HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Guilty, The
Stranger in the House
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
Blame
Upgrade
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Doomwatch Pollution SolutionBuy this film here.
Year: 1972
Director: Peter Sasdy
Stars: Ian Bannen, Judy Geeson, John Paul, Simon Oates, Jean Trend, Joby Blanshard, George Sanders, Percy Herbert, Shelagh Fraser, Geoffrey Keen, Joseph O'Conor, Norman Bird, Constance Chapman, Michael Brennan, James Cosmo, Cyril Cross, George Woodbridge
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The government department known as Doomwatch were set up to combat pollution and enviromnental disasters, and they send one of their number, Dr Del Shaw (Ian Bannen) to the remote Cornish island of Balfe to see the effects of a recent oil spill from a shipwrecked tanker. As Shaw sails over on the boat there, the ferry captain (George Woodbridge) lets him know that the islanders keep themselves very much to themselves, but Shaw informs him he isn't planning to stay long anyway and he would like to be picked up tomorrrow afternoon. However, he doesn't count on a true mystery on Balfe - what are the locals hiding?

If that opening sounds a bit like The Wicker Man, then at least the Doomwatch movie could say it got there first with this plot. In fact, after a first half hour or so that sticks surprisingly close to the better known horror's similar first act, it settles into an investigation more fitting for the television series that inspired it. Unlike a British sitcom movie, this effort doesn't concentrate on the cast of the original as they play a supporting role here, with newcomers Bannen (in the sort of Robert Powell role, Powell having made his name in the series before being spectaculalry written out) and Judy Geeson as a schoolteacher on the island helping him.

But she has to be persuaded first, as everyone on Balfe is taciturn at best, hostile at worst. Shaw has an advantage with Geeson's Victoria Brown in that she just arrived on the place a couple of years before and so has a comparable status, only she sides with the community by wishing to keep their secret. We're well aware there's something up when the prologue features a small child being buried in the woods, and later on we catch sight of locals who have an odd appearance around the face, only in fleeting shots, but enough to set alarm bells ringing.

The sense of an insular society unfriendly to outsiders is well handled, and scritpwriter Clive Exton evidently suffered a bad rural holiday at some point because he writes as if he knows of what he speaks. It's not that the film goes downhill after we - and Shaw - find out what is really going on, it simply changes tack and becomes something more faithful to the source. This means an in two minds approach to authority, as while we have to put great trust in the Doomwatch department to sort out the scandal, we also have to mistrust the other scientists and bunglers high up who instigated the problems in the first place.

To add tension, whatever is afflicting the islanders is making them aggressive as well, which may mean the odd fight in the pub and even a chap jumping out of a window, but is too clearly an attempt to include an element of peril to Shaw's presence there. George Sanders essayed his final role here, as a Navy Admiral who may be privy to the information of what is behind the pollution (but maybe isn't after all) but the main conflict here is not really authority-based and more between the public and the mistakes of science, which puts Shaw in a difficult position. He strives to be reasonable to save the community, but has their ignorance and fear to contend with, and no wonder when he represents to them the personification of the outsiders' threat to their way of life. Doomwatch never quite gets exciting enough, or fulfils its early promise, but its thoughtful quality holds the attention nonetheless.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2511 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: