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Invasion: UFO (1974)

| Sci-Fi | 1980 (USA)
An organization called SHADO fights off aliens who are infiltrating Earth by disguising themselves as humans.

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The Earth is threatened by an alien race who kidnap and kill humans and even animals and and use them for their body parts. In the year 1980 S.H.A.D.O. (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organization), a highly secret military organization, is set up in the hope of defending the Earth from this alien threat. This organization operates from a secret location beneath the Harlington-Straker film studio in London. S.H.A.D.O. also has a base on the moon with Interceptors as well as an early warning satellite that detects inbound UFOs (called S.I.D.), and operate a fleet of submarines. General James Henderson and commander Ed Straker have a team of highly trained and well equipped females and males to battle the regularly incoming hostile UFOs. Written by Robert

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alien | acronym in title | puppet | See All (3) »

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1980 (USA)  »

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80.0000 Meilen durch den Weltraum  »

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Edited together from episodes of the TV series UFO (1970). See more »

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Edited from UFO: Reflections in the Water (1971) See more »

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Full Alert
(uncredited)
Written, Arranged and Performed by John Scott
Courtesy of Bruton Music
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Interesting but very uneven
6 December 2001 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

In the early 80s, compilation movies of Gerry Anderson TV shows were highly in vogue. Cheap to create and ideal for kidult/holiday programming, numerous shows underwent the process: Stingray, Joe 90, Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds, Space: 1999...and UFO. Invasion: UFO comprises footage from three episodes (series pilot "Identified", "Computer Affair" and "Reflections In The Water"), along with FX and linking material from a further three ("ESP", "The Man Who Came Back" and "Confetti Check A-OK"). In addition, all-new opening titles are featured and a new music score added.

The story: The year is 1980. Humanoid aliens from a dying planet travel to Earth in pyramidal flying saucers...their mission, to harvest human body organs for transplants. Standing between them and an unsuspecting world is SHADO, a super-secret military organisation armed with futuristic vehicles headed by Commander Edward Straker. After a number of harrowing encounters, SHADO faces its' greatest threat...an all-out alien invasion. As it stands, Invasion: UFO is an OK movie. The different episodes are blended fairly well on the whole, and the choice of said episodes was a good one. However, a rather odd decision was made to throw out the ending to the final segment ("Reflections", with added material from "Came Back" to beef up the climatic UFO invasion), in favour of a 'new' and completely ambiguous conclusion that leaves nothing resolved. On top of the unavoidably episodic nature of the narrative, what you have is a film that lacks any real flow or story drive. Attentive viewers will notice that George Sewell, who plays Alec Freeman, vanishes in the last third of the movie. This is because he left the show halfway through it's run and was not in the final segment...likewise, Micheal Billington (who plays Paul Foster) is absent from the first two-thirds because he was not in the episodes used! (His absence is 'explained' by a short clip from "ESP".) All in all, Invasion: UFO is interesting but VERY uneven...the fact that the individual episodes were essentially halved in order to fit the 100 minutes running time means that most of the stories' emotional content and characterisation are gone. Plot points shown in the deleted footage are raised in what was used, making for a confusing ride in places. Nonetheless, there's plenty of action, very impressive model effects that still stand up well today, gorgeous women in skin-tight catsuits and mauve wigs(!)...and an excellent performance from series star Ed Bishop as Commander Straker. An excellent starting point for those new to the series, but if you've seen the show, forget it...you're likely to see it for the rather tepid hack-job that is is. Spooky, darkly textured and full of the way-out hardware and furious action Gerry Anderson is rightly acclaimed for.






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