HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Cold Night's Death, A Walk Out To WinterBuy this film here.
Year: 1973
Director: Jerrold Freedman
Stars: Robert Culp, Eli Wallach, Michael C. Gwynne
Genre: Horror, Thriller, TV Movie
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: There's a research station on the White Mountain in California which is designed to find out how far astronauts' endurance can be tested, only they haven't been using people for the experiments, they have been using apes. There was only one scientist at the Tower Mountain station, but for some reason contact has been lost with him over the radio for five days now, and with winter weather causing the conditions to become perilous, his bosses are growing concerned. With that in mind, they send a couple of scientists, Robert Jones (Robert Culp) and Frank Enari (Eli Wallach) out by helicopter to see what has happened...

But when they get there, the place is as quiet as the grave in this well-remembered, horror-inflected television movie from the golden age of such efforts, the nineteen-seventies. As with many of those which are either strong memories or dimly recalled, A Cold Night's Death had one purpose, and that was to scare the viewer, so it was that a generation of kids of the day would have nightmares about the creepily claustrophobic atmosphere of encroaching paranoia generated by Christopher Knopf's amusing script and the way most of the action took place in one location. Oddly, that script looked forward to John Carpenter's The Thing remake, as there were comparisons to be made.

Carpenter's work was a cult classic of course, and superior to this low budget effort, but you could hazard a guess that the director might have caught this at some point before he crafted his work even if the original The Thing from Another World would have been his main inspiration, they were very much of a piece with one another. Naturally this is of a far lower profile, but having taken a simple idea - there's something at the station which is menacing the two scientists and they don't know what it is - and conjured up something of very reasonable quality for what was essentially a two hander television play, it was understandable it would arise in fond reminiscences.

A Cold Night's Death was certainly worthy of mention alongside other notables broadcast during its decade which put the wind up viewers, including Horror at 37,000 Feet, Duel, Bad Ronald, Killdozer, Panic at Lakewood Manor (OK, maybe that last one was a bit ropey) and so forth, and the acting from Culp and Wallach helped lift what could have been rather daft. They behaved as if they truly believed there was a presence in the station, as their tempers frayed, with Robert the macho man and Frank the more bookish boffin, though little wonder when they arrive at the location to find the test animals lying practically unconscious due to the cold and the previous scientist sitting alone in a room with the window stuck open, covered in frost and very dead.

You can almost feel the freezing temperatures, especially in the latter stages when Robert, out clearing the ever-building snow from the front door, is locked out and has to struggle to get back in to survive. Is it one of those two who are sabotaging the mission, perhaps without even realising it? Frank continues the experiments which provide a heavy hint to what is actually going on, something Robert works out when it's too late to do anything about it, and the final scene is among the most famous in seventies television horrors out of Hollywood, a punchline which is at the same time ridiculous and strangely satisfying. There's no real explanation for what has happened other than the balance of the scales tipping the other way after too long weighed down on one side, but it tapped into an increasing sense of environmentalism in the mood of the time, as well as confirming the worst fears of those who had been paying attention to a celebrated science fiction franchise around back then. Also worth watching for was Gil Melle's electronic score.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1435 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: