A great title does not a good movie make. Sadly, They Came From Beyond Space has a wonderfully evocative title, but this 1967 sci-fi film from the usually reliable Freddie Francis (Dracula Has Risen From The Grave) fails to live up to the promise of its moniker (or the brilliant blu-ray cover artwork).
Based on the book, The Gods Hate Kansas (yet another great title) by Joseph Millard, this Amicus Production sees a series of meteorites crash-land in Cornish field in a perfect V formation (the location was changed from the US to the UK for the film). Dr. Curtis Temple (Robert Hutton) from the catchily titled Ministry of Extraterrestrial Life on Other Planets (or MELOP) is sent to the site to investigate alongside his assistant/love interest Lee Mason (Jennifer Jayne).
Temple discovers that the meteorites are actually the start of a secret alien invasion, which sees the mysterious life forms take over the bodies of anyone who comes into contact with them. Not Temple though, a silver plate in his head means that he’s immune to their powers. Can he save the day – and humanity?
Hobbled by a minuscule budget and a meandering script, They Came From Beyond Space feels more like an extended episode of a 1960s TV series like The Champions than a big screen science fiction adventure. It’s a rather dull affair which only really perks-up in the last half hour. Hutton makes for a rather flat leading man, but it’s good to see the great Michael Gough make an appearance during the film’s finale.
It has its moments, but ultimately you’ve seen all of the elements from They Came From Beyond Space brought together before in much more entertaining and engaging ways. It’s no Plan 9 From Out Of Space, that’s for sure.
This newly remastered version of They Came From Beyond Space features a UK theatrical trailer and an entertaining and informative commentary with Film Historian David Del Valle and Filmmaker David DeCoteau.