• The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes (Scorpion Releasing) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Scorpion Releasing
    Released on: November 5th, 2019.
    Director: David Kramarsky
    Cast: Paul Birch, Lorna Thayer, Dona Cole, Leonard Tarver, Dick Sargent
    Year: 1955
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    The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes – Movie Review:

    Allan Kelley (Paul Birch) and his wife Carol (Lorna Thayer), along with their daughter Sandy (Dona Cole), own and operate a ranch out in the California desert. All is not well between husband and wife, however, as Allan really and truly believes that Carol is angry with him over some past transgressions.

    Their lives change for the worse when an alien spacecraft crash lands in the desert nearby. Soon after, it seems that the animals in the area are starting to rise up against the Kelley clan – their dog, some birds and even a cow all become far more aggressive than they should be. Making matters worse is their already strange ranch hand (Leonard Tarver) has become… reclusive, covering the walls of his room with boudoir photos and acting increasingly agitated as the hours and then days begin to pass.

    Eventually the Kelley family realizes that all of this ties into the space ship and that something otherworldly is afoot, leaving them, and the audience, to wonder if they’ll be able to put aside their personal issues and work together to make it out of this mess alive…

    Made for pocket change by producer Roger Corman and ‘directed’ by David Kramarsky (the film was, in fact, directed by Kramarsky, Corman and Lou Place), The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes wears its low budget on its sleeve – it has no choice – but it is at least something a little different when compared to a lot of other low budget monster movies of the same era. Yes, the acting is clunky and the monster reveal towards the end is laughable, but the movie is not without its charm. It is reasonably well shot and it does feature a neat score (which makes use of some public domain classical music in interesting ways). The effects aren’t so hot, but we can look past that.

    The story is solid. At first it seems like this is going to quickly turn into a nature – and ranch hand – run amuck story but that isn’t quite how it all plays out, though it is part of it. The sci-fi aspects and alien invasion aspects are worked in quite well and the script does a decent enough job building up the tensions that exist between the Kelley family members to add some dramatic weight to things. This gives things a bit more pay off in the second act, even if the finale kind of takes away from the build up.

    The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes – Blu-ray Review:

    Scorpion Releasing brings The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes to Blu-ray with an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.33.1 open matte. There’s quite a bit of head room here, and some might take issue with that, but you can zoom in and fix that pretty easily. That issues aside, the transfer quality here is pretty decent. There’s a bit of damage but it’s all mild stuff, nothing really distracting at all. Black levels look good and contrast is just fine. No problems with noise reduction or compression artifacts and detail, depth and texture all easily surpass the previous DVD release from MGM.

    The English language DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track sounds a tiny bit thin but is otherwise problem free. Dialogue is easy to understand and follow and the track is balanced properly. Hiss and distortion are never problematic. optional subtitles are provided in English only.

    Aside from a trailer, the disc also includes an audio commentary track from Tim Lucas, who does a pretty interesting deep dive into the film’s position as a post-war commentary on the state of things. He covers a lot of ground here, from the cast and the crew to the locations to Corman’s involvement to Kramarsky’s ‘direction’ to the film’s framing, all of which is interesting stuff but it’s when he starts to dig below the surface and dissect some of the underlying themes of the movie that this track is at its best.

    Menus and chapter selection are also provided. None of the alternate footage from the TV version has been included here, sadly.

    The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes – The Final Word:

    The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes is an enjoyable B-movie whose build up is better than is payoff. Still, there’s enough to enjoy here that fans of fifties sci-fi and monster movies will appreciate it. Scorpion Releasing has given the film a more than respectable Blu-ray release with a nice open matte presentation and a solid commentary from Tim Lucas.

    Click on the images below for full sized The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. chriszilla's Avatar
      chriszilla -
      Thank you for the review and the screen caps. I have not seen this one in a long time, and look forward to revisiting it.