Unearthly Stranger 1961 ****

There’s a wonderful charm about low budget British sci-fi in the 1950’s and 60’s. The luridly titled The Day The Earth Caught Fire concerns itself with a Day After Tomorrow/Deep Impact storyline which is never pictured, just mentioned in conversation ‘The Taj Mahal was submerged!’ Similarly parsimonious with visuals, Unearthly Stranger is a gripping drama that features the idea of space projection long before Avatar or Intersteller. Being a British production, there’s not much to look at except blackboards and lab-coats, but the tension builds from the suicide of a scientist and the return from vacation of our hero with his otherworldly wife in tow. His fellow scientists suspect her of being a strange, if not unearthly, woman, and therefore an potential alien projection. Her giveaway signs, such as crying acidic tears and having no sense of pain when handling a piping hot casserole dish, are amusingly put down to being a ‘foreigner’, but Unearthly Stranger’s quaintness hides a deceptive plot machination that pays of with an ingenious double twist.


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