HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Leatherface
Grimsby
Caniba
Bedroom, The
Dark Tower, The
Better Watch Out
Beguiled, The
Year of the Comet
Levelling, The
Dog Days
Annabelle Creation
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Sssssss
Woman in Question, The
Atomic Blonde
Doulos, Le
Okja
Bob le Flambeur
Wedding in White
Léon Morin, Priest
Napping Princess, The
Scorpions and Miniskirts
Berlin File, The
Beaches of Agnès, The
Blue Jeans
Garokawa - Restore the World
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Gleaners & I, The
Peter of Placid Forest
Golden Bird, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
   
 
  Gamma People, The Radioactive RoustaboutsBuy this film here.
Year: 1956
Director: John Gilling
Stars: Paul Douglas, Eva Bartok, Leslie Phillips, Walter Rilla, Philip Leaver, Martin Miller, Michael Caridia, Pauline Drewett, Jocelyn Lane, Olaf Pooley, Rosalie Crutchley, Leonard Sachs, Paul Hardtmuth, St. John Stuart, Cyril Chamberlain
Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Two journalists, the American Mike Wilson (Paul Douglas) and the British Howard Meade (Leslie Phillips), are travelling to Salzburg by train, but while Howard is enjoying the scenery, Mike is impatient with the length of time the journey is taking, and filling the time by playing chess is not improving his temper. What they don't know is that their carriage, the one at the end, has broken away and rolling on its own; thanks to a couple of boys fixing the points, it goes into a disused track and through the border of totalitarian Gudavia, where there are dodgy dealings afoot...

The Gamma People was in many ways a silly little film, something the script and performances seemed to acknowledge in that they never settled on the tone they were aiming for, not able to make up their mind if it was a comedy or something more serious. It arrived just on the cusp of Hammer Horror, and shared some of the concerns that style would adopt, most notably the Eastern European setting and the isolated community labouring under the unspeakable evil plotting that informed many of the chillers that would be made by that studio, yet in other ways it was more like the dramatisation of a contemporary radio serial.

At this time Hammer were making their Quatermass adaptations, and this film was not really like those while not being much like the type of science fiction emerging from the United States during this decade either, leaving it not fitting an easy categorisation. What it most resembled perhaps was one of the spy thrillers that would happen along in the next decade, although that was not to say that James Bond drew all his big ideas from this little item, as our heroes, the burly Douglas and the frightfully posh Phillips, were far removed from many of the suave, two-fisted leading men who tended to populate those movies.

Although if they had been combined into one character, maybe the resemblance would have been more marked. This double act is actually quite winning for its very eccentricity, and offers what could have been a dutiful plod through the territory a spark of life as you cannot imagine what could possibly have drawn these two together, chalk and cheese as they are. Presumably they were intended to represent their countries of origin in the face of the new Communist threat, for there is an element of propaganda here, with the Reds apparently interchangeable with the Nazis of around ten years before, and the citizens of Gudavia needing to be liberated from oppression.

Needless to say, those citizens dress like something out of a Jeanette MacDonald operetta, with the regulation lederhosen for the men, so Gudavia could be anywhere between Switzerland and East Germany. They are ruled with an iron fist by a mad scientist, Boronski (Walter Rilla), who is able to keep them all in line due to there evidently being only one town in the whole, tiny nation, that and the fact that he has an army of goons created with his gamma ray experiments. Those tests also create geniuses such as the little girl who can play piano at prodigy level, and her counterpart, a little Hitler Youth brat who presents problems to our heroes. The sci-fi aspects are stronger than you might expect from the first half, which is mainly goofy mixed with sinister totalitarian regime business, but once Boronski makes his presence felt you have a not bad adventure yarn. Though really The Gamma People was an awkward, transitional effort. Music by George Melachrino.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2278 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
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
   

 

Last Updated: