They Came from Beyond Space (1967)
Directed by Freddie Francis

Artistic & Entertainment Value
* ½

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When asteroids fall in formation in the Cornish countryside, scientists believe an intelligence may be behind them. Unfortunately, when they investigate the asteroids, the scientists' minds are taken over by unseen aliens. Only one man, who has a silver plate in his head due to a car accident, is immune, and he, almost single handedly, fights the aliens when they release a deadly plague and abduct him to the moon, where their spaceship has crashed.

Freddie Francis' They Came from Beyond Space is a bad film. Unfortunately, it is not so bad that it is entertaining. Other than such embarrassments as the plastic crystals used by the aliens to take over the minds of their human victims and the flashlights they use as guns, the special effects are not as dreadful as are some that can be found in a number of other similar low budget movies. The script has its moments of camp badness as well, but it is generally just tedious and uninspired. The acting is frequently substandard, but it is decent just as often.

The film's greatest flaw is its lack of distinctive virtues or vices. It is bad, but not exceptionally bad. It is bad in an ordinary, uninteresting way. Without good qualities, and yet without the sort of abysmally bad qualities which, by their demonstrating the film makers' gross ineptitude, would have made the movie entertaining, They Came from Beyond Space is just boring. Many other science fiction films have dealt with similar themes, and many of them have done so in better or, at least, more entertaining ways.

They Came from Beyond Space is, frankly, a dull movie. It is best avoided.

Review by Keith Allen

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