HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Physical Evidence
Fanny Lye Deliver'd
   
 
Newest Articles
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
   
 
  Journey to the Far Side of the Sun The Mirror Has Two Faces
Year: 1969
Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Roy Thinnes, Ian Hendry, Patrick Wymark, Lynn Loring, Lori von Friedl, Franco De Rosa, George Sewell, Ed Bishop, Philip Madoc, Vladek Sheybal, George Mikell, Herbert Lom
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: The headquarters of Eurosec, the European Space Exploration administration, and Doctor Hassler (Herbert Lom) has requested a look at the top secret files relating to their most recent project. He goes through the security procedures and is finally allowed access to the filing room, only to acknowledge, yes, the data was just as he suspected, and he leaves soon after. But Hassler is a spy, and in his glass eye there was a tiny camera which he has photographed the documents with - now he knows the nature of the next Eurosec mission...

But never mind all that, for while it makes for an arresting beginning to the movie, it really doesn't have much to do with the rest of it. This was the attempt at a big screen hit by Gerry Anderson and his then-wife Sylvia Anderson, who produced and came up with the story, moving away from their popular sixties television series such as Thunderbirds or Captain Scarlet for a go at live action. It wasn't a huge success, and they soon retreated to television, but they learned a few lessons which went into creating sci-fi show UFO, and later Space: 1999, both of which are better remembered than this little item.

Its premise is a simple one which sticks in the mind thanks to its simplicity: there's another planet discovered on the exact other side of the sun, and the characters decide to send a mission to seek it out and examine it. But for such an uncomplicated idea, the film didn't half make heavy weather of it, as director Robert Parrish approached scenes with the utmost ponderousness, as if the Andersons were intent on being taken as seriously by the grown ups as they were by their juvenile fans. Nevertheless, the familiar obsession with hardware and machinery was well to the fore, obviously a work of this team.

Therefore every so often Derek Meddings' intricate miniatures were given scenes all their own, whether it was space rockets on the launch pad or capsules exploring the heavens, reminiscent of the same care and attention Stanley Kubrick had offered them in his 2001: A Space Odyssey of the previous year. The Andersons were patently taking notes on how to be adult with their science fiction, as there were not one but two "trip" sequences, not up to the Stargate sequence but more dreamy instead. Then there was the astronaut Glenn Ross (Roy Thinnes, fresh off The Invaders on TV), whose wife (Lynn Loring) accuses him of impotence.

But she's actually been taking the pill because she doesn't want his space-irradiated babies, not a subplot that made it into many works of this type, and is quickly forgotten about here, as are a few promising threads (Glenn's not-quite romance with Eurosec worker Lori Von Friedl, for example). But the boss, Jason Webb (Patrick Wymark), forges ahead with the excursion to that mystery planet, and therefore we get sequence after sequence of preparation and application until Ross and his co-pilot, John Kane (Ian Hendry) awaken from suspended animation to orbit this new world. Except it's not quite as new as they anticipated, though to explain more would be to spoil things, suffice to say the notion of this alien planet is such a memorable one that it almost makes up for the humourlessness of the rest of it. With something to point out about authoritarianism in another subplot that isn't capitalised on, and an original title that gave the game away, this was by no means perfect, but you do respect the endeavour. Music by Barry Gray.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3440 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


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
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: