HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
   
 
  Cold Night's Death, A Walk Out To Winter
Year: 1973
Director: Jerrold Freedman
Stars: Robert Culp, Eli Wallach, Michael C. Gwynne
Genre: Horror, Thriller, TV MovieBuy from Amazon
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 2205 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: