HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
   
 
  Terrornauts, The Making Contact
Year: 1967
Director: Montgomery Tully
Stars: Simon Oates, Zena Marshall, Charles Hawtrey, Patricia Hayes, Stanley Meadows, Max Adrian, Frank Barry, Richard Carpenter, Leonard Cracknell, André Maranne, Frank Forsyth, Robert Jewell
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Doctor Joe Burke (Simon Oates) is a scientist whose Startalk project is the fulfilment of a lifetime's ambition, a chance to communicate with the denizens of civilisations outside Planet Earth's orbit. However, so far his investigations have brought up the grand total of no contacts whatsoever and his bosses, led by Shore (Max Adrian), want a word with a view to discussing his position in the organisation. Now Burke has a deadline: if no progress is made by the time three months are up, then the project will be terminated as the bosses cannot justify the cost and use of the radio telescope on the premises, an ultimatum which infuriates the boffin, especially as he feels he has an almost divine right to pursue his fascination with the subject...

That's because when Burke was a boy, he was given a mysterious cube by his archaeologist uncle as we see in flashback, something uncovered at a dig in France. The clumsy child knocked the object over one day and it smashed into pieces, one of which he held in his hand when he went to sleep and experienced the vision which has haunted him all these years. If this was sounding jolly interesting then it didn't play that way for the first half hour at least: the action took far too long to step up a gear, and for a while it seemed as though this was a tale of office politics at a research station in England, complete with laboured comic relief from Charles Hawtrey as an accountant and Patricia Hayes as a tealady.

Hawtrey, then as now most celebrated for the Carry On series, looked to be taking an interest in science fiction because around the same time he appeared in the decidedly saucier Zeta One, while Hayes was bringing her accustomed working class charm (though she spoke posh in real life) to a role she could have played in her sleep. Do not underestimate Mrs Jones the tealady, however, as only in a British science fiction movie would it be imperative to bring along a character who provided a nice cuppa as they travelled into the depths of space. That was what happened, the entire building was spirited away by a spacecraft sent from the Solar System's asteroid belt once contact had finally been made.

What are the odds Burke should receive that deadline and mere hours later he made that breakthrough? Well, maybe we shouldn't be too surprised, since it would be a rather dull movie if the rest of it played out as the leading man lost his job and had to attend a series of interviews to get another one. Although nobody is called the Terrornauts in the film, the plot actually plays out not unlike the eighties BBC TV series The Adventure Game as Burke, nervous Hawtrey, Hayes, and assistants Zena Marshall (famous as James Bond's first ever conquest in Dr. No) and Stanley Meadows find themselves on a hugely advanced space base run by a not very advanced-looking robot (Marshall was obviously amused by this and gives the contraption a noticeable pat on the bottom as it goes by in one scene).

This was drawn from a Murray Leinster book by heavyweight science fiction author John Brunner, best known for his classic dystopian novels Stand On Zanzibar and especially the unforgettable environmental miseryfest The Sheep Look Up, but don't expect anything so profound here, this was more aimed at the families who crowded around the television sets to catch the latest episode of Doctor Who of a Saturday afternoon. That said, it looked like they had that serial's meagre budget, even using a quarry as one location, and with quite remarkable monster in one sequence which has the notable addition of an eye in its armpit (better than a nose in your armpit, one assumes). The explorers are adept at the problem solving, well, two of them are, the others tending to dither including Meadows' supposedly intelligent scientist who manages to trip over his feet and bump Marshall into a matter transporter. It builds to a conclusion that won't be entirely alien to anyone who has played Space Invaders, but overall that lively last half more than made up for the mediocre first. Music by Elisabeth Lutyens.

[Network's Region 2 DVD features a good quality copy of this film's shorter reissue from the seventies, and a slightly beaten up copy of the original 1967 version which lasts about fifteen minutes longer. It also has the trailer and an image gallery to round out the extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2633 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
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: