From Image Entertainment and The Wade Williams collection comes the mid 50's British answer to The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). But where The Day the Earth Stood Still excels and survives as a classic atomic age science fiction thriller, this film fell into the realm of the anti-thriller, nearly putting me to sleep.
Starring Patricia Neal as Susan North and Helmut Dantine as 'The Stranger', the story begins with the landing of a craft, which we never actually see, and the crashing of a car driven by Ms. North. I guess the crash was a fatal one, cause she ain't moving, but what's this? A figure comes to her aid...
Soon we cut to a small hotel in a small English village, and news of Susan's wrecked car and her body missing arrives, along with an odd sort of fellow, who raises a few eyebrows. Oh, he's not all alien looking and such, with hideous tentacles and great, bug eyes, but his mannerisms seem a bit off. He soon reveals himself to be from another planet, but this isn't really taken too seriously, until Susan walks in the door. Apparently the stranger revived her from her slight condition of death, and now she's all better. Proof of the strangers alien status is now here, and yet no one seems to bat an eye at the fact that this is a honest to goodness alien in their midst, one from the planet Venus, as the title of the film tells us.
Anyway, the government soon gets involved, and the motive of the stranger's arrival on Earth is soon learned, but they are still suspicious and even envious at his people's achievements. His presence seems a peaceful one, but, as they always do, the government manages to screw things up, and loose out on a potentially wonderful opportunity to advance the human race. Does the alien truly 'come in peace', or does he have ulterior motives? Is he a friendly messenger, or a scout ship leading the way of a horde of brain sucking alien fiends from another planet?
Even with its' low budget, The Stranger from Planet Venus does have small charms, playing more like a soap opera episode than a science fiction movie, as Patricia Neal's character struggles with her feelings for her fiancé vs. those for her new space buddy. The story is very slow moving, but at least the run time, 74 minutes, doesn't outstay its' welcome. What makes this film different from The Day the Earth Stood Still is the makes of this film managed to suck all the life energy out of the story, and present a very dry, boring, and un-climatic tale of first contact with aliens on Earth.
Image Entertainment provides a decent looking picture here with some noticeable flaws, and the audio is a bit soft at times, but I'd be hard pressed to recommend this to the casual viewer. There are no special features, other than chapter stops and a snazzy looking box. I did notice that Image has re-released this film as a double feature with The Cosmic Man (1959), for the same price as this release, so if you are really interested, you should look that up version and save yourself a little money.