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After enduring decades of cut-up television showings of The Crawling Eye and a laserdisc version in the 1980s on which the source print was out of focus on one side and the sound was lousy, this DVD makes up for all of it. Transferred off of original British source elements (and, thus, using the original U.K. title The Trollenberg Terror) and masked to the proper theatrical aspect ratio, the movie looks as sharp as this reviewer has ever seen it, and the contrasts are very rich. All of this may seem superfluous in what seems to most onlookers like a shocker of a film -- the subtleties don't seem important, until you realize that this movie is as much a mystery as it is a horror film, and is very much a character-driven piece. The movie is usually thought of as a poor relation to The Creeping Unknown, which had appeared two years earlier out of England, but The Crawling Eye actually has a good deal more character development, and several layers of clues that spread out across the length of the story. It's a pleasure to watch on several levels, for the acting, the direction, and the rather cleverly told story of an attempted invasion of Earth. After watching this disc, one actually longs to see the original six-part ITV television broadcast on which this movie was based -- one gets a sense that the movie packs a huge amount of information into 85 minutes, but the film adaptation will have to do. Image Entertainment has done a great job of transferring the movie to DVD and packaging it, with 16 chapters and a simple (but clever and creepy) menu that opens automatically on start-up. The annotation is nicely thorough, although not as deep as it might have gotten on the subject of England's mid-'50s science fiction revival, but it has some interesting observations about the movie's American star Forrest Tucker.
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Rated 3 out of 5 stars
Nice little British shocker.
Well worth checking out if you like science fiction and horror film s from the '50s.