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  Slime People, The I Mist Again
Year: 1963
Director: Robert Hutton
Stars: Robert Hutton, Les Tremayne, Robert Burton, Susan Hart, William Boyce, Judee Morton, John Close
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Amateur pilot Tom Gregory (Robert Hutton) is coming into land at a Los Angeles airport when he is alarmed to find his aeroplane surrounded by thick fog. He is not receiving any reply from the tower until a crackly message implores him to turn around and head away from the city. Unfortunately, he is not in any position to do so as he is running out of fuel, but he gets through the "storm" and lands at a suspiciously deserted airport. Where is everyone? Gregory is about to find out...

One thing you can say about The Slime People is that the money is all there up on the screen. It's just a pity there wasn't very much of it, because the cash evidently went on making the costumes for the titular monsters and the rest went on post-production mist effects. Written by Blair Robertson and Vance Skarstedt, it's a surprise to learn it was filmed as late as 1963, looking as it does like something from the early fifties, and starring a matinee idol, Hutton, who had seen better days.

Hutton also directed, in his only effort behind the camera as well as in front of it, but shows little real style: this could be one of his own home movies. The reason Los Angeles has been deserted is that the Slime People have taken over and the place has been evacuated, leaving a few stragglers behind such as winos, looters, naysayers and a certain Professor Galbraith (Robert Burton) with his two grown up daughters, Lisa (Susan Hart) and Bonnie (Judee Morton).

This trio meet up with Gregory at the airport and fill him in on the details about what is going down. There's a nod to social conscience when we discover that the monsters have emerged from beneath the earth after underground nuclear testing roused them, but mainly this is a creature feature on a tiny budget without much consideration for the bigger picture. If you're a seasoned Doctor Who fan, it might occur to you that the Slime People look a lot like the Zygons, and the costumes are not half bad.

What is bad is the rest of the film, as a deadly game of cat and mouse begins between our band of hardy heroes and the spear-carrying villains, made more perilous by the fact that there's only one way to dispose of them and that's by their own spears. This might have been more exciting if the fog effects didn't cover up most of the action, creating a general gloom that at times makes it impossible to work out what's going on. Some have found humour in the underfunded attempts to rustle up tension, but even for a movie lasting little over an hour, it does test the patience. You could give the filmmakers a pat on the back for their efforts, but after seeing the results it's difficult to generate much enthusiasm. Music by Lou Foman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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