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The Man from Planet X (1951) - Blu-ray Review

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The Man from Planet X - Blu-ray Review

4 beersHoly Smokes, does The Man from the Planet X ever rock!  This drive-in cult classic is a solid slice of gooey space age silliness and yet its unsettling ending suggests so much more…

Praise be to director Edgar G. Ulmer.  Known for producing quality b-movies on less than agreeable budgets, Ulmer actually preferred NOT to have a massive bankroll when it came to making movies.  Hear him out because he actually makes a lot of sense.  With a big budget, he felt the director had less control of the vision.  More money meant more hands in the cookie jar with everyone telling him what he could or could not do.  On a tiny budget, he had less intrusion and less “Suits” bugging him.  Plus, he liked the challenge of trying to figure out HOW to do something instead of throwing money at it.

And his theories about Hollywood and their budgets paid off time and time again with some of the most interesting poverty row pictures to ever come out of the side streets of Hollywood.  From The Black Cat to Detour, his financially strapped films were thought provoking and always interesting thanks to their overall artistry.  He also got things done rather quickly and, as The Man from Planet X’s speedy shoot beat The Thing from Another World (while that crew waited for snow to fall) to the theaters, it is now footnoted in cinema history as the FIRST film about an alien visiting planet earth. 

The Man from Planet X is yet another example of his thrifty genius.  With low angles, heavy fog, and glass paintings (that Ulmer did himself), he proved why some of the early films he worked on as a set designer (Metropolis, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) were so damn important to the medium.  They are works of art, as is this film.  It’s endlessly expressive, consistently intelligent, and manages to deliver a story that feels much larger than it actually is. 

Starring Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, Raymond Bond, William Schallert, and featuring an unknown vaudevillian actor as the alien, The Man from Planet X was filmed in less than six days and utilized the same sets filmmaker Ingrid Bergman used for Joan of Arc.  All of this adds to the film’s otherworldly ferocity and its many, many fog-frosted moods.  Considering that the alien communicates through musical notes, it also is a bit prophetic in its approach to considering alien life as viewed by Hollywood.  Close Encounters of the Third Kind anyone? 

The film benefits from the low budget prowess and delivers a black-and-white film that utilizes the Scottish moors as a spaceship from a recently discovered planet crashes, requiring some assistance.  Unfortunately, all attempts to communicate with it are mishandled – except by our bearded villain – and the military is brought in to make sure the threat of alien life is handled … cleanly.  And you know what that shit means…BOOM!

Shout! Factory presents The Man from Planet X on blu-ray from a new high-definition transfer taken from the best possible source available.  It is a release that science fiction enthusiasts will not want to miss.

Carrie: Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Review and Details

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
70 mins
Director
: Edgar G. Ulmer
Writer:
Aubrey Wisberg, Jack Pollexfen
Cast:
Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, Raymond Bond
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
The Deadliest Enemy the World has ever Known!.
Memorable Movie Quote: "A man who controls this formula controls the industry of the world."
Theatrical Distributor:
United Artists
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 27, 1951
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 11, 2017
Synopsis: After a ship from a distant world lands on the moors of Scotland, intrepid reporter John Lawrence (Robert Clarke, The Hideous Sun Demon) and the brilliant Professor Elliot (Raymond Bond) set out to investigate. Their journey brings them face to face with the ship's pilot – an alien from a dying planet that pleads for their aid. But Elliot's unscrupulous colleague Dr. Mears (William Schallert, The Patty Duke Show) has other plans entirely for the interplanetary visitor – plans that could decide the fate of two worlds.

The Man from Planet X - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- July 11, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.37:1
Subtitles
: English
Language:
English
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The Man from Planet X has been remastered from a “fine grain print” and looks amazing in the textures it now presents to film buffs.  The fog-soaked landscapes used in the movie are preserved with fine lines and the glass paintings – suggesting a depth to the film that was not financially possible – are items of beauty.  There is a new crispness throughout the black-and-white film thanks to the HD upgrade.  And the 1.33:1 image from Shout! Factory preserves the film’s intended look.  The DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio track is fairly strong, delivering the dialogue and dramatic score with nice clarity.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  There is a new and much appreciated feature length commentary by author Tom Weaver and film historian Dr. Robert J. Kiss that discusses both the making of and the impact of the drive-in classic.

Special Features:

Nothing too special included outside of the NEW commentary track.

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

 

The Man from Planet X - Blu-ray Review

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