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The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes (1955) - Blu-ray Review

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The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes (1955)

Tucked far enough away from civilization, the bleak desert that surrounds the ranch at the center of this independently made feature from 1955 makes for some unsettling moments.  There’s nothing around the ranch except sand and mountains in the distance. Its remote location is already changing the behaviors of the family - who are at the beginning of the movie - already turning against one another.  

"What does work in this black-and-white clunker are all the animal attacks.  Nature turning on man? Yes, please."


But The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes isn’t just about the Kellee family and their farm.  There’s the tall and lumbering usually gentle giant who does chores around the farm. There’s also their neighbor and his livestock and the sheriff in the neighboring town.  All are a bit left of center thanks to the daily environment of nothing but desert sand.

Unfortunately, those tense moments - made clear by the drunk-sounding narration from War of the WorldsPaul Birch - are often shot in the foot by some quick filmmaking and amateur acting.  It is rumored that Roger Corman, who might have directed some part of the film, shot over 40 pages of dialogue in just two days. That fact doesn’t necessarily mean that The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes isn’t worth watching, though.  It just severely limits its audience to the cult enthusiasts out there.

Credited to be directed by David Kramarsky and eventually released by Roger Corman’s American International Pictures, this B-grade drive-in flick is strictly for cult cinema fans.  There’s no other way to put it as the “creature” finally seen in the final few moments of this 75-minute popcorn muncher is damn goofy-looking and not worth sticking around for thanks to all the bad performances.  The monster, a martian with mind control on its Earth-invading agenda, is laughably handled in the film, thanks to its three-foot-sized spaceship, and never really appears to be threatening.  

What does work in this black-and-white clunker are all the animal attacks.  Nature turning on man? Yes, please. That’s what happens when a weird alien craft flies over this desert commune.  The animals, now under the influence of their martian controllers, turn on the humans. Birds attack. Cows stampede.  Dogs start gnawing on their masters. Armed with axes and shotguns, actors Paul Birch, Lorna Thayer, and Dona Cole stomp through the sands defending themselves from all manner of animal-related attacks.  The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes (1955)

But, when this influence starts taking over the weaker among them, they know they aren’t just dealing with weird animals.  Something alien is behind these attacks. Buried deep in the sand is the source of these mind mutations, but will this family find it before it affects them?  It’s a race against time in The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes.

Released in a brand-new HD transfer from Scorpion Releasing, The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes is only available from Ronin Flix.  This release also features a new commentary from Film Historian Tim Lucas which is far more entertaining than the film itself.  

Watch desert ranch hands lose their minds in The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes!

2/5 stars

The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes (1955)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- November 5, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.37:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Scorpion Releasing does Roger Corman proud with this HD release.  Fans of drive-in cult films should be rejoicing thanks to their efforts.  Audiences of this release will also get the tasty nugget that is Tim Lucas’ commentary.  A theatrical trailer is also attached to the release. The Blu-Ray is only available through Ronin Flix.

Video:

The film’s original inter-positive print was used for the digital scrub and the results, being offered in an aspect ratio of 1.37:1 looks achingly pristine.  The textures brought out by this transfer are incredible. The fibers in the costumes; every rip and every tear; the beads of sweat; all are clear as day in this transfer.  No specks of debris or dirt were noticeable throughout and skin tones are perfect. No damages of time or age noticeable in the print.

Audio:

An adequate DTS-HD Mono Audio track provides the center-channeled thrills and spills.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is a great commentary from Tim Lucas, which fills the audience in on some of the behind the scenes filmmaking shenanigans.

Special Features:

Available only through Ronin Flix, The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes offers audiences a commentary and a trailer.

  • Tim Lucas Audio Commentary
  • Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 2/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 2/5 stars
  Extras 2/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

2.5/5 stars

The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes (1955)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
75 mins
Director
: David Kramarsky, Roger Corman (uncredited)
Writer:
Tom Filer
Cast:
Paul Birch, Lorna Thayer, Dona Cole
Genre
: Horror | Sci-fi
Tagline:
Prepare for a close encounter of the terrifying kind!
Memorable Movie Quote: "We've been over this before. You must know by now, he's harmless"
Theatrical Distributor:
American Releasing Corporation
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 15, 1955
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 5, 2019
Synopsis: A dysfunctional family operating an isolated date farm in the California desert is threatened by the arrival of an extra-terrestrial.

The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes (1955)

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