Before I begin I'm pleased to report that the picture and sound quality on both of these black and white movies is good, and a welcome replacement for my fast fading off-air VHS recordings made a decade ago, although "Serena" does unfortunately feature encroaching vertical black bars down either side of the picture. Although for me personally this won't spoil my enjoyment of the movie, this is still an unwelcome feature.
This unthemed low-budget Butchers B-movie double bill, with both films directed by Peter Maxwell, kicks off with "Impact", a 1-hour story which was co-written by, and stars Conrad Phillips, (William Tell) who plays newspaper reporter Jack Moir, who finds himself framed for a mail train robbery after publishing a number of damning newspaper articles against shady nightclub owner Sebastian "The Duke" Dukelow (played by George Pastell). After serving time in prison, Moir sets about bringing the Duke to justice before the movie reaches a "chilly" climax. Phillips is joined by a few familiar faces from the 1960's, including John Rees as Moir's helpful cellmate. Mike Pratt (of "Randall and Hopkirk" fame) plays the police inspector, with Ballard Berkeley (The Major-Fawlty Towers) working for the same newspaper, in this unremarkable 1963 crime drama.
Made in 1962, "Serena" is one of the studio's best, a skilfully directed murder mystery with good performances from an excellent cast. Howard Rogers (Emrys Jones) is a cool and calculating individual, a portrait artist who becomes the prime suspect following the apparent murder of his wife. Patrick Holt plays the doggedly determined Scotland Yard detective out to crack the case. Honor Blackman also stars in this satisfying little 1-hour story with a nice twist at the end. Made at Shepperton studios, the movie was also partially shot on location.
5/10 for "Impact", 9/10 for "Serena".
There are no extras or subtitles on this digitally remastered Renown release.