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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Invisible Invaders [Blu-ray]

 

(Edward L. Cahn, 1959)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Robert E. Kent Productions

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:07:10.067 

Disc Size: 14,671,498,844 bytes

Feature Size: 14,292,523,008 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.87 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 12th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1675 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1675 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary by Film Historians Tom Weaver and Dr. Robert J. Kiss

•  Trailers for Invisible Invaders (2:00) and The Magnetic Monster (2:21)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Newly Re-mastered in HD! Cult director Edward L. Cahn (Curse of the Faceless Man) wonderfully directs this sci-fi shocker about invisible body snatchers invading earth to conquer humanity one corpse at a time. There's not just one man or even an army of men can do to stop them, but a scientist, a sergeant and a sexy gal figure out a way to destroy these invading grave robbers and defeat their transparent plot? The wonderful cast includes John Agar (Journey to the Seventh Planet, Miracle Mile), Jean Byron (The Patty Duke Show), Philip Tonge (Witness for the Prosecution), Robert Hutton (The Steel Helmet), Paul Langton (The Incredible Shrinking Man) and the great John Carradine (House of the Long Shadows).

 

 

The Film:

The Earth is attacked by mysterious invaders from outer space, who plan on destroying humankind. The invaders are invisible in our atmosphere, but are able to inhabit and reanimate the bodies of the dead. The armies of rotting corpses march on the cities, and it seems as though there is no defense. Major Bruce Jay (John Agar) is put in charge of a small, secret research center with a group of scientists, who must find a way of combating the invaders. Personality conflicts develop as Jay's hard-nosed, by-the-book approach to his job -- which requires him to kill anyone who might jeopardize the mission -- put him in opposition to the scientists (played by Jean Byron, Philip Tonge, and Robert Hutton). They develop an ultra-sonic gun that has the combined effect of rendering the aliens visible and killing them, but first they must test it, by capturing an alien, an action that forces them to run the risk of being discovered.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

OK, George Romero. Now we know where you got the inspiration for Night of the Living Dead (1968). Take a look at the pasty-face, black-eyed zombies in this flick and tell us if we're wrong. Invisible aliens from the moon invade Earth and take over the bodies of recently deceased humans in Invisible Invaders (1959). Only John Agar and his high-frequency sound wave machine can save the day!

Invisible Invaders also bears more than a passing resemblance to Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), the delightfully tacky production that is often voted "worst film ever made." As with most low-budget pictures of its day, cost-cutting measures determined much of the final look of Invisible Invaders. For example, the severe lack of funds obviously influenced the producer's decision to make the aliens invisible, thus avoiding the need for costly special effects, extras, and more sets. And the blending of the science fiction film with the horror genre made good business sense, given that other exploitation films had already done the same (The Blob and I Married a Monster from Outer Space, both 1958). Invisible Invaders gave audiences a double whammy of both, thanks to the expertise of director Edward L. Cahn, who had filmed It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) the previous year.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

The modest single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Invisible Invaders looks decent and consistent in 1080P. Not as crisp as we have seen but contrast benefits from the higher resolution. The film's cut-rate effects are fairly transparent but that only adds to the flavor. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise - but only minor depth in the 1.66:1 frame. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable viewing in regards to the HD picture quality.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio in the form of a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1675 kbps (16-bit). It handles the film's effect requirements with relative ease. We get an original score by Paul Dunlap (Shield For Murder, Shock Corridor, Shack Out on 101, Cry Vengeance, Portland Expose, Big House U.S.A., Target Earth, Park Row) which supports the film reasonably well with some schlocky tension-building. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

I enjoyed the, included, audio commentary by film historians Tom Weaver and Dr. Robert J. Kiss who expose some fascinating tidbits of the production. Well worth the listen. There are also trailers for Invisible Invaders and The Magnetic Monster.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Invisible Invaders definitely elevates to the 'so bad - it's good' category. In fact, it'sd actually a little too competent a production in many areas. But fans of the late 50's sci-fi low production gems will enjoy the innocence. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray makes this a recommendation by the addition of the commentary. There is a lot of fun to be had here if you approach it with the right attitude. NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 45% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

June 30th, 2016

 

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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