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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Hell Creatures" or "Invasion of the Hell Creatures" or "Invasion of the Saucer-Men')

Directed by Edward L. Cahn
USA
1957

 

Invasion of the Saucer Men can't make up its mind whether it wants to be a comedy, a j.d. melodrama or a horror outing.... When a spaceship lands in the woods, Johnny (Steve Terrell) and Joan (Gloria Castillo) accidentally run over one of the aliens. In retaliation, the saucer-men kill Joe (Frank Gorshin), an opportunistic boozehound who stumbles across the body. Meanwhile, the hand of the extraterrestrial corpse detaches itself from its body and wreaks havoc on the countryside. But the aliens are foiled when it is discovered that they cannot withstand the glare of automobile headlights! The Saucer Men costumes were designed by Paul Blaisdell, who was certainly capable of better work. Lyn Osborn, the former Cadet Happy on TV's Space Patrol, makes his final screen appearance as Frank Gorshin's drinking buddy. Originally released on a double bill with I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Invasion of the Saucer Creatures was cheaply remade for television as The Eye Creatures (1966).

Posters

Theatrical Release: June, 1957

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DVD Comparison:

Run - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL

Run - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution Run - Region 0 - NTSC Sinister Films - Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:03:30  1:06:30 (4% PAL Speed-up?)
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.57 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.46 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Run

Bitrate: Sinister Films

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  English or Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles Japanese, None Italian, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Run

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: September 21st, 2011

Keep Case
Chapters: 6

Release Information:
Studio: Sinister Films

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Luigi Cozzi Introduction (5:34 in Italian)

• Trailer

• Poster / Lobby Card Gallery

DVD Release Date:
April 12th, 2010
Keep Case
Chapters:
12

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Sinister Films - Region 0 - PAL (May 2012): Thanks again to Jon - yes, it does appear that the Japanese RUN edition is from a censored TV version with many scenes absent compared to this superior Italian disc. Without taking into account standard difference it is exactly 3-minutes longer and including 4% PAL speedup we are talking over 5-minutes, which - as I my memory recalls - is mostly the aliens (more sequence captures shown at the bottom of the comparison).

So the Italian transfer isn't brightness boosted like the RUN, is sharper, progressive (the RUN is interlaced), shows some grain and generally looks notably improved with a significantly higher bitrate. Audio and subtitles are both offered as Italian options but the original English is there.

The Sinister Films also includes supplements; Luigi Cozzi gives and introduction - only in Italian - but there is also a trailer and a poster/lobby-card gallery.

So it easily advances beyond the Japanese RUN DVD and I can honestly say my viewing felt much more like I was in a Drive-In. Pretty fun stuff for late-night viewing.

***

Not much to say - this is another cheapo Samuel Z. Arkoff / American International Pictures 'creature feature' where the enticing posters are the best part of the entire production. Okay, maybe it is not that bad - low production roots (blink and you'll miss the creatures effects) produce some Drive-In flavor kitsch but the 'cheese-factor' is definitely stratospheric.

The DVD is a Japanese interlaced, taken-from-analog, crappy transfer. It is weak but that doesn't seem to hurt the poor film as the worst you can say is that this is watchable. I *think* the film was shown theatrically in widescreen although this may be an ambiguous ratio - some theatres shown in widescreen, others not-retrofitted - showed it in 1.33:1 - I don't know.

NOTE:  (From Jon in email): "I just wanted to let you know that the review you did of the Run Studio Invasion of the Saucer Men DVD seems to be of the TV version of the film. Surprisingly, this seems to be the version of the film used in virtually all of its digital representations. However, some time in 2010, there was an Italian DVD from a company called Sinister Film, which used a fine grain master of the version you reviewed spliced with a high quality VHS copy of the completely unedited Invasion. This DVD only runs a little over three minutes longer than Run Studio's version, but those three minutes include some INCREDIBLY gruesome creature effects, including Frank Gorshin (Batman's Riddler) playing with the corpse of the saucer man he ran over, and a bloody battle between one of the saucer men and the cow on Farmer Larkin's land."

It has optional Japanese subtitles on the region 0, single-layered transfer. I can't see it anywhere else on digital and for those addicted to this genre (50's innocent/exploitive sci-fi). You better be very keen to indulge. 

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus

 

Run - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT


 
 

 


Screen Captures

 

Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM
 

Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM
 


Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM
 

Run - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Sinister Film - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM
 
Combing from interlacing on the RUN DVD
 


More Alien sequences from the Italian Sinister Films edition

 

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution Run - Region 0 - NTSC Sinister Films - Region 0 - PAL



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