TITLE: Unearthly Stranger
YEAR RELEASED: 1963
DIRECTOR: John Krish
CAST: John Neville, Patrick Newell, Gabriella Lucindi, Jean Marsh
REVIEW BY SIMON BALL
There are mysterious happenings at Britain’s Royal Institute of Space Research. Just as Professor Munro (a pre Alf Garnett Warren Mitchell) is about to go public with the news that he has cracked the formula to project the mind into outer space, he suffers a massive brain hemorrhage and drops dead. Scary thing is that, according to security chief Major Clarke (Patrick Newell), the very same thing has happened to space scientists in the USA and Soviet Russia.
Munro’s replacement is Dr Mark Davidson (John Neville), but Major Clarke thinks Davidson’s new Swiss wife, Julie (Gabriella Lucindi) is a bit dodgy. It’s not that she’s foreign, but nobody knows a thing about her, she only met Davidson a few weeks before they got hitched and her details don’t check out with MI5. What’s more worrying is that she sleeps with her eyes open, she can anticipate what’s about to happen and also handle hot pans straight out of the oven. Not to mention the fact that she scares the living daylights out of the local school kids.
Of course, she’s an alien whose been sent to sabotage the Earth’s plans for exploring the universe through the power of the mind, but she has fallen in love with Davidson so throws herself out of the window so that she doesn’t have to kill him. Which is fine only she isn’t the only alien knocking around and Davidson has to run for his life.
Unearthly Stranger explores similar themes about alien infiltration into human society as those examined in Wolf Rilla’s Village of the Damned (1960) only women are the focus rather than children. Made on a tiny budget with no money for whizzbang special effects the film relies on the use of Reg Wyler’s atmospheric black and white cinematography, moody music and good old fashioned acting to build its chilling set pieces and creep out conclusion
Unearthly Stranger has been released on Blu Ray (£14.99) and DVD (£9.99) by Network Distributing as part of their The British Film series