• Der 27 Tag (The 27th Day)

    Released by: Anolis Entertainment
    Released on: February 16th, 2018.
    Director: William Asher
    Cast: Gene Barry, Valerie French, George Voskovec, Arnold Moss, Stefan Schanbel, Ralph Clanton, Friedrich von Ledebur
    Year: 1957
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    The Movie:

    In William Asher’s The 27th Day, a group of five people from various countries – three men, two women - representing the Earth are greeted by a strange man and then wake up inside a spaceship. Here the alien (Arnold Moss) tells them his story – he’s come from a far away planet that has only thirty-five days before it is wiped out when its sun goes super nova. He’s been tasked with finding a new place for his people to live, but their moral code prevents them from launching an invasion. Instead, each of the five is given a container than contains three separate capsules. While only the person assigned to each container can open it, once it’s been opened the capsules can be opened by anyone. What do they contain? Super weapons that will eliminate ever human being within a few thousand miles of whatever coordinates it is given. The weapons will not, however, kill plant or animal life – only humans. The capsules will work for twenty-seven days and that if one of the five dies, his or her container will become null and void, no longer a threat.

    After that, the five people find themselves back on Earth, almost as if nothing as happened. But as they now hold the power of life and death in their hands and are responsible for the very future of the planet, obviously the pressure is on. Before long, the alien has made broadcasts on TV and radio alerting the population of the entire world to identities of the five people – at which point, there’s a panic and various parties expedite their efforts to hunt them down to find out what they know, while various governmental players try to sort out what to do…

    Clearly made on a very low budget, Asher is at least savvy enough to not overreach. There are no epic space battles here or anything like that, in fact the movie is quite understated compared to many of its counterparts in that department. Instead, the focus is on the characters and their situation – all of which is played quite straight and reasonably well written. However, the movie is such a product of its time and such a victim of its era’s Cold War politics, that you can’t help but be taken aback by some of it. There’s a whole lot of overly patriotic flag-waving in the film, to the point where it almost feels like propaganda. At the same time, the plot is interesting and the way that it is executed is occasionally pretty clever. The ending, which we won’t spoil here, winds up taking things into some pretty ridiculous territory though.

    This isn’t the most stylish film ever made, but the sets are fine and the cinematography is more than competent. The score is decent, if unremarkable, and the cast – highlighted by Moss as the alien (that’s all he’s ever referred to, he’s never given a proper name) – are good enough in their respective roles to work in their parts.

    If you’re in the right frame of mind for this, it’s pretty fun. Entertaining stuff to be sure, and it moves at a good pace and toys, if not always successfully, with some genuinely interesting ideas.


    The 27th Day hits Blu-ray from Anolis Entertainment framed at 1.78.1 widescreen in a very nice looking AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer on a 25GB disc. Contrast is really solid, black levels are nice and deep and the picture is free of macroblocking and compression artifacts. Shadow detail is quite good and the image is remarkably clean, showing no serious print damage and only occasional small white specks now and again. We get a really nice upgrade in terms of detail and texture that far surpass the previous Sony MOD/DVD-R version. There are no obvious issues with edge enhancement nor with any noise reduction and grain looks nice and natural here. This is a very solid picture.

    Audio options are provided in DTS-HD Mono tracks in both the original English language and a German dubbed track. Optional German subtitles are also provided. The English track sounds just fine. The score sounds good, the dialogue is clean, clear and easy to follow and there are no problems with any hiss or distortion worth noting.

    Extras on the disc start out with an audio commentary with Dr. Rolf Giesen and Volker Kronz that is in German with no English subtitles. Aside from that, we get English and German language theatrical trailers, alternate Spanish and Portuguese opening title sequences, a lengthy still gallery, a film festival program reproduction, menus and chapter selection.

    As this is a combo pack release a DVD version of the movie is also included inside the DVD sized keepcase that also houses a booklet of liner notes from Ingo Strecker in German text. The booklet also includes cast and crew credits for the feature and some technical information about the feature itself.

    The Final Word:

    The 27th Day is not an easy film to take seriously but it is an entertaining one, very much a product of its time. Lots of fun to be had here, and the Blu-ray release from Anolis Entertainment looks and sounds really nice and includes a few extra features as well.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. C.D. Workman's Avatar
      C.D. Workman -
      I was really hoping Mill Creek would throw this one in a sci-fi three-pack or something, as I would like to have it but don't want to chunk down the amount of money it would cost buying this version and importing it.