Newly Re-mastered in HD! You Are in Space… Beyond Space! In futuristic 2001, the United Nations has sent a special team of scientists to explore Uranus. And what this interstellar crew discovers is a planet not unlike Earth-complete with a small Danish village filled with voluptuous women! But underneath the utopian veneer is a so powerful and so heinous that it's using the crew's memories against them so it can take their spaceship back to Earth-and conquer it! Wonderfully directed by cult producer, writer and director, Sidney W. Pink (Reptilicus, The Angry Red Planet) and featuring campy performances by John Agar (Invisible Invaders, Miracle Mile) and Greta Thyssen (Terror is a Man) with an amazing title song by Mitchell Tableporter (aka Teepee Mitchell). This Danish and American co-production is now considered to be one of the greatest cult classics of all time.
Sid Pink is known as the godfather of feature length 3D cinema, but not really of the superhero kind that we see today. It's more from the 1950s and 1960s, where the low budget sci-fi romps were coming out every weekend with the added 3D element. In 1962, Pink directed a low budget sci-fi horror flick called 'Journey to the Seventh Planet on a shoestring budget.
He laid on the horror aspect in terms of blood and big visual effects, and instead took to the psychological route to make the film forward itself into a monsterpocaylpse of sorts. The film is set in 2001, where a team of astronauts are sent to the planet Uranus (not making this up), in an attempt to explore space and the planets somewhat close to us. On the way to Uranus, the crew comes under a telepathic spell of sorts by a giant alien brain that causes some mild hallucinations.
Once the crew lands on the planet, they find out that Uranus looks like Earth, and in fact, people and buildings start showing up from these astronaut's past, in which they can mingle with. It's all part of the giant brain's evil plan into world wide domination, complete with giant monsters that attack the astronauts. Again, there's not much in the way of actual action or horror here, but rather a very atmospheric and visual suspense that makes everything uneasy, which was the route Pink went, due to the low budget, and it worked well here.
The film never really goes off on tangents, but sticks to its path straight and forward. The creature effects, when they do show up, look decent enough for the time, but will probably make you chuckle a bit. 'Journey to the Seventh Planet' is still a fun and nostalgic film for those who love the old sci-fi films of the 1960s, and it still holds up in that regard.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Journey to the Seventh Planet' comes with a 25GB Blu-ray Disc from Kino Lorber and is Region A Locked. There is no insert here, but the covert art has other art on the backside. The disc is housed in a hard, blue plastic case. There is no 'Setup' button on the main menu.
'Journey to the Seventh Planet' comes with a 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.66:1 aspect ratio. This film came out in 1962, making this movie almost 55 years old. Not only does it have a few decades under its belt, it was made on a very low budget and there are not a whole lot of original reels out there in the world today. Still, this new HD transfer from Kino Lorber is actually very good.
The detail and colors looks great and is possibly the best this film has looked since it debuted in the early 60s, or maybe even better. The detail is sharper than ever, which shows a great deal of textures in the costumes as well as the finer details in some of the fake plant life of the foreign planet. Facial features in closeups also look striking. Wider shots are a little softer, but not as bad as you might think. Colors are brighter and more vibrant than ever here too with some great primaries popping off screen. The blue and yellow space suits look great.
There is a nice layer of grain throughout, although there were some moments that were heavier than others. Black levels were deep and inky for the most part and the skin tones looked natural. There were still some dirt, debris, and warps here and there, but it's all part of the low budget experience. Other than that, this video presentation is quite good.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo mix and gets the job done. Sound effects and ambient noises are of course silly sounding, but come through quite nicely. There is a good balance to the sound effects when other elements are being utilized here. Just don't expect anything to really blow you away.
The laser guns will make you laugh by the way. The score always adds to that early 60s nostalgia of what the composer thought a futuristic score might sound like too. The dialogue is heavily dubbed, and doesn't always match up with the lips, but it's always easy to hear and follow. There were no instances of any pops, cracks, hiss, or shrills here.
Audio Commentary - Film historian and magazine writer Tim Lucas delivers a fairly dry commentary here, which seems like he's just reading off a script he wrote a few days prior. He covers most aspects of production and the lives of the filmmakers and stars. He also references a tons of other films and how they relate to this one. He even made me chuckle when he tried to differentiate the many ways to say Uranus.
Trailers (HD, 9 Mins.) - The trailer for the film, along with a few other trailers for similar movies.
'Journey to the Seventh Planet' isn't for everyone, but for those who love the old sci-fi movie of the 60s that have a schlocky feel, where the poster art for the film is so much more than the actual film itself, this one is for you. It's very atmospheric, rather than bloody and violent. The video and audio presentations are both great, considering how old this movie is. The extras are kind of lackluster, but if you're a fan of these films, you might enjoy the dry commentary. This one is for fan's only.