Classic Sci-Fi Collection
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Box set of classic '50s sci-fi trash for collectors. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956) sees the citizens of a small Californian town begin to complain that their fellow townsfolk are not what they used to be. Local doctor Miles Bennel (Kevin McCarthy) discovers the reason behind their sudden personality shifts and it involves aliens, pods and silver-painted stuff. 'Thing From Another World' (1951) is B-Movie heaven as a UFO crashes into earth and its pilot wreaks havoc. When an unknown spacecraft smashes into the wilderness of the artic, an air force crew is dispatched from Alaska to investigate. The crew frantically begin to recover the craft, which is encased in ice, but use a little too much gelignite and blow the thing to smithereens. Nearby a body is found and immediately covered with a blanket. An electric blanket. As the sled dogs start to turn up drained of blood, it is soon apparent that this is one extra-terrestrial popsicle that should have been left in the freezer...'The Incredible Shrinking Man' (1957) is a slice of philosophical sci-fi written by groundbreaking novelist Richard Matheson. Scott Carey (Grant Williams) is enjoying a boating trip when his yacht passes through a mysterious cloud of radioactive mist that makes him gradually shrink. Soon he's doing battle with spiders, ants and even his own cat. In 'This Island Earth' (1955), eminent scientists and intellectuals are being kidnapped and taken to a mysterious research station. Once there they realize that their captors are not in fact humans but visiting aliens who desperately need the Earthmen's help. 'Creature From the Black Lagoon' (1954) sees an expedition to the Amazon River discover a 'Gill Man': half man and half amphibian. Gill man is held for scientific posterity but while in captivity he falls in love with the chief scientist's (Richard Carlson) female assistant (Julie Adams), and kidnaps her before making his escape. In 'It Came From Outer Space' (1953), an astronomer is intrigued when he sees a meteor in the night skies over Arizona. When the object lands in the desert Putnam becomes convinced that it is no natural phenomenon. The locals are distrustful, seeing the astronomer as a kook, and refuse to listen to his theories but the locals, it transpires, may not be human flesh and blood.'Tarantula' (1955), is the tale of a scientist try to develop a growth serum that will make beef cattle etc grow at a greatly accelerated rate but when a test tarantula in the lab gets a taste all hell breaks loose. When it gets a taste of human flesh it's up to square-jawed doctor Matt Hastings (John Agar) and Reemer's assistant Stephanie (Mara Corday) to track it down and destroy it.
Features the science fiction films Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1955), Thing From Another World, Incredible Shrinking Man, This Island Earth, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, It Came From Outer Space and Tarantula.
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I excepted Tarantula! and Creature on the ground that they're creature-features rather than genuine SF. The former is bog-standard stuff (you can see the real tarantula's legs partly disappearing from time to time), the latter is very good of its type (the monster not being completely unsympathetic) and both were directed by Jack Arnold.
Arnold also directed the terrific Shrinking Man which holds up really well and It Came From Outer Space (Jack Arnold, 1953) which probably looked much better in its original 3-D, at least to judge from the comments in the accompanying documentary. The latter is unusual in that aliens look totally alien and aren't bad guys. This can't , of course, be said for Invasion of the Body Snatchers (directed by the great Don Siegel, 1956) which still holds up as a masterpiece of paranoia and as the best version of the story, even with the studio-imposed happy ending.
That leaves The Thing From Another World (1951) and the only film in the set to get a 12 rating as opposed to PG. Debate still goes on over whether or not Christian Nyby directed it or producer Howard Hawks. Oddly, I like it better than when I first saw it, though I love John Carpenter's body-popping remake. Lastly is This Island Earth (1955) an early space-opera which is rather overshadowed by its contemporary Forbidden Planet but is still one of the influences on Star Wars. It's also the only colour movie in the set, though there is also a colourised version of Body Snatchers to choose from -but don't.
Apart from It Came and Creature which both have decent documentaries and other stuff, these are very much bare bones editions -trailer and subtitles and that's it. Still, it's a nice set for an sf movie fan.
My husband and pre-teen son particularly like to watch these on "boys' evenings" when we womenfolk have gone out and they invite a couple of friends around:)
Just because they are old films in no way means they are bad. Even by today's standards, the quality of the directing, acting, scriptwriting and photography, they stand up on their own merit and are a wonder to behold.
Finally, it has to be said that this collection is fantastic value. Comparing the total running time with the quality of the films and the price Amazon are charging, this is extremely worth while.
This set is well worth the money as i was trying to buy invasion of the body snatchers which i had on vhs long ago,this film in itself is very pricey to but on its own,but here included in the set,and the disc gives you the option to watch in colour or black and white.
I'm not totally against modern films using CGI, the trouble I find is, they rely on it too much, which pushes the story into the background, and it's only recently that it's started to look realistic. I prefer films from the fifties which use a well detailed model, lit well.
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, **** 1956. (B&W Letterbox & Colour Full Frame.)
The Thing from Anoter World, ***** 1951.
The Incredible Shrinking Man, ***** 1957.
This Island Earth, ***** 1955. (Colour.)
Creature From The Black Lagoon, *** 1954.
It Came From Outer Space, **** 1953.
Tarantula, *** 1955.
Great value for money if you like thought provoking sci-fi. If your idea of great sci-fi is Avatar then this might not be for you. Buy this if you liked The Outer Limits (original series).
The best film in the box-set is "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", its so creepy, and way ahead of its time.
But what's annoyed me is why has this box-set been deleted?, it cost me a arm and a leg to buy.