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The Unearthly

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The Unearthly (1957), starring John Carradine, Allison Hayes, Tor Johnson
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The Unearthly (1957), starring John Carradine, Allison Hayes, Tor Johnson

Synopsis of The Unearthly

In The Unearthly, mad Scientist John Carradine lures mentally deranged patients, beautiful blondes, and an unwanted undercover cop to his remote mansion for gland transplant experiments that go awry. He ends up with a basement full of hairy mutants … Anyone care to guess how this turns out?

Review of The Unearthly

Reminiscent of The Black Sleep, but inferior.  Ed Wood strikes again! What’s the mad doctor’s rationale?  For science!  The other doctors’ rationale? Unknown.  Why is Tor Johnson a lumbering behemoth?  It’s never explained. The acting is okay, but not great.  In short, The Unearthly is an enjoyable popcorn movie, not great but not terrible.  I rate it 2 stars out of 5.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Cast of characters in The Unearthly

  • Dr. Charles Conway (John CarradineHouse of FrankensteinThe Howling).  The mad scientist who believes that transplanting his artificially created 17th gland in the human brain will cause immortality.  No matter how many human beings he has to destroy along the way.  “The greater good” and all that …
  • Dr. Sharon Gilchrist (Marilyn BuferdQueen of Outer Space).  Dr. Conway’s devoted assistant, who knows that this next experiment will work.  Or, the next one.  Or, the one after that …
  • Dr. Loren Wright (Roy GordonAttack of the 50 Foot Woman).  The unscrupulous doctor who keeps sending “subjects” to Dr. Conway.  Subjects who won’t be missed …
  • Grace Thomas (Allison HayesThe Crawling Hand).  An attractive young woman, suffering from depression.  She’s on the list of future subjects unless the protagonist can rescue her. Dr. Conway is already trying to make it look like she’s committed suicide.
  • Harry Jedrow (Harry FleerThe Cosmic Man).  A failed experiment, not quite catatonic.  That Dr. Conway orders Lobo II to bury alive.  But Harry manages to avoid that fate, and even seek revenge.
  • Lobo (Tor JohnsonPlan 9 from Outer Space).  Dr. Conway’s lumbering, mute minion.  Possibly a survivor of the experiment, but that’s never actually stated.
  • Danny Green (Arthur BatanidesPolice Academy 2).  Another patient, with anger issues.  He almost makes it …
  • Natalie Andries (Sally ToddFrankenstein’s Daughter).  The attractive blond from the cover.  Recovering from a nervous breakdown, she’s the last surgical failure.
  • Mark Houston (Myron HealeyThe Incredible Melting Man).  The protagonist, an undercover cop, masquerading as an escaped killer.  So that Dr. Conway can “blackmail” him into staying.  While he tries to find out what’s going on …

Editorial review of The Unearthly courtesy of

The spooky laboratory of Dr. Charles Conway (horror legend John Carradine) holds monstrous secrets in this delirious drive-in favorite from the golden age of creature features! Experiments with human glands have produced a number of hideous mutants in his foreboding house on a hill, but that doesn’t stop the good doctor from going back to the table with the aid of passing visitors eager for his medical services. Along with hulking henchman Lobo (“Plan 9 from Outer Space‘s” Tor Johnson), Dr. Conway sets his sights on an undercover cop determined to end this parade of monsters and madness. Featuring the delectable Allison Hayes (Attack of the 50 Foot Woman), this mad mix of gothic thrills and sci-fi chills now looks better than ever in this dazzling new transfer from the original negative, presented here for your ghoulish enjoyment!

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