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They Came From Beyond Space (1967) - Blu-ray Review

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They Came From Beyond SPace

Danger, high voltage!  They Came From Beyond Space, a low-key alien flick from the 1960s has arrived on blu-ray thanks to Kino Lorber with a brand-new 4K master.  Don’t get too excited by that cover art, though.  It looks awesome, but has nothing to do with the film itself.

"Goofy, but rather too bland for its own good, They Came From Beyond Space could have used less Hutton and a whole lot more of Francis."


 

Don’t stare directly into the meteorites!  They will possess your mind, your body, and your soul.  Starring Robert Hutton (The Slime People, Invisible Invaders), Jennifer Jayne (The Crawling Eye), Bernard Kay, and Zia Mohyeddin, this Amicus Production, directed by Freddie Francis (The Skull, The Psychopath) and written by Milton Subotsky (Doctor Who and the Daleks, I, Monster), answers the question of just how an alien invasion might begin . . . by cracking open a meteorite. 

If you merely listened to the swinging jazz score from James Stevens, you’d miss the best parts of 1967’s They Came From Beyond Space.  That booming brass is good on the dance floor and a Vegas casino, but it's more than a little out of place when it comes to a movie about an alien invasion that doesn’t involve lasers and big spaceships.  This one involves mind control and raging rashes called the crimson plague!

Low on budget and B-movie minded through and through, They Came From Beyond Space makes its best moves with striking visuals as an ancient race of space aliens arrive via meteors, landing on a farm in a perfect “V” formation.  Their subjects are quickly swayed and, once the connection with their bodies is complete, everything on this planet is theirs.

After a crazy morning involving alien meteorites, the Roberts Farm in the UK is suddenly buzzing with activity as a team of SETI scientists descend to inspect the perfect V formation.  Unfortunately for them, the alien beings within the meteors “beam” themselves into the bodies of the scientists and take over their bodies and their memories.  

The only scientist who can’t go is an American  (Hutton) due to an injury sustained in a car crash.  He’s got a plate in his head and his doctor doesn’t want him anywhere near the site.

Bully for him!  Because that plate in the head will save him when the aliens try to enter his chrome dome to get him to do their bidding, which is to prepare the earth for their imminent takeover.  Recognizing that they can’t possess him, they do everything within their power to get him out of the picture.  They beat him up, make regular visits to get him packed and on his way, and even infect those around him with a plague.  

And it is all in the hopes that he will look the other way and not invade their alien compound with his rambling jalopy.  They Came From Beyond SPace

However bonkers it is, They Came From Beyond Space was released on a double bill with The Terrornauts and that film, receiving most of the budget allotted originally for They Came From Beyond Space, is the better flick.  Hutton is past his prime here and Francis’ usual touches, who might be the British version of Roger Corman, is woefully missing through a lot of the film.  

What this film does have going for it is the woefully out of place score (which is fantastic and very Batman-like) AND the scenery chomping performance from Michael Gough who plays, of all things The Master of The Moon, and gives a speech he never bothered to remember, preferring instead to read it off the back of a man standing in front of him, but out of sight of the camera.

Goofy, but rather too bland for its own good, They Came From Beyond Space could have used less Hutton and a whole lot more of Francis.  The film is now on blu-ray thanks to Kino Lorber, who supply fans of this wacky space flick a brand-new 4K transfer.

3/5 stars

They Came From Beyond SPace

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- June 2, 20202
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: Optional English Subtitles
Audio:
DTS HD MA Mono track
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

From Freddie Francis, the legendary director of The Evil of Frankenstein, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, The Skull, The Psychopath, The Deadly Bees and Tales That Witness Madness, and Milton Subotsky, the acclaimed screenwriter of Dr. Who and the Daleks, I, Monster, Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and At the Earth’s Core, comes this fast-paced sci-fi thriller in the tradition of Invasion of the Body Snatchers! When meteorites crash-land in the perfect formation of the letter V, the Ministry of Extraterrestrial Life on Other Planets (MELOP) springs into action! Britain’s leading professor on the subject is in charge of finding out what’s going on before it’s too late. Fortunately, he’s got a metal plate in his head which prevents the aliens from taking over his mind and forcing him into slave labor on the moon! They Came from Beyond Space is an out-of-this-world, out-of-your-mind sci-fi sensation!

Video:

Kino Lorber Studio Classics presents They Came From Beyond Space on blu-ray with a splendid transfer.  Bright and colorful, the 1080p transfer here is crisp and crackling with fine details.  Presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85.1, it is the punched-up color you will notice first.  The reds are delicious and the greens are fertile.  The blues go deep, too.  The spacey vibe is strong with this one and the British town surrounding the farm is bright and speckled with good detail.  The transfer has the film loaded with details and fresh-looking life.

Audio:

The sound is presented in a stable but basic DTS HD MA Mono track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is a NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian David Del Valle and Filmmaker David DeCoteau.

Special Features:

Fans of this out of the world splash get the 4K transfer, a commentary from Film Historian David Del Valle and Filmmaker David DeCoteau which answers the question of why, and a slew of trailers for other Kino Lorber releases.

  • Audio Commentary
  • Theatrical Trailers

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3/5 stars

They Came From Beyond Space

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
85 mins
Director
: Freddie Francis
Writer:
Milton Subotsky
Cast:
Robert Hutton, Jennifer Jayne, Zia Mohyeddin
Genre
: Sci-fi
Tagline:
The Battle for Power Has Begun.
Memorable Movie Quote: "The system we employ was not created on Earth."
Theatrical Distributor:
Embassy Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
May, 1967
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: June 2, 20202.
Synopsis: When meteorites crash-land in the perfect formation of the letter V, the Ministry of Extraterrestrial Life on Other Planets (MELOP) springs into action! Britain’s leading professor on the subject is in charge of finding out what’s going on before it’s too late. Fortunately, he’s got a metal plate in his head which prevents the aliens from taking over his mind and forcing him into slave labor on the moon!

They Came From Beyond Space

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