UNEARTHLY STRANGER (1963)
Article 2810 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-16-2009
Posting Date: 4-23-2009
Directed by John Krish
Featuring John Neville, Gabriella Licudi, Philip Stone
Scientists on a secret space project (involving travel through space using thought projection) are mysteriously dying one by one by unusual methods. The man in security believes they may have been murdered by Russians, and he suspects the wife of the new director, especially after it is discovered that there is no record of her existence. However, the wife is from somewhere else entirely…
This is a fairly obscure British science fiction thriller that has developed a reputation as a sleeper, and is slowly becoming better known. It definitely deserves more attention; though it does have a fair amount of flaws (such as occasional lapses into hokey melodrama), it’s also unique and suspenseful. It’s very well acted by all concerned, and there are some great moments of sharp direction and clever editing; I particularly like the sequence where the new director tells his boss about how he met his new wife because of its clever blending of present day action and flashback. In some ways, it reminds me of the Quatermass movies, though it doesn’t quite have the same sense of scope. The ending is curious and even a little ambiguous, but it’s quite effective. This one is well worth searching out.