Euro-Fantastico Double Feature: No Survivors Please (1964)/The
Black Cobra (1965/VCI DVD)
Picture: C+ Sound: C+/C Extras: D Films: C+/C
Two German films made
around the same time and issued in English version with some decent
distribution in their time are finally on DVD and some older viewers who watch
them might be surprised to find them familiar as they made the TV rounds in the
1970s as well.
No Survivors Please (1964) is a very junior answer to the
likes of Dr. Strangelove or Fail Safe (all the same year) as aliens
plan to take over our home planet by talking over other human bodies and even
using nuclear weapons to complete their mission. Unfortunately, as interesting as some of the
shots, editing, ideas and acting is, too much is left unexplained, disconnected
and it does not pay off at all in the end, so never think of this as if Kubrick stayed with his alien ideas for Strangelove, but as a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode that would never make the cut.
The Black Cobra (1965) is a tale of gangsters (so
pre-Godfather it is not funny)
stealing narcotics and the people they battle (cops, by-standers, someone to
frame) to keep the goods. However, this
gets too silly, Film Noir ended seven years earlier and they apparently did not
get the message on that either. Then the
title creature shows up during some of the murders. Klaus Kinski also shows up as a clown. Interesting, but dated.
The 1.33 X 1 black and white image in both cases has good
Video Black for the format and for their age, but detail is sometimes not there
and you get some expected flaws in the shots.
Guess that German monochrome helped make these look good. The
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is good for its age on Survivors, but noisier and more distorted throughout on Cobra, which can be trying to sit
through. There are sadly no extras.