Drably-shot by Roger Corman's production company in Ireland (one of several he made on the cheap in Eire in the mid-1990s), this is no less than the third remake of Corman's NOT OF THIS EARTH (1957). Fleeing a space battle with enemy warships, an alien entity called Quad Rena crashes on Earth and possesses young, widowed Sarah (Athena Massey). Quad Rena/Sarah...read more
Drably-shot by Roger Corman's production company in Ireland (one of several he made on the cheap in Eire in the mid-1990s), this is no less than the third remake of Corman's NOT OF THIS EARTH (1957).
Fleeing a space battle with enemy warships, an alien entity called Quad Rena crashes on Earth and possesses young, widowed Sarah (Athena Massey). Quad Rena/Sarah can shoot incinerating beams from her eyes and must have blood to survive. She takes the place of one victim, a fortune-teller and
part-time prostitute. For a while Quad Rena subsists on a steady stream of regular customers, but one of them, a nurse, insists that the disoriented "foreigner" come to her clinic for a checkup. There Quad Rena meets Dr. Ray Brady (Steven Bauer), a somewhat nerdy physician she comes to consider
more a friend than a potential meal. But the net is closing around the extraterrestial visitor; police trace various missing-person cases to her, and her deep- space enemies have intercepted the distress calls to her now- destroyed home planet. Quad Rena makes love to Dr. Brady and reveals to him
that she is actually a water-dwelling invertebrate from a distant civilization suffering a blood plague; the galactic war they fought somehow concerns a cure which Quad Rena researched. Det Hartley (Stephen Davies), a human officer on Quad-Rena's trail, is himself inhabited by her otherworldly
nemesis, but with Dr. Brady's help she defeats the enemy "enforcer" and is free to remain on Earth.
Earlier editions of this yarn not only spurned such a touchy- feelie ending but relied on camp humor and gonzo bloodletting to stay watchable. STAR PORTAL plays things depressingly straight-- or even worse, tries to tap a vein of romantic kitsch reminiscent of John Carpenter's STARMAN (1984), as
the hybrid heroine sifts human emotions from Sarah's vestigial memories of sex, marriage and loss, and gives voice to her cosmic confusion in the form of silly rhyming couplets ("The stones of time make up the galaxies/Mass and gravity are mere fallacies"). Busty leading- lady Massey was seemingly
chosen on the basis of how good she looks with clothes off; her line readings are the only thing about her accurately described as flat. The Irish settings and supporting cast, apparently trying to pass as a major US city, are alarmingly bland and uninteresting. Painfully obsolete special effects
consist largely of lightning-like death rays crudely superimposed on the film stock, while spacecraft are, typically, cannibilized clips from earlier Corman productions. (Violence, adult situations, sexual situations, substance abuse, extensive nudity.)
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