Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Gods Hate Lousy Sci-Fi!


They Came From Beyond Space is truly a bad movie, painfully illogical and woefully conceptualized it falls short on the big idea front and also on the level of simple movie fabrication. It's apparently widely considered a bad movie and I add my two cents in favor of that consensus.


Based on a story I've never read by Jospeh J. Millard titled The Gods Hate Kansas, this movie lacks even the evocative snap of that delightfully perverse title. They Came From Beyond Space means almost nothing and is dreary at the same time.

The story begins in a farmer's field in England when some meteoroids land in a recognizable "V" formation. This causes the authorities to tap Dr.Curtis Temple (Robert Hutton), an "expert" on alien life to come check it out. He can't because he's still recovering from a car accident which resulted in a silver plate being put into his skull. (And yes of course that's a key plot point.) Instead his combo lab assistant and love interest Lee Mason (Jennifer Jaye) goes to head up the research which goes off the rails almost immediately when disembodied aliens lurking inside the meteoroids latch onto the science team as hosts and take over their wills. Then things get really wonky. Temple doesn't hear anything and goes to investigate and is run off at gunpoint. Not taking any hint whatsoever he keeps driving his robustly loud antique car down to the farm and keeps getting sent off with his tail  between his legs.

Next while in the local town a plague breaks out which kills people and leaves a hideous red rash. The government then  seizes control sort of, but Temple keeps on keeping on trying to get into the now busy base established at the farm. He eventually sees a rocket launched to the Moon, the same location they'd established had been the source of the meteoroids. He eventually gets inside the base which resembles a vintage Irwin Allen set and in the face of all logic escapes with his girlfriend who is not out from under the influence. Then he gets his buddy (before now unseen and unmentioned) and the three of them safely ensconced with silver laden helmets go back to confront the aliens and end up headed for the Moon where they meet the Master of the Moon (Michael Gough) and show they that the alien plan really won't work. The aliens accept that and it ends.

Sigh.


See what I mean. There is endless running about and when the climax does finally arrive, it is fizzled away in barmy discussion which doesn't even really make sense on its own merits.

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5 comments:

  1. Well, what about the hot looking lady alien in the low cut, form fitting outfit on the poster? Is she at all present in the movie?

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    1. In a word...nope!

      The lady who plays the love interest Lee Mason is pretty enough and there's some bombshell type who runs a gas station and makes a pretty unconvincing pass at Hutton's character at one point, but other than those two the beauties are pretty scarce in this flick.

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    2. It's not just bad, I can enjoy a bad movie, it's just one of those movies thats just there...kinda boring and tame. A shame actually because it has a decent cast and the director Freddie Francis worked on some classic Hammer Horror films. Mr. Francis was also an Academy Award winning cinematographer (twice)...

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    3. There are good names on this one for sure and it clearly had some studio backing, so it's a mystery why it's so dang bad. The editing is weirdly clunky in places for instance. I rather liked the plague scenes in the town, but that plot thread was nearly forgotten as the story lumbered along.

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  2. The original story is available at Archive.org...
    https://archive.org/details/Startling_Stories_v06n03_1941-11
    I don't think the movie, while no classic, is quite as bad as you make it out to be.
    British actors never give less than their best, no matter how low the budget or how stupid the script is.
    Did you see it on TV or off a bad DVD print?
    TCM runs it a couple of times a year, and seems to have a pretty complete print.

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