Digi-Schlock: NOT OF THIS EARTH (1988 Version – Shout! Factory DVD)

The Jim Wynorski version of Not Of This Earth is one of Shout! Factory’s Roger Corman-produced titles that had a prior DVD edition.  It was issued by New Concorde on disc in 2001 and boasted a commentary track by Wynorski and actor Lenny Juliano in addition to the film itself.  That said, it was presented in a 1.33:1 ratio like most of the New Concorde releases and there was plenty of room for improvement in a future incarnation.

Thankfully for fans, Shout! Factory has produced an improvement on that earlier disc with their new edition of Not Of This Earth.  For starters, the disc boasts a fresh anamorphic transfer that looks appropriately colorful and shows off how skillfully shot the film is for a low-budget affair (trivia note: the gaffer on this film was future Spielberg cinematographer Janusz Kaminski).  The original mix is retained for the soundtrack and its blend of dialogue, effects and music holds up nicely.

Those who missed out on the New Concorde disc will be happy to learn that this new disc retains the commentary track from that earlier edition.  It’s a lively affair, with Wynorski telling plenty of fun production tales (like how Roger Lodge scratched up Wynorski’s car during the first shot of his first day on the shoot)  and how Traci Lords ended up in the film.  Juliano lets Wynorski take the lead but works in the occasional interesting bit – the best is when he discusses the difficulties of his final scene in the film – and he occasionally gets Wynorski revved up by pointing out onscreen gaffes.  The two make a likeable duo and their chemistry results in a breezy track that is fun to listen to.

Shout! Factory has also added a few other noteworthy extras to sweeten the deal.  The first is a new commentary track that reunites Wynorski with Lords for the first time in over 20 years.  The resulting track is more informal because Wynorski covered most of the production-oriented basics in the earlier track but it’s no less lively thanks to Lords, who quickly reveals herself to be a feisty and witty foil for Wynorski.  She gets him to open up about his personal life (she does the same) and acts as a sort of rebuttal witness to Wynorski’s version of the facts.  It’s also a lot of fun to hear her tease Wynorski about his schlocky excesses.

There is also a new video interview with Lords in which she offers a fond but level-headed recollection of working on the film.  It’s a brisk affair in which she offers light-hearted but intelligent opinions on working with Wynorski and the importance of this film in helping her start a legit career after her troubled porn past.  The package is rounded out with trailers for both versions of Not Of This Earth as well as Starcrash and Galaxy Of Terror.

To sum up, this is a solid special edition that has plenty to offer fans of Not Of This Earth.  Those who like this era of Corman’s output will definitely want to give it a look.

Not Of This Earth (1988)

Not Of This Earth (1988)

An alien race dying from radiation sends an emissary to Earth to find out if transfusions of human plasma might be a cure for their affliction. If the plan is a success, the creatures intend to launch a full scale invasion to harvest people for their blood.Director: Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, Big Bad Mama II, The Return of Swamp Thing)Stars: Traci Lords, Arthur Roberts, Lenny JulianoBonus Features:New Interview With Traci LordsNew Commentary With Traci Lords And Director Jim WynorskiOriginal Commentary With Director Jim WynorskiTheatrical Trailer

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