Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent science fiction., 28 July 2012
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This review is from: Colossus of New York [DVD] [1958] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
You've heard this so often before - I saw this film as a kid and... Well, so often we get to see these films once and then they seem to disappear, not to be seen or heard of again for years. That is such a shame because this one is deserving of regular screening.

The usual thing for the period this was made in, the mad scientist has something locked in his lab in the basement, the not very willing assistant telling his girl that something has come up and they'll have to postpone their date etc. In this instance it's the father of a scientist killed in a road accident who puts his brain into a giant robot and brings him back to life.
First we see the brain connected up to a maze of wires. This scene is unnerving because it's atmospheric quality, the dark basement, the realisation that the brain may be thinking and feeling and living. But when we first see the robot brought to life for the first time, when we see what it sees, a snowy, fuzzy picture of the scientist slowly coming into focus and the tinny voice it hears it gets really creepy. Then, when the robot struggles to speak in a raspy, scraping voice with the electronic buzzing and humming in the background it chills the blood. When it screams in agony the sound it makes is that of a strangulated, tortured soul. There in the shadowy light, its eyes glowing in the dark, it's one of the eeriest scenes I have ever seen. It certainly spooks me. And it all works so well because it's in black and white. This is a film that would not benifit by the use of colour. I've often heard it said that monochrome can be more atmospheric than colour and it's certainly the case in this instance.

I LOVE this sort of science fiction. As I've said about, "The Earth Dies Screaming," the use of old electronics, white noise, snowy interference, humming and buzzing seem to evoke an apprehensive unease. It just seems so alien, so cold, so unnatural. I donno, maybe it's me, but I find it all so CREEPY - in a delightfully delicious way of course.

I had an old VHS copy of this film that I bought on e bay some years ago and, although it was an official release the picture quality was appalling. That copy has now gone in the bin because this DVD released by Olive Films is really very well done. The picture is sharp and clear with good contrast. It looks like it's had a good makeover. Aspect ratio is 1.85:1. There are no extras whatsoever and, sorry to say, it IS region one encoded, so, if you don't have a multi region DVD player you wont be able to view it. It's quite a short film at 70 minutes but it is just SOOOO worth it with one of the most realistic movie robots ever.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I recommend it to b picture sci fi buffs. Great stuff.
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