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DVD Review

DVD cover

From Other Worlds


Starring: Cara Buono, Jay Oakerson, Isaach De Bankolé and David Lansbury
Distributor: Simply Media
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 08 February 2016

Joanne Schwartzbaum, is a stressed-out mother, sleepwalking her way through life. When she is abducted by aliens and returned to her home she is snapped out of her complacency. Through a series of odd events and coincidences she is befriended by Abraham Kanga, who not only believes in Joanne’s story, but also has one of his own. Together the two set off to unravel the mystery of what happened to them…

From Other Worlds (2004. 1 hr, 28 min) is a science fantasy film, written and directed by Barry Strugatz, who also wrote Married to the Mob (1988) and adapted She Devil (1989) for the cinema.

For all its pretensions the film ends up as a fluffy bit of nonsense. Cara Buono is good as Joanne, living with a family she barely registers. It takes an alien abduction to wake her up from her creeping catatonia. When she meets Abraham (Isaach De Bankolé) at a local UFO meeting they discover that they each bare a mark.

From this point on, what could have been a film about how it feels to be an outsider, either from one’s own family or from humanity as a whole tries to turn itself into a comedy, with some risible plot surrounding the recovery of a scroll.

That the film was supposed to be a comedy seemed to have been lost on both the writer and the cast, who do what they can with a very limp script. Elements, like the burgeoning romance between Joanne and Abraham gets dropped as soon as the story no longer needs it. So much of the plot involves contrived expedient events that it’s almost impossible to feel that the film has an overall coherent tone.

The film is presented with an anamorphic 1.85:1 print; the big surprise is that the film looks less like it was shot in 2004 and more like a film from the eighties. Audio is 2.0 stereo and the disc contained no extras.


Charles Packer

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