They Came from Beyond Space (1967)

THEY CAME FROM BEYOND SPACE (1967)
Article 3663 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-10-2011
Posting Date: 8-25-2011
Directed by Freddie Francis
Featuring Robert Hutton, Jennifer Jayne, Zia Mohyeddin
Country: UK
What it is: Space invaders

A researcher in life on other planets wants to take part in the investigation of a series of meteors that landed on a farm, but is told that he can’t due to the plate in his head. When he loses contact with the female assistant he sends in his place (also the woman he loves), he decides to investigate himself. He discovers that the meteors contain alien intelligences who have taken over the bodies of Earth people, but he is immune due to his plate. Can he find out what they’re up to?

When I first saw this movie years ago, the biggest impression it left with me was how thuddingly dull it was. You wouldn’t think this would be the case; the plot is sort of a cross between QUATERMASS II and IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, but it lacks the intelligence or eeriness of either of these two movies. In fact, the movie feels slapdash and thrown together, as if to fill the bottom of half a double bill somewhere. The story mostly relies on coincidences and cliched situations (when will screenwriters learn that if a person goes to a certain place to find a person they met there before, and is told by the people that are there that such a person never was there, this will only make the first person more suspicious), and often the movie will be exceedingly mysterious about things it would have best to have been told at the outset while giving away other secrets it would have been best to save towards the end. It fails to build an iota of suspense or mystery, much of the story is wildly illogical, and those waiting for Michael Gough to show up and add some zest to the proceedings will not only have a very long wait, but will find he’s been given the worst dialogue in the movie. This is another one of Amicus’s non-anthology movies, and it may be their worst.

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