Invisible Invaders / Journey to the Seventh Planet

Overview

Edward L. Cahn's Invisible Invaders (1959) comes to DVD in an edition superior to its laserdisc release of the early '90s, as part of a double-feature disc in MGM/UA's Midnite Movie series, paired off with Sidney Pink's Journey to the Seventh Planet. John Agar stars in both movies, made about three years apart. Of the two movies, Invisible Invaders surely had the lower-budget, looking as though it was shot in less than ten days; however, it has a lot to offer the viewer, including a wonderfully hard-nosed heroic ...
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Overview

Edward L. Cahn's Invisible Invaders (1959) comes to DVD in an edition superior to its laserdisc release of the early '90s, as part of a double-feature disc in MGM/UA's Midnite Movie series, paired off with Sidney Pink's Journey to the Seventh Planet. John Agar stars in both movies, made about three years apart. Of the two movies, Invisible Invaders surely had the lower-budget, looking as though it was shot in less than ten days; however, it has a lot to offer the viewer, including a wonderfully hard-nosed heroic portrayal by John Agar (who seems alot like his one-time screen mentor and longtime friend John Wayne here) and quite a few images (and part of a story line) that helped inspire George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968) and its sequels. The film-to-video transfer reveals the limitations of the available source material, but the movie is still in a pretty impressive state of preservation, given its low-budget origins -- the resolution is so sharp that every tiny flaw in the film source is presented in high relief, but there aren't a lot of those. The 67-minute movie is on side one of the two-sided disc, and has been given an amazingly generous 16 chapters, all well-placed and nicely outlining the structure of the fast-paced sci-fi horror hybrid movie. Included is the original trailer (which makes this movie look more expensive than the film ultimately looks), as well as French and Spanish subtitles. Sidney Pink's Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962) possessed the kernel of the idea (and may have even been the storyboard) for B.D. Clark's Galaxy of Terror (1981). Shot in color and produced in Sweden and Denmark, Journey to the Seventh Planet is the better of the two movies on this disc, and it benefits greatly from the treatment accorded it here. That includes a new transfer, letterboxed to 1.66:1 (the European standard non-anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio), and a good, reasonably careful mastering job. Aage Wiltrup's and Ronny Schoemmel's photography glows in the special effects-related sequences, while most of the rest of the movie also looks brighter than in television showings in the late '60s. The more unearthly the lighting in a scene, the better the image on the disc looks, while the conventionally lit shots aboard the spaceship seem dullish and, especially in the first ten minutes of the movie, lacking in detail in all but the close-ups. The photography of the female cast (including legendary pin-up model and actress Greta Thyssen) -- who are all illusions, cast from and into the minds of the astronauts -- is also quite sumptuous on this disc. The music by Ib Glindemann, which is quite haunting at times, in a kind of languid, pre-new age manner, also comes through with exceptional clarity. Whether that quality is a virtue at the end credits, which include Otto Brandenburg's sub-Bobby Darin-style performance of the ludicrous title song, is debatable -- but that's just one of the elements that makes this movie so much fun to watch. The disc contains a two-layer menu that is easy to maneuver around, and the 80-minute movie has been given a generous 16 chapters. English, French, and Spanish subtitles are available, but, sadly, there are no Swedish or Danish tracks. There's also an original trailer that is very enjoyable, and the entire package is a DVD bargain for those with a taste for cheap (and, at times, very entertaining) sci-fi thrills.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Original theatrical trailers ; English: Mono; English, French, & Spanish-language subtitles
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/15/2003
  • UPC: 027616885531
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1), Vistavision (1.66:1)
  • Presentation: Black & White / Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:24:00
  • Format: DVD

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Invisible Invaders
1. Main Title/For Peace
2. Lunar Warning
3. Tell Them!
4. Laughingstock
5. Graveyard Plea
6. Reign of Terror
7. Back to the Bunker
8. Radioactivity
9. Weakness
10. Acrylic Sealant
11. To Catch a Creature
12. Pressure Chamber
13. Infighting
14. Sound Is the Answer
15. Sonic Saviors
16. The U.N./End Credits
Side #2 -- Journey to the Seventh Planet
1. 2001/Main Title [2:21]
2. Girls, Girls, Girls in Space [4:18]
3. "You....Are...Powerless" [5:11]
4. Seeing Is Disbelieving [6:17]
5. Tingly Little Force Field [2:52]
6. Uranus for Country Folk [3:23]
7. Welcome to the Mirage [3:48]
8. Ideas of a Dirty Mind [5:01]
9. That Sinking Feeling [4:18]
10. Meet the One-Eyed Monster [6:31]
11. Lured by Fun and Phobias [5:16]
12. Things That Pulsate [8:57]
13. Temporary Lapse of Judgement [5:18]
14. Bewitched, Duped & Sleepy [3:19]
15. Freezer Burned [7:10]
16. End Credits [2:45]
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Menu

Side #1 -- Invisible Invaders
   Play
   Scenes
   Theatrical Trailer
   Subtitles
      English
      Français
      Español
      None
Side #2 -- Journey to the Seventh Planet
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Theatrical Trailer
   Subtitles
      English
      Français
      Español
      None
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