|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Unearthly Stranger [Blu-ray]
(John Krish, 1963)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Independent Artists
Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 17,926,314,298 bytes
Feature Size: 16,686,630,912 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 3rd, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
English (SDH), none
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:42)
Description: A cleverly conceived, eerily atmospheric sci-fi
chiller, Unearthly Stranger stars future Baron
Munchausen John Neville as a scientist engaged in an
experimental project like no other; Gabriella Licudi is his
beautiful but otherworldly wife, who becomes the subject of
great interest for his government superiors. This original,
intelligent and compelling feature from award-winning
Avengers director John Krish is presented here in a
brand-new High Definition transfer from the original film
elements, in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.
Unearthly Stranger from the UK is a very small film with
practically no special effects that generates its interest and suspense
through mood and interactions among a handful of characters. Even though
it was picked up by American International Pictures (AIP) for a U.S.
release, it features no American stars for wider, trans-Atlantic
commercial appeal (unlike the first two and far better known
Quatermass films from Hammer,
The Quatermass Xperiment, 1955, and Quatermass II: Enemy from
Space, 1957, which featured tough-guy American Brian Donlevy badly
miscast as the urbane scientist Bernard Quatermass).
Unearthly Stranger is one of these British alien invasion films and has gained a minor reputation. The film opens on a particularly good atmosphere of paranoid tension (all shot in black-and-white as the most paranoid thrillers of this era and many of the abovementioned works were) with John Neville urgently recording a message into a tape machine and running through the streets of London. John Krish directs in striking contrasts between sweating faces and the background, or of John Neville outlined against a spiral staircase. This presages well for the film.
A gripping science fiction picture that is surprisingly sharp in its approach. Instead of getting lost in the usual science fiction traps of space and time chatter, UNEARTHLY STRANGER concentrates on a rather touching love story. The romance between the leads--earthling Neville and alien Licudi--leads to marriage before husband Neville discovers that his wife has unusual traits. When he notices that she sleeps with her eyes open, has no pulse, and doesn't react to heat, he begins to put two and two together. This, with the fact that practically his entire team of scientists has mysteriously died, leads Neville to the conclusion that his wife's a bit odd. She admits that she's part of an alien project but insists that she loves Neville. Her alien mind controllers have her dying in his arms with her face disintegrating in tears. When Neville, distraught, goes to his workplace, secretary Marsh--another alien, one who does not love him--tries to kill him.Excerpt from TVGuide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Unearthly Stranger appears quite decent on Blu-ray from Network in the UK. The image has some nicely layered contrast, reasonable detail and plenty of depth. It is neither glossy nor pristinely sharp on the single-layered disc with a supportive bitrate. The 1.66:1 aspect ratio 1080P transfer is serviceable providing an appealing presentation. There are some minor speckles and light scratch marks. This Blu-ray does its job with a simple, straightforward, unmanipulated transfer.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Network offer an uncompressed linear PCM 2.0 channel track with modest depth but the film doesn't require an abundance with such low budget, or non-existent, effects. The score is by Edward Williams - who has done compositions for documentaries almost exclusively outside this science fiction film. I liked it especially in the opening. There are optional English subtitles (see sample) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
There is only an original theatrical trailer, gallery of images - mostly posters and lobby cards and in the root of the disc is a Promotional Material PDF file.
July 15th, 2017
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 3500 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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