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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Robert Hutton plays an American scientist working on a SETI project in
the U. K. with a small team of assistants. He is called out to
investigate the arrival of several 'meteors' which apparently hit the
earth in formation. Hutton can not go, however, because he is
recovering from brain surgery associated with a car accident. Soon
enough, we discover that the alien vehicles house energy beings of
great age who are, of course, able to possess any human they contact -
except Hutton - who is protected by the silver plate in his head.
Like most 60s films of the sci fi genre, this has a fair number of logical discontinuities and other minor blemishes, and is far from a classic. However, I found it entertaining and, occasionally, thoughtful. The cinematography, script and acting are all standard, but not above average, and the pace of the film is mostly OK. The two major problems with this film are the repetitive and sometimes redundant innumerable attempts to infiltrate the alien base of operations by Hunter's character and the interesting, but irritatingly over-used minimalist-dissonant modern jazz soundtrack.
What I liked about this film is the way it plays with identity and ethics. There are times, before you learn the true motive of the aliens, that you feel sympathetic to them, regardless of their vicarious enslavement of human beings, and there are several hints dropped throughout the film concerning what is actually going on, but not so many that you will find the film predictable. Unlike similarly themed films (BodySnatchers etc), They Came From Beyond Space relies less on action, shock, and terror, and more on cleverness. Unfortunately, the film does not realize its potential in terms of thoughtfulness - since it never really opens up the issues it raises concerning enslavement, vicarious existence, sacrifice to the greater good and identity. To its credit though, the film does end on a satisfyingly smart note.
If you're a sci fi fan, you will likely enjoy this film, but I should note that you should expect little in the way of truly original material from it.
Considering that this film was obviously shot on a tight budget, it
worked out to be an enjoyable film nonetheless. I haven't seen many
Hutton films, but I like his Style of thinking, cerebral hero who
reasons first, shoots later.
This film must have been very inspirational to Stephen King, as the plot of his book "The Tommyknockers" was nearly identical to the plot of this movie - right down to the hero with a metal plate in his head.
Of course, the only real down side to this film is the fight music. All it consists of is Someone pounding on a snare drum. they could have done better here.
All in all, it's an enjoyable film of it's era, and one I Will probably watch again.
"It Came From Outer/Beyond Space" Could this be the Brits' version of a
pretty cool old movie? Hmmmm. Similar story but nowhere near the level
of "...Outer Space".
Now "...Beyond Space" isn't really that bad. I got a kick out of it. It reminded me a bit of the Quatermass movies with set styles along the lines of Dr. Who. It's a little disjointed from time to time, but the story was decent with plausible details and kept me interested. And generally the acting wasn't all that bad either. There is a little too much "spying" going on however. Every other scene has our hero peeping thru the bushes, following baddies, sneaking in and out of places, etc. Avengers style. Unfortunately, the ending was a little goofy too.
The effects weren't good, but certainly not as hokey as some I've seen. The rocketship actually looked like one, and the lift device was realistic too (except for the yellow & black striped paint job). Sets were fair (especially for low budget) and had little extra touches (like the automated robot rolling around). I bet the actors tripped more than once on that railroad track thing tho.
Had there been more money and time available, I think this could have been changed from "mediocre" to "brilliant." It seems the talent, plot, and expertise were there just waiting to be brought out.
For a sci-fi fan this should fulfill one of those "night owl" sessions when you just don't want to go to bed. Definitely not an addition to my coaster collection.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The colorful psychedelic intro during the opening credits of "They Came
From Beyond Space" suggest something rather unusual might be about to
happen, while the first appearance of scientist Lee Mason (Jennifer
Jayne) and her foot tall red haired bouffant 'do definitely got my
attention. And why are we intrigued by the fact that Dr. Curtis Temple
has a silver plate in his head?
Temple (Robert Hutton) is an expert on extraterrestrial life, though I'm a bit confused on how one earns that designation, since there are no extraterrestrials around to study. He's been summoned to examine a meteor crash that has landed in Cornwall in perfect V formation, but he's denied by his superior because he's still recovering from an accident some time earlier, hence the aforementioned brain armor. Bodiless intelligent life forms take over Temple's colleagues, and create a "crimson plague" to disable other humans who are then held in a deep freeze until they can be transported to the aliens' stronghold on the moon, where they're held to construct another ship to transport the beings to their home planet. Still with me?
The movie see saws it's way back and forth with Temple alternately a captive of the aliens and then an aggressor, as he eventually figures out that his silver plate prevents his mind from being overcome. You just know that the answer to defeating the bad guys is to fashion a helmet out of a set of silverware so his buddy can protect himself, along with a cosmic ray gun they're able to scrounge up along the way.
Eventually we're introduced to Master of the Moon Zon, who's tale of woe gets Temple's attention - all they want is to get back to their home planet where they can die in peace. In his best 'All you had to do was ask' sincerity, Temple offers Earth's assistance and the foes shake on it to bring this story to an abrupt conclusion.
1967 seems a bit late to have films like this still being made; done in the 1950's in black and white might have given it more of a campy flavor. Still, it's not a bad diversion for it's eighty five minute run time if you're willing to give it a go. You'll have to supply your own laughs along the way though, as the film takes itself a bit more seriously than necessary.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Freddie Francis, who gave us Day of the Triffids and The Deadly Bees,
among others, presents They Came From Beyond Space. Mr. Francis, who
seems to have been Great Britain's answer to Roger Corman, obviously
tried hard to make intelligent, compelling sci-fi movies, but was
apparently restrained by tight schedules (and budgets).
This movie (based on a novel called "The Gods Hate Kansas"[???])is about a group of hyper-intelligent aliens who take over the minds of a group of brilliant scientists so they can enslave humans and build a spacecraft to allow the aliens to leave the moon, where they've been stranded, and return to their own planet. And the goofiness only begins there. There are many unintentionally funny moments in the movie (maybe not completely unintentional - it's hard to tell), such as the scene where the Main Scientist Guy discovers that the meteors that have landed in a Cornish farmer's field have come from the moon. The diagram that's apparently supposed to prove this is an ink drawing on a restaurant place mat with a large circle (maybe traced from a coffee cup bearing the bold legend "MOON".
Wow, I'm convinced!
There are many other funny scenes, but I don't want to reveal them for fear of spoiling the movie for our readers.
And spoilers they would be, for this movie, as goofy as it is (sometimes even looking like an old episode of Batman with Adam West) is actually very good. It is well written, the dialog is generally above average, the acting is good, and there is some genuine suspense. It's also refreshing to see a Pakistani actor cast in a prominent role, not as the Main Scientist Guy, but as the Auxiliary Scientist Guy, a brilliant man in his own right who assists Our Hero.
In short, this movie is worth seeing. You'll laugh, you'll be thrilled, etc. etc., etc. Best of all, you can probably get it on DVD for less than $10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've seen They Came From Beyond Space a couple of times now and found
it quite enjoyable.
Some strange objects from outer space land on a farm in Cornwall. These are at first thought to be meteors but is confirmed they are not when some of the locals smash them. Inside, there is an alien force that takes over their minds and gradually, more people get taken over by these aliens, which come from the Moon. A doctor investigating this avoids being taken over as he has a metal plate in his head as the result of injuries from a car crash. He sneaks in the farm after watching a rocket take off and takes his girlfriend, who has been taken over with him and uses her to see if the way he and a fellow doctor have come up with to destroy the aliens works. It does and the girl is back to normal. They head back to the farm and manage to get onto a rocket and end up on the Moon, where he meets the leader and finds out what exactly what the aliens intend to do to Earth.
They Came From Beyond Space is fairly creepy in parts, helped by the music score.
Now to the cast, which includes several sci-fi/horror regulars: Robert Hutton (The Slime People, Invisible Invaders), Michael Gough (Konga, Horrors of the Black Museum), Jennifer Jayne (The Crawling Eye), Zia Mohyeddin, Benard Kay (Toture Garden) and Maurice Good (Quatermass and the Pit).
This movie is worth watching if you get the chance. Very enjoyable.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
This movie is passable at best. It has an interesting plot: some aliens are trying to find a way to survive by building a base on earth. They are seen as hostile because, for heaven's sake they take over people's brains and use them to construct their stuff. A scientist who has had brain surgery and has a silver plate in his head, is immune to this. Later, a buddy of his puts a colander on his head with a silver plate and is able to infiltrate the "evil forces." Along the way, our hero, who suffered his initial brain damage in a car accident, drives around in a classic roadster (he must be trying not to be conspicuous) which he is always parking somewhere and setting the hand brake. He flies in the faces of the aliens who seem to tolerate him a lot more than they should. His girlfriend, who finished in third place in the Lucille Ball look-alike contest is a scientist who is carrying the soul of an alien around with her. There is so much coming and going, we never quite understand what the heck they're doing. Only that they seem to make frequent trips to the moon. The ending is full of emotion and good will and, yes, overacting. Captain Kirk would have been proud. Sometimes you see a film that has a good skeleton plot and with a few bucks and a little imagination, it could have been OK. What is lacks is the human element.
Several unknown objects come crashing down into some farmland. A team of
scientists goes to check it out. The objects appear to be meteorites but
the scientists are skeptical. It turns out that the objects contain some
sort of alien lifeform which is able to inhabit the bodies of human
Just what are the aliens up to? Well...I won't spoil it for you but their motives here on Earth are actually pretty dull.
Robert Hutton is absolutely laughable as a middle-aged scientist who likens himself as some sort of "Rambo" tough guy. He sneaks around, blows stuff up and avoids alien death squads which are out to kill him.
This all probably sounds somewhat interesting but the action sequences are short and poorly executed. A lifeless screenplay certainly doesn't help matters. I will say that the acting is passable and the direction occasionally stands out. Unfortunately, the tepid storyline and silly main character get in the way of any positive aspects of this film.
In looking at this movie, it seemed to me that this was pretty close in
concept to It Came from Outer Space, the sci-fi classic starring Richard
Carlson and Barbara Rush. It was later remade as Night Slaves, a TV movie
However, it was good seeing Robert Hutton, a perennial favorite in sci-fi films.
On the negative side, the editing seemed rather haphazard, with cuts and clips not blending together to add coherence and continuity. Also, the film lacked any of the background characters who were so good in what have turned out to be sci-fi classics. Made in England, They Came from Beyond Space has the location, but not the interest of the Quatermass movies.
Any science fiction film that's got Michael Gough playing a character
called The Master of the Moon has to be worthy of it being something
less than outright awful. At that time in his career Gough was doing
almost as many British horror films as Peter Cushing and Christopher
They Came From Beyond Space involves a race of aliens who are like the Organians from Star Trek totally incorporeal. But they sure have a lot of problems that the Organians don't seem to have. It's necessitated them taking over some earthly bodies as they come to earth hitchhiking on meteors.
Of course being as smart as the Organians they take over some scientists who operate in the United Kingdom. Except for expatriate American Robert Hutton who because he had a metal plate put in his head is somehow immune from takeover. But he sees all around him acting strangely including scientist girl friend Jennifer Jayne. That prompts him to take action.
For a guy who recently sustained a head injury Hutton certainly gets involved in a lot of fights, anyone of them could have done him in permanently. That is the nature of it for folks with plates in their heads. But that's just a minor point.
They Came From Beyond Space is poorly written, poorly edited, with amateurish special effects and a story that makes some of those Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials look believable. On the other hand it has Michael Gough hamming it up as The Master Of The Moon.
Gough might even convince you the Moon is made of green cheese and that's what the Organians eat.
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