Imagine if Troma Films had been hired to make a Sid & Marty Krofft Saturday morning kids’ show, and if you have some idea of the unspeakable strangeness of VISITORS FROM THE ARKANA GALAXY, a truly gonzo Croatian sci-fi / fantasy about a struggling writer, Robert (Zarko Potocnjak), who dreams up a story of gold-skinned alien androids named Andra, Targo and Ulu from a distant planet. Incredibly, his fictional alien creations become reality, causing chaos in his relationship with his girlfriend Biba (Lucie Zulová) and threatening his small seaside village. The alluring lead robot Andra (Ksenia Prohaska) looks like H.R. Giger re-designed the Maschinenmensch from Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS; watch for the scene where she pours hot coffee and cream out of her fingertips. But for sheer jawdropping insanity, nothing rivals the Mumu Monster -- created for the film by legendary Czech animator Jan Svankmajer -- a rubber-suited, multi-tentacled creation that destroys a wedding party, ripping off heads and spouting plumes of toxic green smoke while a blind accordion player blithely plays his squeezebox. VISITORS was a rare feature film from animator Dusan Vukotic (1927-1998), best known for his stunning UPA-style cartoon shorts including “Cow On The Moon” (1959) and the Oscar-winning “The Substitute” (1961). The long-unavailable VISITORS has been beautifully restored in 4K by Deaf Crocodile and Zagreb Film for this release from the best-surviving 35mm elements. In Croatian with English SDH subtitles.
directed by: Dusan Vukotic
1981 / 89 min / 1.37:1 / Croation DTS-HD Mono
Region A Blu-ray
New scan of VISITORS FROM THE ARKANA GALAXY with restoration by Craig Rogers for Deaf Crocodile.
New commentary track by film historian Samm Deighan
New essay by film historian and professor Jennifer Lynde Barker
Short film: “Krava na mjesecu” (Cow On The Moon), 1959, 10 min. – in Vukotic’s delightfully jazzy, beatnik-influenced cartoon, an adorable young girl creates a rocket ship to annoy a hipster teenage boy.
Short film: “Piccolo”, 1959, 9 min. – two neighbors wage war over a noisy harmonica in Vukotic’s animated short featuring stunning mid-century artwork and design.
Short film: “1001 crtez” (1001 Drawings), 1960, 14 min. A fascinating B&W short mixing live action and animation to reveal how cartoons are drawn. (In Croatian with English subtitles.)
Short film: “Surogat” (The Substitute), 1961, 10 min. – a typical Everyman spends a day at the beach where everything is inflatable, from his tent to the BBQ grill to a toothy shark. Vukotic’s Oscar-winning short is a masterpiece of angular mid-century style.
Short film: “Ars Gratia Artis”, 1969, 9 min. – in Vukotic’s surreal blend of animation and live action, a man eats a vinyl record, razor blades, thumb tacks and more.
Blu-ray authoring by David Mackenzie of Fidelity In Motion
New SDH English subtitles
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