Director: Bernard Vorhaus
Image Entertainment

THE AMAZING MR. X has been an overlooked diamond in the rough which has seen varying releases on multiple public domain DVDs over the years. Now, here it comes in an "official" treatment from Image Entertainment, with the "Wade Williams" seal adorning its cover. Released at a time when there wasn't all that much going on in the way of supernatural horror, MR. X is of particular interest to fans of the stylish Val Lewton productions from the 1940s who should be impressed with its shadowy, dreamlike qualities and mysterious elements.

Turhan Bey (THE MUMMY'S TOMB) is ideally cast as Alexis, a crooked medium out to swindle wealthy and naive women of their fortunes. His most recent target is Christine (Lynn Bari) who has been unable to let go of the memory of her departed husband, who died in a car accident two years ago, and now she is seeking out the would-be psychic to help her contact him. Richard Carlson plays the new man in her world who hopes to marry Chris if only she can stop obsessing over her late husband, whose spirit still always seems to be present wherever she turns. Even Christine's impressionable kid sister Janet (Cathy O'Donnell, who played Charlton Heston's sister in 1959's BEN-HUR) attempts to intervene by visiting the mystical Alexis on her own, but finds herself mesmerized by his delicate charms. But things are never quite as they seem in this surreal and romantic thriller. If you love subtle and atmospheric touches in your horror films and enjoy classics like CAT PEOPLE and I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, this is a comparable production well worth your time.
Presented in its proper 1.33:1 aspect ratio, Image's new DVD is preferable to other releases I've seen of THE AMAZING MR. X on disc as well as tape, but it would be wise not to expect perfection here, as this unfortunately seems to be a movie that is destined to be imperfect; there are many specks and scratches dancing on and off throughout the presentation, and they can be distracting at times. The sound too sometimes suffers from scratchiness which comes and goes. But in all fairness, I have yet to see any exceptional copy of this title, so this should be considered when going into the DVD.

There is a very basic menu included here, and no extras at all on the disc. In many ways, this release reminds me of those earliest barebones DVDs of old genre films which Image used to put out, such as THE FLYING SERPENT, DEVIL BAT'S DAUGHTER and STRANGLER OF THE SWAMP. However, there is an exceptional write-up about MR. X which is happily included as an insert. Written by freelance writer Jim Arena, these liner notes are a very welcome addition to the feature film and provide further historical tidbits and acclaim.
(Joe Karlosi)