Sci-Fi Movies Were Once The Craze
There was a time when science fiction movies were amazingly insane — low budgets and crazy scripts and special effects that were beyond sensible or understandable. Going to the movies back then was an adventure beyond description, especially if you were younger than a teenager because the awesomeness of it all would overwhelm. Even for such as us who didn’t quite hit the 50’s and early 60’s with enough awareness — we knew we were watching unbelievable things like robots and giant claws (movie by the same name, watched it on a library rental on 8mm played at Steve’s house and it was minutes culled from the movie and consisted of seeing a giant claw coming down from the sky to grab anything it could).
So for today’s audience who were either too young then or not born then or didn’t know enough to go see these movies then, here’s two movies that have been worked on to make their Blu-ray presentation as good as possible — meaning quite good as we’ll see individually in a moment. That’s what The Film Detective studio does — they find and fix and put out films on disc that blow the mind. So find a compatible friend or lock yourself in the viewing room and prepare for Battle of the Worlds The Special Edition and The Brain from Plant Arous The Special Edition. And let’s add before we being that both Blu-ray packages have the kind of graphics and “super” color (Battle features “Fantastic Color” as part of its selling point) that is both garish and bright and wholly appropriate.
The Battle of the Worlds The Special Edition
The Battle of the Worlds The Special Edition comes from 1961, so it’s 60+ years old, but defending the earth against deadly flying saucers is an endeavor worthy of any time in history. Somehow an asteroid is bringing them to attack Earth — only the Italians, who made this film, understand why this would made sense in the galactic scheme of things. Claude Rains is the actor doing the honors here (you’ve heard of him, yes?!), accompanied by a cast that understands there’s a need to play it straight. Also remember it’s flying saucers and fighting against evil wanting to hurt Planet Earth in a way much worse than any man made stuff could be. And oh the realism of it all must be considered as to the time and knowledge of humans some 60+ years ago — nah, just sit back and enjoy it for what it is, tons of popcorn fun and the need for a big screen to see it is paramount.
Speaking of which, it’s been restored from a found original 35mm print turned into a 4K scan so it’s not a cruddy view remastered to digital.
A number of additions (i.e., bonus features) are inside — an original essay and a full length commentary and a new original featurette — the featurette and the essay being about and by the Italian filmmaker Antonio Margheriti. Also the film is not rated so as to how intense it would be for you or the very young, that’s up to you.
The Brain from Planet Arous The Special Edition
Now The Brain from Planet Arous The Special Edition comes to us from 1957, and from the looks on the cover with the guy cowering behind the explorer type dressed woman clutching a brain smashing sized flashlight, there is going to be horrible consequences from a space brain that is invading Earth and invading a human body. Gor goes after a scientist, but fear not — another intergalactic brain by the name of Vol will inhabit a dog because they are mankind’s best friend! With a cast containing B movie favorite (The Mole People) John Agar and directed by the guy who did Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, how could anything go wrong in the enjoyment factor? It can’t and yes it’s not in color — they had color back then but not here.
Extras are cool, including a film intro by original cast member Joyce Meadows, and include a full commentary, two featurettes and a full color booklet — that’s one of the best selling points for keeping discs on the market vs. streaming for sure. Additionally you can choose between the full frame format (TV bah) and the widescreen — go with widescreen, duh. Sound is clear and DTS but you want surround go with simulated, otherwise just accept simple audio (same goes for Battle above).
For more details on both of these films, now on Blu-ray, go to https://www.thefilmdetective.com/