HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wildlife
X2
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Firestorm
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Piercing
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Emily
Odette
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Derby
Mortal Engines
Union City
Knife+Heart
Little Stranger, The
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
Glass
My Brilliant Career
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
   
 
Newest Articles
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
   
 
  They Came from Beyond Space We've Been Observing Your EarthBuy this film here.
Year: 1967
Director: Freddie Francis
Stars: Robert Hutton, Jennifer Jayne, Zia Mohyeddin, Bernard Kay, Michael Gough, Geoffrey Wallace, Maurice Good, Luanshya Greer, John Harvey, Diana King, Paul Bacon, Christopher Banks, Dermot Cathie, Norman Claridge, James Donnelly, Katy Wild, Kenneth Kendall
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the sky over this English village there is a strange sound and what locals who are up at this time in the early morning cast their gaze heavenwards to catch sight of a formation of bright lights hurtling overhead. With a crash, they hit the ground: some odd blue meteorites which it is quickly surmised must be investigated by the government, so the department of Dr Curtis Temple (Robert Hutton) is contacted. He is fascinated by this news, but before he can go his doctor tells him it would be too dangerous due to the new metal plate in his skull...

One of those movies that you can imagine Stephen King saw at an impressionable age, basically because even more than the Quatermass and the Pit this looked to be the inspiration for his novel The Tommyknockers, in truth that was about the most interesting thing about They Came From Beyond Space. Not that it was a laugh riot of egregious ineptitude, but it simply wasn't anything more than writer and co-producer Milton Subotsky's attempt to recreate the heyday of fifties science fiction during the Swinging Sixties, leaving this looking like a movie out of step with its contemporaries to some extent.

Of course, that would have been more of a problem in 1967 than it is now, because you can amuse yourself with how quaint the nonsense taking place here appears for much of the Invasion of the Bodysnatchers take-off narrative. That's due to those meteorites carrying psychic hosts, an invisible space alien race which possesses we puny humans and presses us into service as their slaves. What for, you ask? So they can rebuild their starfleet and save their existences, even if it means the cost of human life. As if aware that this was pretty hoary stuff, director Freddie Francis adopted a dynamic style on a budget, meaning loads of dramatic camerwork.

At times this merely drew attention to failings elsewhere, but at others it lent proceedings a pleasing, pulp fiction look: see the scene where the aliens put their sinister space plague plot into practice and Temple is the only one not dropping around the village when the locals break out in red spots and collapse for a neatly nightmarish use of paltry resources. In fact, for the first half this had a fairly decent rural English scare story appeal to it as Temple endeavours to break into the alien's comandeered compound, with his brain unaffected by the threat of possession or plague for that matter thanks to that all-important plate in his head, freeing him to get all commando - in the sense that he's raiding the bad guys' lair rather than not wearing underpants.

Although he may have been doing that as well, the thought of which may add an extra frisson to the movie should you care to contemplate it. But it was in the second half where it began to make sixties episodes of Doctor Who look like the apex of slick sci-fi, as we're meant to concur that yes, of course the aliens could have built a rocket transport service to the moon, where they have a base we've never noticed, and we see nothing wrong with the old cape and leotard ensemble they don once Temple hitches a ride up there to confront them. Part of this is helped along by none other than Michael Gough hoving into view as leader of the extraterrestrials, barking out their plans for domination of the cosmos as if he really believed it, but if you're expecting this to all wind up in a major battle, well you should know by now that they didn't have the money for that. How it does end is quite surprising for this type of tale, nice but not very dramatic. Music by James Stevens.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2073 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Freddie Francis  (1917 - 2007)

A much respected cinematographer for decades, British Francis made his way up from camera operator on films like The Small Back Room, Outcast of the Islands and Beat the Devil to fully fledged cinematographer on such films as Room at the Top, Sons and Lovers (for which he won his first Oscar), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and The Innocents (a masterpiece of his art).

He then turned to direction, mostly in the horror genre, with familiar titles like Paranoiac, Nightmare, The Evil of Frankenstein, Dr Terror's House of Horrors (the first recognisable Amicus chiller anthology), The Skull, The Psychopath, Torture Garden, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, camp favourite Trog, Tales from the Crypt, The Creeping Flesh, Tales that Witness Madness, Legend of the Werewolf and The Ghoul.

Late in his career, he returned to cinematography with David Lynch's The Elephant Man, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Dune, Glory (winning his second Oscar), the Cape Fear remake and The Straight Story, his final work and one of his greatest.

 
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
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: