Saturday, May 17, 2014

UNEARTHLY STRANGER - "Beyond The Stars" (1964)

Howdy Ya'll! Tonight's Saturday Night Spaced-Out Special is an odd little film made in the UK that's hard to track down these days, but I'll go out on a space walk platform here, and say it's worth the effort!

"Unearthly Stranger" was released in 1964, but to me this film looks like it was made in about 1959! One poster screams out "Terrifying, Weird...and Macabre!" I'm more inclined to go with Droll, Tidy...but Neat! It's kind of like an elongated "Twilight Zone" episode, and I mean that in a good way!

"Uearthly Stranger" is told in flashback form! The very talented John Neville is Dr. Mark Davidson, a man on the run for his life, literally! John has been marvelous in roles as everything from Sherlock Holmes to Baron Von Munchausen, and he's the one who keeps this movie moving! Here's a minute or so of what he's got himself into!

Dr. Mark is employed by a place that is working on the concept of traveling through space via mind control! Seems pretty far-fetched but some of his co-workers have been getting their brains sonically destroyed by something, so there's obviously something going on!

The big space mural they have on the wall makes for great background shots like this!!

Here we come to the crux of the story! Dr. Mark recently got married in a whirlwind affair while he was out of the country! People around him are dieing violently, and nobody knows anything about his new wife! Is there any correlation between these two events? Considering the nature of John's business, it's worth investigating! Dr. Mark's blushing new bride Julie is played by the alluring and quatro-lingual Gabriella (Casino Royale) Licudi!

Dr. Mark has invited his associate, Professor John Lancaster over for dinner to once and for all meet his wife and clear the air, but instead, Professor John gets quite an eyeful when by happenstance, he sees Julie taking dinner out of the oven without using any hot pads, just her bare hands! Ouch! Something is definitely not right in this house!

We get a shot of Julie in town shopping or whatever to show how normal she is! Blogger once again decided that some of these photos would look better in sepia tones instead of black and white for some reason!

First Julie makes a baby cry, and then when she innocently looks over the fence at these school kids........

.........Suddenly, all the kids start walking away from her backwards, and back toward the classroom just to get the Hell away from her, because as sweet as she seems, the children can sense that she is evil!

Julie is crushed and when she cries, the tears burn deep lines into her face! One thing that Dr. Mark thought was strange about his new wife was that she never blinked! She does blink a couple of times in this closeup scene though, maybe the burning tears offset the non-blinking disorder, or maybe they just didn't want to shoot the scene again!

I just had to use one of these lobby cards because they are so unearthly in colour! That's Patrick Newell there laying down dead as the investigative Major Clarke! He's so annoying, you don't really care that he was just murdered! Patrick packed in almost 150 credits before passing on at 56, and among them were almost 20 episodes on the great TV series "The Avengers," as Mother!

I love this shot of John Neville, a remarkable character who also was the voice of Eternity on the "Silver Surfer" TV series, and will always be remembered by "X-Files" fans everywhere as "The Well-Manicured Man!"

Cut to the music of Captain and Tennille and "Love Will Keep Us Together! Julie's just too emotional for this job, somebody else is just going to have to do it!

The guy's secretary Miss Ballard breaks the bad news to them, they are basically now a minority that is shrinking really fast, and they can't do anything about it! Their little mental space travel trip is never going to happen!! The familiar face of Miss Ballard is Jean Marsh! So let me think, what has Jean Marsh not done? Really nothing, she's basically done it all, and then some, including the "Twilight Zone" episode titled "The Lonely," and in "Dr. Who" as Morgaine, and she doesn't seem to be quitting any time soon! Awesome woman!

So you can see "Unearthly Stranger" has a stellar cast, and you only saw the back of his head before,  but there's still one more actor who deserves credit, and that's Phillip Stone there on the left as Professor Lancaster! Not very many actors can claim credit for being in a handful of films like "A Clockwork Orange," "O Lucky Man!," "The Shining," and "Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom," but he can, and that's a very nice run!

If you can't tell what happened by these last three photos, well then I'll tell you, the guys don't stand a chance in Hell! The world is doomed, and they don't want you to find out about it, so all you guys, be wary of what you're sleeping with, you might be shocked when you find out the truth because this has been going on for some 50 years, and they must all be infected by now! Watch your back!


Greg Goodsell said...

The scene with the kids backing away silently in the playground creeped me out when I was a kid!

Eegah!! said...

Precisely GG, one word to describe this flick, Creepy!

bijeto said...

John Neville was also Baron Munchausen, Loved him as the Well Manicured Man (who died in X-Files movie, Fight the Future.)

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Yeah bijeto, John Neville should have been more famous I'm pretty sure! I really thought his Sherlock Holmes was amazingly awesome!!

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