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This Is Not A Test (DVD) (1962) (All Regions) (NTSC) (US Import)

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0001DMV4Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 250,851 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Format: DVD
Synopsis:

"A nuclear attack has been launched against the US. In the middle of the night, on a lonely country highway, a police radio blares this chilling message. There is no mistake, missiles have been launched. This first alarm is the beginning of a tense drama that pits an unlikely group of late-night travelers against a brutal deputy sheriff all of them on a road to an unknown and horrific destiny."

Filmed back in 1962 for less than $2000, `This Is Not A Test" is a low budget rarity tackling the prospect of a nuclear holocaust. The film stars mostly unheard of actors whose performance (especially that of Deputy Sheriff Dan Colter, played by Seamon Glass) is pretty diabolical throughout. For a completely character driven film this is somewhat of a problem.

We watch as the Deputy Sheriff throws his authority around ordering the other late-night travelers to set up their temporary bomb shelter within the lorry's interior, whether they like the idea or not. An escaped killer is thrown in to the storyline from early on, obviously to spice up the film a little, but the sub-plot has no real direction and as such, fails to really take any part in the developing circumstances.

All in all the film had a great opportunity to tackle the dilemma of a nuclear attack in the early sixties, with an interesting approach to how to get around such a miniscule budget. Unfortunately due to weak acting, poor editing and an inconsistent storyline, the film has no impact whatsoever. The film is still an enjoyable watch nonetheless, and definitely worth seeing if you're interested in the apocalyptic genre.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2.7 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There's Just Something About This Low-Budget Flick That Makes Me Want To See It Again 23 Sept. 2006
By David Von Pein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"This Is Not A Test" is a film that is pretty bad from several different points-of-view, including the writing and the majority of the stiff-as-a-board acting we find throughout the movie. But I find myself not really caring about the film's numerous deficiencies and am, instead, drawn to this movie like a moth toward a flame each time I start watching it.

The first scene in "TINAT" takes place at 4:01 AM one very late night, as Del Oro County Deputy Sheriff Dan Colter (played with an eternal rigidity by Seamon Glass) gets word on his two-way police radio that nuclear missiles have been launched toward targets in the United States, and Colter has been instructed to set up a roadblock to keep any cars from proceeding toward the nearest town, which is a prime target for the incoming bombs.

The entire 72-minute film takes place during this one single night, with the various occupants of the vehicles being stopped by Colter's roadblock ending up huddling together in the trailer of a semi-truck just before the bombs arrive.

Everything about this movie spells "very low budget B flick", but, as I mentioned, there's something oddly compelling about it. I can't quite put my finger on the exact reason why I like this film so much -- I just do.

Perhaps it's the all-nighttime black-and-white photography found in "Test" that attracts me to it. Or maybe the fact that it was made in the early '60s (1962), which is a favorite era of mine for movies. Or perhaps it's the doomsday subject matter.

There's definitely a certain gloomy and "brooding" atmosphere that has been created for the movie that comes through on the screen (even though it seems to be a quickly-made, slap-and-dash type of motion picture). I can feel the tense "Bombs Are Coming" mood that exists here. So, on that "doom and gloom" level, I'd have to say this movie was a success indeed.

The secondary plot of an escaped killer on the loose in the nearby woods doesn't ring entirely true....but at least the filmmakers did make an attempt at "layering" the script to some extent, which is a good thing in my opinion.

Being released in 1962 probably meant that this drive-in movie (despite its minimal production values) packed a pretty good punch with movie-goers who saw it back then, because near the end of that same calendar year America came closer to experiencing a nuclear war than at any other time in memory, with the Cuban Missile Crisis grabbing U.S. headlines for 13 terrifying days in October 1962.

I previously owned a copy of "This Is Not A Test" on VHS videotape, and was pleased to finally get a chance to upgrade the film to the digital format when it was released on DVD in March of 2004 by Alpha Video.

When I compared the DVD version to my VHS edition, I found that the two were relatively comparable in video quality. The DVD wins the "PQ" race by just a wee bit, however (which I was glad to see), but the video quality still isn't going to win any prizes for crystal-clear picture. But at least it's in watchable condition here.

The topic of video quality for a movie like this one could bring up the question of -- Does this B-grade film even deserve a grade-A DVD transfer? I'm going to stay out of trouble by not answering that loaded question, however, and just say that I'm satisfied with the somewhat-fuzzy "drive-in" look that the movie possesses on this Digital Video Disc. ;)

The DVD offers up the same Full-Frame (1.33:1) screen shape as the VHS tape, which is possibly the original ratio for this film. But I really don't have the foggiest idea whether this movie was filmed in a Widescreen format or not.

This Alpha single-sided DVD contains just the movie, divided into six chapters (there's a Scene Index available on the disc). There is also a "Catalog" Sub-Menu, with photos provided of other Alpha DVD titles. A large number of different products are displayed in this Catalog section too. I've never even heard of most of these films in the Alpha DVD archives, but some of them are familiar titles; and many of these DVDs have very well-designed cover art too.

There's a 24-page booklet included with this disc as well, which serves as a mini-catalog of other Alpha Video titles available on DVD.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thin Silver Lining In The Mushroom Cloud... 20 May 2004
By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
On a lonely stretch of highway, at 4 o'clock in the morning, a deputy sheriff (Seamon Glass) begins pulling over cars and trucks; and setting up a roadblock. Among the travelers are an old man (Thayer Roberts) and his granddaughter June (Aubrey Martin), two hustlers who've just struck it big (Mary Morlas and Mike Green), a truck driver and the hitch-hiker he's picked up (Alan Austin and Ron Starr), and a vacationing couple (Carol Kent and Norman Winston) who are in a hurry to catch a flight to Mexico. Sorry folks, not tonight! A yellow alert has been announced, and martial law declared. The missiles are only an hour away from the mainland. Our band of strangers must follow the deputy's instructions in order to... what?? Survive? Unfortunately, they are standing on ground zero! TINAT is a tale of fear, control, panic, and the ultimate futility of hope in the face of certain death. It is a horror movie with a mounting inescapable dread. The fact that the hitch-hiker in the truck is a serial killer on his way to watch his dad suffer an agonizing death is eclipsed to insignificance by the true "monster" of the story. When the "big one" comes, of what use is law and order? Love? Money? Revenge? Anything? The only flicker of hope lies in two young people, whose futures are left unknown. Watch this one with ATOMIC CAFE...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good acting 19 Oct. 2014
By Midnight Hour - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a retired law enforcement officer I cannot help but wonder if that 62 Plymouth patrol car had the police package with a 413 C.I. engine with two fours. Man was that a fast patrol car. As for the movie the acting was good, picture was good as was the sound. The plot, well I didn't like that part of the movie so much. The USA being hit by a missile and where from. The worse part all the good guys died from the bomb. None the less it is a good movie except for the end.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, For What It Is 20 Oct. 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This Is Not A Test was entertaining enough to keep me immersed in the film. While it is not perfect, it is very watchable, and contains some decent acting. If you like old sci-fi, give it a look. It is more drama than sci-fi, and is almost cheese-free.
3.0 out of 5 stars No great acting but some tense moments 8 Jun. 2014
By Viva - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
When the nukes are coming your way, the worst thing you can do is freak out or try to run. That's what these folks finally discover. Some really bad acting but sort of watchable.
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