This film was shown as a double feature with Attack of the Crab Monsters, another Corman that I reviewed recently. This one has a story that seems, at first glance, to be less conducive to big thrills than a movie that namechecks Crab Monsters in the title, but it’s actually a really, really great little B-movie. Paul Birch plays a mysterious alien who has come to Earth in order to steal humanity’s blood and send it back to his home planet for testing; if the blood proves suitable, his alien race will take over Earth and use it as a kind of blood farm? Something. An affable nurse who specializes in blood transfusions runs afoul of the whole thing and, you know, things go haywire. The cast here is really great. Birch has a really weird, off-kilter air about him that makes him seem alien, but not too alien. His weird voice and delivery is really good. Beverly Garland brings a really feisty energy to the nurse character and I was kind of impressed by the degree the film allowed her to be a lot more than someone who needed to be rescued by her policeman boyfriend, pretty poorly played by Morgan Jones. The boyfriend, in fact, is really forgettable and the nurse is a far stronger character. Jonathan Haze is also really good as a seedy criminal hired by Birch’s character as an assistant. That character went in a different direction than I was expecting. Corman regular Dick Miller also has a fantastic cameo as a jive-talking door to door salesman. Anyway, the film has some genuine pleasures and also a lot of “so bad it’s good” moments. It’s kind of a perfect brew of this kind of cheapo B-movie magic in that regard. There are things to enjoy unironically and things to laugh at hysterically. There’s a great plot twist at one point that just really opened the whole plot of the movie up and I was really surprised and intriguied by it. And less than five minutes later, one of the characters says a line so gutbustingly awful that I was literally holding my stomach and laughing. This movie, at under seventy minutes, is brisk and entertaining from start to finish. I highly, highly recommend this movie; it’s B-movie perfection. You’ll love parts of it because they’re good; other parts you’ll love because they’re bad; and every once in a while, you’ll be damned if you can even tell why. But you’ll know you love it; I know I did. 4 stars.
tl;dr – weird sci-fi picture is B-movie perfection, mixing genuinely good elements with hilariously bad ones; entertaining from start to finish with great performances, this one is pure fun. 4 stars.