They Came from Beyond Space
Max J. Rosenberg, Milton Subotsky for Amicus
directed by Freddie Francis
starring Robert Hutton, Jennifer Jayne, Zia Mohyeddin, Bernard Kay, Michael Gough, Geoffrey Wallace, Maurice Good, Luanshya Greer, John Harvey, Diana King, Paul Bacon, Christopher Banks, Dermot Cathie, Norman Claridge, James Donnelly, Frank Forsyth, Leonard Grahame, Michael Hawkins, Jack Lambert, Rorin Perkinson, Edward Rees, Katy Wild, Kenneth Kendall
screenplay by Milton Subotsky, based on the novel The Gods Hate Kansas by Joseph Millard, music by James Stevens
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Some meteors have crashed down on earth that are only eventually found
out to have been UFOs. The gouvernment wants Great Britain's leading
alien-expert Doc Temple (Robert Hutton) to investigate, but he has only
recently had an accident that left him with a silver plate in his head,
and now his doctor thinks he's unfit for such an expedition, so Temple
sends his assistant (and girlfriend) Lee Mason (Jennifer Jayne) to head
the whole thing. Problem is of course that the aliens in questions are
taking over all the scientists working on the investigations and use them
to build a rocket launch, and when Doc Temple comes for a friendly visit,
the aliens first try to take him over, and after they can't because of his
silver plate, they (and especially their human host bodies) react with
hostility towards Temple and often threaten his life - but always refrain
from killing him.
Eventually, the plague breaks out, and the aliens in
human form (of whom nobody knows they are aliens of course) offer a
solution - shoot the plague corpses to the moon ... where Temple has
figured out the aliens must have come from.
Temple hooks up with an old
scientist buddy of his, Farge (Zia Mohyeddin), and the two of them develop
a silver helmet which saves Farge from being taken over, glasses to detect
the taken over humans, and a weapon to drive the aliens out of humans.
Then they kidnap Lee, turn her normal again, and finally infiltrate the
aliens' base on earth to sneak onto a lunar rocketship. On moon, they meet
the aliens' master (Michael Gough), who tells them they are actually a
peaceful race, but are all mental energy, so to get anything done they had
to take over humans. And they used the plague victims (who were not really
sick much less dead at all) as labour on the moon where they only try to
fix their rocketship to continue their journey through space. Temple,
Farge and Lee make the labourers/slaves, the plague victims rebel, corner
the aliens' master and his elite, but once they have given up, Temple
promises to help them repair their spaceship in the name of humankind ...
at best so-so science fiction film of the alien invasion variety, and
definitely one of the lesser flicks produced by horror studio Amicus,
whose forte science fiction never was. Somehow, the film just lacks on too
many levels to really convince: The pacing is definitely off, the action
and suspense scenes become repetitive before too long, the sets are not
only cheap (which I can forgive) but also unimaginative, and too many plot
elements and characters just pop into the story and disappear again
without any rhyme or reason. In all, the film might not be a total
disaster, there's a certain rural British charm to it, but it's definitely
nothing to write home about.