please go to the episode recap page.

"Time for list tropes here":

  • Actor Allusion: Tor Johnson's character being named Lobo is probably a reference to his similiar role in Bride of the Monster. It's unclear whether he's supposed to be the same character or not.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Conway is stabbed to death by his earlier test subject Harry Jethro, who turns out to be Not Quite Dead.
  • Hulk Speak: Lobo, as portrayed by Tor Johnson. His line "Time for go to bed!" in particular underwent Memetic Mutation.
  • Instant Death Stab: At the end of the movie Harry Jethro stabs Professor Conway in the abdomen, who instantly falls dead without uttering a sound.
  • Mad Scientist: Professor Conway is obsessed with making people immortal, and won't let little setbacks like his experiments leaving them disfigured or catatonic stop him from trying again and again.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Conway treats his guests to the Toccata and Fugue on his living room Hammond.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Several of the musical cues in this film would reappear in Bloodlust.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Danny Green's first appearance is a temperamental one, abusing the other patients and Lobo. He only becomes truly sympathetic when he sacrifices himself in helping Mark escape.
  • This Cannot Be!: Conway's response on seeing Harry Jethro coming to kill him is a horrified, "No! You're dead! I had you buried!"
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Mark enters the plot as a drifter who Professor Conway suspects of being a murderer, and gets blackmailed into joining the Professor's current group of test subjects. Conway and the audience soon learn that Mark is actually a cop sent to investigate the Professor's operation.
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: Conway has a bunch of cavemen in his basement, turning some sort of power turbine to keep his machines running. It's not made clear if they were his first failures or the source of his glands.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Discussed by Mark and Conway when Conway offers to turn Mark into a test subject and grant him eternal life.