HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Night Raiders
Samourai, Le
Advent Calendar, The
Champion
Merchant of Four Seasons, The
Love of Jeanne Ney, The
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
   
 
Newest Articles
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
   
 
  Invasion: UFO Anderson Arsenal
Year: 1974
Director: Gerry Anderson, etc
Stars: Ed Bishop, Michael Billington, George Sewell, Grant Taylor, Gabrielle Drake, Antonia Ellis, Gary Meyers, Michael Mundell, Dolores Mantez, Wanda Ventham, Maxwell Shaw, James Cosmo, Shane Rimmer, David Warbeck, Anouska Hempel, Steven Berkoff
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Adventure, TV MovieBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ten years ago, there was an incident on Planet Earth where three people stumbled upon something strange in the forest near their home, and one of them managed to take a picture with his camera. That something was a flying saucer, and it opened fire and slaughtered them, though the photographs survived and found their way to military man Ed Straker (Ed Bishop), who knew he was onto a major story when another saucer tried to blow up him and the car he was travelling in. On attending a top secret meeting at the United Nations, he persuaded the world leaders that they needed to set up a defence force, and that's what they did, with Straker nominated commander of S.H.A.D.O...

If this sounds familiar, it's probably because you've seen the 1970 television series UFO, which was Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's concerted effort to break out of the children's entertainment ghetto and make serious adventure shows for grown-ups. Naturally, what they succeeded in doing was gather a devoted audience of kids and the adults were more dismissive; this didn't stop them persevering, and they followed it up with Space: 1999, a series that did run to more than one season unlike this. But just because UFO had ended within the year with no follow up did not damn it to oblivion and obscurity, as for a start it had been expensive to make, so generating profits was imperative.

What ITC did with the Andersons' biggest properties was to gather a selection of episodes and re-edit them together to make feature length efforts that would be sold to television stations across the globe as TV specials, usually broadcast for the younger viewers as it was considered that older ones would not be interested in ninety minutes straight of Thunderbirds or Captain Scarlet. Some of these escaped into cinemas, often in Italy for some reason, but Invasion: UFO seems to have been an exclusive to the small screen, though other compilations of cut down episodes did make it to the big screen. But they have not been as popular with the Anderson fans as the series they were derived from.

This was to do with wanting to watch the stories as originally intended, which were those hour-long (with adverts) instalments, and if you knew those you were not going to be satisfied with diluted renditions. On the other hand, if you were seeking an introduction to these series, and UFO in particular, then you could do worse than dip into them to get the flavour of the piece, so though there were key points missed out of this feature, including oddly the fact that the S.H.A.D.O. base was located in a film studio, there was enough compiled to make sense as a continuing plotline rather than a more episodic experience. That said, you still had to contend with continuity not quite marrying up over the course of the ninety-seven minutes.

For example, the most glaring element was not that moonbase commander Gabrielle Drake lost her glittery purple wig somewhere in the middle of the story, but more that an apparently important character, Alec Freeman (George Sewell), totally disappeared without comment during the final half hour, purely because he had not appeared in the episode they had elected to include. That was down to the choices being the ones which showed off the organisation's capabilities on land, sea and air to their best advantage, not to mention the regions of space they visited thanks to Derek Meddings' miniatures and models that displayed their arsenal and hardware. Therefore action sequences demonstrating the action over the more thoughtful aspects that could be part of many plotlines were neglected - and many will rankle that Barry Gray's theme tune was replaced. Obviously the best way to see UFO was the source, but you got the idea of a few of its strengths from this, if not the whole experience.

[This has been cleaned up for Blu-ray by Network and sold exclusively on their website. It looks and sounds great, with various extras relating to credits and titles. This is to whet your appetite for the complete series Blu-ray released later.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2314 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: