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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

It! The Terror from Beyond Space [Blu-ray]

 

(Edward L. Cahn, 1958)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Robert E. Kent Productions

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:09:24.201

Disc Size: 17,946,848,249 bytes

Feature Size: 17,561,616,384 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 19th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2038 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2038 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

Trailer (1:09)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: One of the best of the medium-budgeted science fiction flicks of the 1950s, It! The Terror from Beyond Space is set in "the future" 1973, to be exact. An rescue ship travels out to Mars to retrieve the only survivor of a space probe that has experienced some sort of cataclysm. That survivor, Col Ed Carruthers (Marshall Thompson) is accused of murdering his fellow crewmen. But Ed claims that the killer was a Martian monster, and hopes to prove his assertions by signing up for a second journey to the Red Planet. Before long, the crew members of this second expedition are being systematically killed off, and it looks as though Ed is up to his old tricks. As it turns out, however, Ed was telling the truth: there is a monster on board, the savage descendant of the once-mighty Martian civilization, who snuck on board when an irresponsible crew member left the door open. The monster stays alive by absorbing the vital body fluids of its victims-and there seems to be no way to stop this parasitic creature! If the plot of It! The Terror from Beyond Space seems vaguely familiar, it is because it was one of the primary inspirations for the 1979 sci-fi classic Alien.

 

 

The Film:

An unwanted stowaway from Mars creates quite a ruckus aboard an Earth-bound spacecraft in It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958). Not only does it love the taste of human blood, but it also likes to play hide-and-seek in the air shafts. Sound familiar? That's because screenwriter Dan O'Bannon ripped off the premise for Ridley Scott's big-budget space odyssey, Alien (1979). He also lifted some art direction ideas from Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires (1965), but that's another story.

It! The Terror from Beyond Space can be viewed as a conservative backlash against the accelerating space program of the late fifties since the title character is clearly not the sort of alien we want to bring back to Earth. Inside that scary costume is veteran stuntman Ray "Crash" Corrigan, who is the real star of this drive-in classic, directed by B-movie king Edward L. Cahn (The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake, 1959).

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

 

Ah, the 1950s, where the men were Caucasian, used gobs of Bryl-Creem, and smoked cigarettes furiously, all to make themselves look reasonably to whatever woman (or, in the parlance of the day, "girl") happened to be in the vicinity. The 1950s were also a veritable Golden Age of science fiction schlock. With the occasional exception, e.g., "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "The War of the Worlds," "Forbidden Planet," movie studios invested as little as possible on the genre, if they invested anything at all. When they did, the end product was strictly B-movie material, filmed on a handful of cheap looking sets (because they were, in fact, cheap), a cast of unknowns (most of whom stayed that way), inexpensive talent behind the camera (usually B-movie veterans), and storylines meant to appeal to juvenile tastes (since science fiction, like superhero comic books, were meant for unsophisticated, adolescent males).

Case in point, It! The Terror from Beyond Space, a long ago staple on Creature Features, a Saturday morning television program that aired on local television in the 1970s and 1980s before the advent of cable. Better known as the inspiration for the vastly superior Alien, It! The Terror from Beyond Space has little going for it besides the nostalgia factor. Even when seen through nostalgia-tinted glasses, It! The Terror from Beyond Space is perfunctory, generic, forgettable entertainment; an undemanding way to spend 75- smile-inducing minutes.

Excerpt from eCritic located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

It! The Terror from Beyond Space has a single-layered Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films but a high bitrate for the 1 hour and 10-minute film. There are some light damage and speckles in the beginning 10-minutes, a direct the condition of the source, but after settles down to be quite strong. There are a lot of dark scenes but I noted no noise and the detail in close-ups is acceptable It's slightly better than I was anticipating and contrast looks adept. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and any minor flaws had no detrimental effect on my viewing. The 1080P in 1.85:1 provided a good viewing on my system.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio in the form of a DTS-HD Master stereo track at 2038. The film's effects, limited to the budget, are emphasized by the creatures growling. More demonstrative is the score by Paul Sawtell (Silver City, The Fly, Denver and Rio Grande) and Bert Shefter (teaming with Sawtell on She-Devil and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) and it's almost at a Herrmann level of intensity - and sounds pretty rich and deep via the lossless.  There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

 

Extras :

Only a, beat-up, trailer as a supplement - which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with most of their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I'm a big fan of the 'B'-level 50's creature-features. It! The Terror from Beyond Space is another of those gems - weak production values, you hardly see the monster (an unintentional suspense device) and they are usually very short. I still enjoyed every minute and will definitely watch it again - in a marathon of similar sci-fi efforts one rainy Sunday afternoon with my two sons. The Olive Blu-ray is what you may have expected - the value is only there for devout fans of the genre. Like me. 

Gary Tooze

May 5th, 2015

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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