A British military paratrooper disappears in mid-air during a jump from an army plane. Two investigators, Patrick Allen and Neil Connery, try to unravel how this happened. What they uncover... See full summary »
FantasticFest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. Here's a list of some of our favorite movies at FantasticFest.
Jonas Wilde, a British secret service agent licensed to kill, returns from a successful mission determined to resign. Canning, his London superior, agrees to forward his resignation if ... See full summary »
A gang of young people call themselves the Living Dead. They terrorize the population from their small town. After an agreement with the devil, if they kill themselves firmly believing in ... See full summary »
In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to ... See full summary »
A police sergeant kills a man who pulls a gun on him during a stakeout. But the dead suspect is a respected doctor with no criminal record and the man's gun cannot be found, and the ... See full summary »
Renowned criminologist and occult investigator William Sebastian (Culp) recruits his old friend Dr. Hamilton (Young) to aid him in his current case. Anitra Cyon (Bell), the sister of ... See full summary »
A British military paratrooper disappears in mid-air during a jump from an army plane. Two investigators, Patrick Allen and Neil Connery, try to unravel how this happened. What they uncover is an alien plot to steal the bodies of earthlings by snatching them out of the air. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
A few minutes of well-shot footage of parachute jumps and aerobatic flying seem the real impetus for this British science fiction picture. When there are no bodies hurtling towards the ground or planes shooting past each other, what's left is a bad script with far too many scenes of men in suits talking in offices and not nearly enough science or action. Since it was made for a family audience, there isn't even much in the way of female flesh.
Patrick Allen and his improbably large chin take the lead. His character, a NATO troubleshooter, is big on the sub-James Bond womanising and tough posturing. Yet for all his smooth lines and fetching cardigans, he does curiously little to actually solve the mystery of disappearing military parachutists. Plot development consists of supporting characters waving a Geiger counter over a few things while Allen chases the girls.
George Sanders is normally a reliable figure (see the far superior Psychomania, for instance), but he is wasted here as a personality-deficient general. Hilary Dwyer has the requisite qualities for a female star, being very pretty and a great screamer. Lorna Wilde is quite fetching as a mysterious blonde, but the rest of the cast do little.
This is a competently-made film from people who understood the limitations of their budget, limitations which mean rare special effects and few action sequences. The real problem is an absence of ideas or any ambition beyond filling the screen for 90 minutes. Once all the aerial footage has been used up, what is left is a very unoriginal story with little imagination or characterisation and lots of dialogue of a "The minister isn't going to like this" type. Nonetheless, Reg Tilsley's jazz score deserves a mention, ratcheting the tension even when the most mundane action is unfolding on screen.
It's hard to recommend this film when there are so many better British exploitation films from the era; it lacks even any Austin Powers-ish campness and shows nothing of 1960s Britain. As an attempt at family-friendly science fiction from Tigon, a studio better known for its sexually-frank horror, it's a slight curio of film history. For entertainment, you're better off jumping out of a plane, or even watching an in-flight movie.
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