Xtro – UK, 1983: updated with new Blu-ray details

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‘Some extra-terrestrials aren’t friendly.’

Xtro is a British science fiction horror movie made in 1982 and released in 1983, directed by Harry Bromley Davenport and co-produced by Bob Shaye.

Sam, a devoted father and husband, disappears suddenly, apparently abducted by aliens, only to return to the family fold three years later as not quite the man he was.

His family have moved on, his wife, Rachel, is now living with a man called Joe who is deeply suspicious as to the circumstances of his return, whilst she isn’t sure where her affections should lie.

Their son, Tony, is caught in the middle and soon bears witness to the fact that his father has suffered significantly since his hiatus and their lives are turned upside down by alien births, blood and mayhem.

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Xtro is released on Blu-ray in the UK on June 18, 2018, via Second Sight Films.

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk

  • Limited Edition packaging
  • New restoration featuring option of alternate endings plus the original UK video version edit
  • New director restoration
  • ‘Xploring Xtro’ – a new 57 minute documentary featuring interviews with Harry Bromley-Davenport, Mark Forstater, Bernice Stegers, Susie Silvey, ‘Tik’ – Tim Dry, ‘Tok’ – Sean Crawford, Robert Pereno, Alan Jones and Craig Lapper
  • ‘The World of Xtro’ – a new featurette with Dennis Atherton, Harry Bromley-Davenport and Mark Forstater
  • ‘Beyond Xtro’ – a new featurette with Harry Bromley-Davenport and Mark Forstater looking ahead to new reboot ‘Xtro – The Big One’, including excusive test footage
  • ‘Xtro Xposed’
  • ‘Loving The Alien: A Tribute to Philip Sayer’ featuring exclusive Brian May music tribute
  • Soft cover booklet with new writing by Kevin Lyons plus behind-the-scenes stills and promo material
  • Original soundtrack CD
  • Rigid slipcase featuring original UK video and UK theatrical artwork
  • English subtitles for the hearing impaired

Made under the somewhat surprising working title of ‘Judas Goat’, Xtro is often thrown into the mix when discussing the ‘infamous’ films on the BBFC’s banned list of 72 titles; it wasn’t, though some scenes are as strong as material that was. It is one of the few British-made films that is spoken of in the same breath as the so-called ‘video nasties’ and this is regrettable as it casts something of a shadow over what is an extremely accomplished and unsettling film.

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Made in the wake of both Alien and E.T. the timing was deliberate but the brutality, down-beat tone and the addition of an au-pair, played by Bond girl (The Living Daylights‘ Maryam D’Abo) sets it aside as something rather more graphic and unsettling. The lack of a substantial budget works in the film’s favour, the down-to-earth delivery of the actors and in particular, the minimalist synthesiser soundtrack, composed and played by Davenport himself, building an eerie mood.

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The alien itself is decidedly creepy, in no small part due to the fact that the rubber costume was fitted on an actor crawling around on his back – a thankless task, no doubt. The role was played by Tim Dry who, along with Sean Crawford, who also appears in the film, found fame in Britain in the 80s as robotic mime supremos Tik and Tok.

The rest of the cast perform surprisingly well and many faces are recognisable from British television throughout the ’70’s and ’80’s and up to the present day. Of note, for fans of TV trivia, is an appearance by Anna Wing who was a mainstay in British soap opera Eastenders for many years.

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The film was released theatrically in the United States by Bob Shaye’s New Line Cinema in 1983.

It was released on DVD three times in the United States by Image Entertainment. The first DVD of the film was released in 2005 as a double feature with sequel Xtro II: The Second Encounter. The second DVD was released in 2006 as a standalone release. The third DVD was released in 2007 and was a triple feature alongside Xtro II: The Second Encounter and Skeeter.

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Buy triple feature DVD from Amazon.com

In Britain, the entire Xtro trilogy was released in box-set, remastered anamorphic widescreen with 5.1 for Xtro II and an interview with director Harry Bromley Davenport covering the production of all three films. The re-issue also featured a previously unseen alternate ending for the original film.

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Director Harry Bromley Davenport made two sequels to the film, Xtro II: The Second Encounter and Xtro 3: Watch the Skies. Neither films had anything to do with the original film.

Buy limited edition release: Amazon.co.uk

In March 2010, Davenport announced that Xtro 4 was in the works. Speaking to Fangoria.com, he stated:

“I am going to be starting Xtro 4 this summer; you are the first to receive this shattering news,” Davenport tells us. “A script by Daryl Haney is in the works, and my sales guys are salivating. It’s going to be a very odd movie indeed. Sort of back to the roots of the first one, but much stranger and, hopefully, more uncomfortable.”

As yet, there has been no further announcements regarding Xtro 4.

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Daz Lawrence, HORRORPEDIA

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Categories: 1980s, alien, body horror, British, monster movie

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. God, I love this very strange and wonderful little film.

    Like

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