Comfortable and Furious

Unearthly Stranger (1963)

Directed: John Krish
Written: Rex Carlton
Story: Jeffrey Stone
With: John Neville as Dr. Mark Davidson, Philip Stone as Professor John Lancaster, Gabriella Licudi as Julie Davidson,
Patrick Newell as Major Clarke and Jean Marsh as Miss Ballard

British Low Budget Science Fiction

The basic premise of Unearthly Stranger puts you in mind of Clifford Simak’s novel, Time Is the Simplest Thing.  The exploration of outer space by psychics.  Hands free and at your leisure.

A British scientist had just made a breakthrough with the “formula” for the program when, lo and behold, his brain exploded the night before he could share it with his fellow scientists. Here’s the kicker; it seems the very same brain explosion happened to American and Soviet scientists working on the same type of projects. Brain explosions happen to Soviets all the time so there might not have been a suspicion of foul play.

Project scientist Dr. Mark Davidson has just returned from holiday in Switzerland (“holiday” is “vacation” in Albionese).  With him is his hot new wife.  She appeared to him on a mountain road right after a really weird electrical humming sound and it was love at first sight.  The same weird humming sound we heard just before the other guy’s brain exploded!

Project security officer Major Clarke is rightly suspicious of the new Mrs. Dr.  Davidson and you would be suspicious as well.  There is no record of her existence before she popped in front of Dr. Davidson’s car on that lonely mountain road. In Switzerland!  

And the Swiss are hard core record keepers. 

Suspicions are confirmed when someone notices Ms. hot body Mrs. Dr.  Davidson sleeps with her eyes open, doesn’t blink, has no pulse and can remove pans out of a hot oven without the aid of oven mitts. The topper? That really weird electrical humming sound follows her around like a determined housefly.

Remember the formula?  The one for hands free space travel?  Well, Major Clarke gets his hands on it only to have his brain explode.  Well, he was a chubby guy constantly eating candy, so under any dramatic metric known to Hollywood, he had to go.  In movie morality, he was worse than a child molester. All other cast members were slim and trim, or just skinny.

One dark and stormy night Mrs. Dr.  Davidson confesses the truth to Dr.  Davidson.  The People, out there in space, learned the secret of psychic space exploration years ago and don’t cotton to the idea of humans tumbling to hands free space travel.  Those People have been here a long time and been keeping tabs on smarty-pants scientists, and culling the tribe when necessary.

Mrs. Dr.  Davidson tells him she was sent to kill Dr.  Davidson, but darn all the luck, she fell in love with him.  This revelation summons the deadly humming sound, and you know what that means. Mrs. Dr.  Davidson’s seconds here on Earth are numbered.

Just after declaring she should not be afraid as love conquers all, Dr.  Davidson finds himself talking to a bundle of empty clothes. It seems love conquers all is not a scientific principle.  Not a good defensive legal argument, either.

In the final shot it is implied London is so full of Those People it’s sort of like fascists at a MAGA rally. Even Rose from Upstairs, Downstairs.  And here you thought she was just another pretty face.



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