Unearthly Stranger (1963) A British Sci-fi Gem With An Explosion Inside His Brain

Unearthly Stranger (1963) John Neville British Science Fiction film poster thriller

A spine-chilling sound resonates eerily through the cloudy skies. A man appears, panicked. Fear upon his face. Rain falls in the pitch black of night. Big Ben looms in the moody landscape. The man turns and runs. Down steep stairs, along cobbled lanes. By the River Thames he hurries through the puddles as beams of light from street lamps make ghostly lines and angles. London is asleep. The man is alone. He carries on to his destination. Bursting through the doors of his office, covered in a mix of sweat and rain, he grabs the tape recorder. Agitated and holding back hysteria, Dr. Mark Davidson (John Neville) looks us directly in the eyes and feverishly warns the world of the Unearthly Stranger.

Unearthly Stranger (1963) John Neville British Science Fiction fear thriller tape recorder panic

Dr. Mark Davidson – In a little while I expect to die. To be killed by… something… that you and I know is here? Visible yet moving unseen amongst us all each moment of the day and night. There were times when you thought I was insane BUT listen to this tape I beg you so you know what it is you have to fight!

Unearthly Stranger plays like an extended episode from The Outer Limits. It’s budget maybe on the B-side of town but that doesn’t stop it from being expertly written. It’s a darkly paranoid tale of an unseen force surrounding a group of scientists at the Royal Institute For Space Research. Working on a top secret project of an impossible nature Prof. Geoffrey D. Munro (Warren Mitchell) and head of operations Prof. John Lancaster (Philip Stone) may of had an unprecedented breakthrough. A breakthrough that will bring much pain and suffering and the unfortunate death of a scientist. Secret Service agent Major Clarke (Patrick Newell) is called in to investigate this government research facility. “It seemed to me that an explosion had taken place right in the middle of his head

Unearthly Stranger (1963) Philip Stone Patrick Newell sci-fi thriller

Major Clarke –Tell me what are you really up to here?
Prof. John Lancaster –Our experiments are directed towards the attempted to harness the power of concentration. To be able to project one’s mind with such force, such intensity, that the man could be anywhere just by using the power of thought. We believe that it would be possible to travel across time and space with simply using one’s mind and arrive in a world beyond the stars.

Unearthly Stranger (1963) Moon map John Neville sci-fi thriller drama sixties.

Dr. Mark Davidson is a brilliant mind but he’s been away from the project on vacation. He’d fallen instantly in love. Returning from Switzerland with not only souvenirs but a beautiful Swiss wife too. It may of been a spur of the moment, wild thing to do but Julie (Gabriella Licudi) was exceptionally wonderful with her wide intense eyes. Besides she was keen to return to London and be the proper little housewife for Dr Davidson. How could he resist?

Unearthly Stranger (1963) Julie (Gabriella Licudi) beautiful eyes

Tagline – Terrifying – Weird… Macabre! Unseen things out of Time and Space!

  • Unearthly Stranger was directed by John Krish with a screenplay by Rex Carlton based on a short story idea by Jeffrey Stone.
  • John Neville has a very unique face and will be instantly remembered as Baron von Munchausen in the Terry Gilliam fantasy adventure. Also he played the recurring mysterious Well-Manicured Man in The X-files and General Staedert in The Fifth Element.

Unearthly Stranger (1963) John NevillePatrick Newell sci-fi thriller

Unearthly Stranger is highly original and what it lacks in special effects and action is made up for in it’s highly imaginative ideas, editing and storytelling. One short scene within a car, is so beautifully edited that it takes your breath away as it slowly pans round revealing itself. It’s a simple shot but incredibly effective. Another, just using school children playing in the school yard is given a mysterious unnatural twist. Again it’s a simple idea that brings with it a wonderful strange and unusual fear. In it’s short run time it manages to produce many inventive ways to portrayal otherworldly events that add to this offbeat sci-fi thriller.

Unearthly Stranger (1963) Julie (Gabriella Licudi) John Neville

This moody undercurrent is all added to by the use of film noir style lighting. Shadows, dark corners and streaming light sources all aid the paranoia along with close ups on faces and eyes. The unsettling atmosphere all leads to the illusion of foreboding death! It’s a creatively brilliant little film and very much worth you time searching this science fiction gem down. Let me know if you’ve seen it if you wish.

As alway, thanks for popping in on the wolf lair and seeing what the blue blazes the old hairy one has been up to. Hope you have a great weekend. All the best Mikey Wolf

15 thoughts on “Unearthly Stranger (1963) A British Sci-fi Gem With An Explosion Inside His Brain

  1. Quite a few aspects of this one remind me of one I’m posting tomorrow…but you’ll have to wait ’til tomorrow to find out what that one is! This one does sound more interesting, though…the idea of time travel using your mind, plus the noir look. I love watching a film that overcomes its limited budget by telling a smart story. And speaking of Gabriella’s succulent lips…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooooo can’t wait to see what you have been watching when you drop your next review. Gabriella is a wonder to enjoy, it’s a quirky performance and she’s a joy to watch. Apparently see pops up in the Casino Royale. Another reason to rewatch that spoof but hey who needs reasons with Ursula 🙂

      Like

  2. Very entertaining post, Mikey. I’m glad you unearthed this gem. I haven’t seen it but I’m going to hunt for it. I have a real affinity for underdog films like these. To me, they are a real measuring stick for talent. I love the way you describe the slow pan car shot. I’m going to look for it now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just read back that slow pan car shot bit and spotted four grammar mistakes! Just quickly edited it, hehe. It’s funny you just don’t see them sometimes, on 2 or 3 passes…. I really champion the film, I really enjoyed it. It’s more like an Outer Limits episode or something. Hope you find it. It’s on DailyMotion but the quality is a bit gastly. If you get stuck and really want to see it, drop me a DM and I can help out.
      Yeah big up the underdogs.

      Liked by 1 person

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