NOT LIKE US (1995) Reviews and overview

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‘Beauty is only skin deep… And they want yours.’

Not Like Us is a 1995 American science fiction comedy horror feature film directed by Dave Payne (Reeker and sequel; Addams Family Reunion; Alien Terminator) from a screenplay by Daniella Purcell. Roger Corman executive produced. The movie stars Joanna Pacula, Peter Onorati and Rainer Grant.

The special make-up and mechanical effects were provided by Michael Burnett.

In the small American town of Tranquility, two aliens are killing off the locals, one by one. Meanwhile, Sam is researching the local swamps for his PhD, much to his wife’s dismay…


Not Like Us is given a very forced campy looked with awkward camera angles, jokes, and a deliberately over-the-top soundtrack. Sadly, the campiness fails because the film can’t maintain that mood for a full 90 minutes. Oh, and the jokes were terrible – and not so terrible that they were good, either.” Absolute Horror

“The storyline drifts from ridiculous to beyond the pale, the acting drifts from the competent (Peter Onorati is like a fish out of water in this bunch) to the awful (Joanna Pacula is in way over her head trying to perform comedy) and the screenwriters wouldn’t know realistic dialogue if it was yelled at them by Lawrence Olivier.”

“With a retro-1950s soundtrack, cheerfully gross makeup effects, and a standard cameo by Paul Bartel as a mordant mortician, Not Like Us begs us to like the dark sendup of small-town Americana and attitudes. But the heavy-handed, tasteless, smarmy humor just gets tedious before long…” TV Guide

“This “black comedy” has loads of Re-Animator type dark humor wrapped around a horror/sci-fi script, that moves quickly, and is rarely dull. Never taking itself seriously, the alien’s simple purpose of skinning humans to improve their own hideous appearance drives the film into cult movie territory.” Merkle Kranz

Choice dialogue:

Mortician: “Damn, Jeb was hung like a horse! But not that I’m lookin’ or anything.”

Janet Jones: “Was that a gun in my back or are you just happy to see me?”

John Jones: “Sadism suits our field more than sentimentality.”

Main cast:

  • Joanna Pacula (Dinocroc; Virus; The Kiss)
  • Peter Onorati
  • Rainer Grant
  • Morgan Englund
  • Billy Burnette
  • Annabelle Gurwitch
  • Paul Bartel (director of Eating Raoul; Death Race 2000; Private Parts)
  • Clint Howard (Ice Cream Man: Big Bad Wolf; Evilspeak)
  • The Greaseman
  • Andrew Burt
  • Alexandra Picatto
  • Eb Lottimer
  • Rick Dean
  • Mina Kolb

Related: The Driller KillerSam Was Here

Plot keywords:

snake | small town | aliens | corpse | dog | hitchhiker | motel | mortician | electric drill | town meeting | toxic waste | xenophobia

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