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3.8 out of 5 stars25
3.8 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 13 December 2014
I had high hopes for the film as I had never seen it and I am definitely a fan of the genre. I particularly like "old" fifties/sixties Sci-Fi but this was unfortunately one of the worst I have seen to date. The story in itself is fine and used in even Hollywood blockbusters like Contact. A group of scientists have a SETI-like operation and are listening out for an answer, which of course they receive, in a way. The effects are frankly awful, even for that time period. There is no real interaction with the aliens or the alien world involved. If you're expecting something like "This Island Earth" then look elsewhere. Charles Hawtrey seemed out of place (one star is for him though) and the Tea Lady even more so!
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I enjoy creaky old low budget sci-fi movies but don't recall having ever seen this one. You only have to scan the reviews then read between the lines to get a good impression of what to expect from "The Terrornauts" (1967)... Now none of us are kidding ourselves that this is actually a great movie - most of those who buy it won't be expecting the like.

I expected a silly story - I got one. I expected it to be played out in a cheesy, tongue in-cheek manner - it was. The special effects were sub-Clangers - lovely. The alien mothership looks like a pressure cooker - brilliant! I've no idea what the actual novel the movie was based on was like, but it didn't enjoy a successful transition to the silver screen - understandable maybe with such a meagre budget. With little going for it, the movie needs a certain something to give it a lift, and the decision to include accomplished character actors Patricia Hayes & Charles Hawtrey was a wise one, and went some way to brightening up proceedings, while attractive Zena Marshall also provides a welcome distraction. The performances are OK though mostly on autopilot. For the most part the movie is a pretty lacklustre and uninteresting viewing experience - not the worst example of the genre but I must admit to struggling to finish watching it (and that was the 59-minute shortened version). I tried to develop an affection for it but failed. Not a movie to linger in the memory, and not one I will be returning to in the near future.

*PROS:
*Good picture quality (on shortened version).
*Clear, consistent sound quality.
*It's an Amicus production!
*Directed by Montgomery Tully.
*Produced by Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky.
*Light relief courtesy of Patricia Hayes and Charles Hawtrey.
*Zena Marshall looks tasty.
*Skid row budget special effects.
*It's corny entertainment.
*A masterpiece compared to "The Wild Women of Wongo".
*You don't have to watch it again.

*CONS:
*No subtitles (of course.....)
*It didn't win an Oscar for special effects.
*It's not a patch on my beloved "Clangers".
*Too long.
*Too scary for me.....

Oh, and I bought this off Amazon last month, yet there's currently no 'Verified Purchase' badge under my name - why?
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on 22 July 2015
Watched this from DVD last night. I've given it four stars because it kept me amused with its sheer cheek. The acting is adequate, the script veers between serious and comedy and the effects are ludicrous. It starts off well enough and Simon Oates doesn't look too embarrassed by the proceedings and even Charles Hawtrey puts on a passable show, but what on Earth was the point of Patricia Heyes? For the first half of the film she has a few relevent things to say, but after that she is reduced to uttering nothing but Cockney 'how's yer father, blimey cor luvaduck' stuff. The best bit was when they were on the planet's surface and the two moons in the sky were so obviously done with a cheap glass-shot - the smoke from an explosion passed *behind* the moons! Cor, luvaduck!
The original theatrical release is in very poor condition, lots of scratches and blemishes and sprocket marks. The edited and cleaned-up print looks amazingly good by comparison, but it has had about 15 minutes removed! Pity they didn't remove more....only joking.
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on 18 October 2014
Well, what can you say? I like low budget British SF films, but this one was just odd.
The spaceship which abducts our fine cast (and Charles Hawtry doing what he always did) had an upside down model aircraft at the front with an Airfix display stand on top, so we know we're in true 60s British SF territory.

The story is wafer thin, the acting though (apart from the afore mentioned Mr Hawtry... who does his own thing) is generally good. The robot is fun and it was also fun spotting sound effects from the Aaru (part of Amicus) Dalek movies.

The chopped version, while boasting a better picture is confusing in places, so best to suffer the scratched and pops for the full story.

Stupid, enjoyable hokum.
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on 23 March 2014
Well no, you can't take a film all that seriously when the climax involves the heroes (and heroine) putting on rubber bathing caps with wires attached. But the story moves along, it's got a fine cast, and the alien ship has some genuinely bizarre pieces of design. And Network have gone to the trouble of finding the film in its original version, about fifteen minutes longer than the later version used for re-release and TV showings. The original cut is presented as an extra and was obviously mastered from a damaged print, but it's quite watchable.
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on 21 May 2014
I was really disappointed when this arrived. The "good" copy is almost 20 mins shy of the original running time, and the extended version is so poor as to be almost unwatchable.

I have a copy on DVD made from a video I recorded 20 or more years ago from, I think, BBC 1 that is better quality than the extended one on this disc, and would make almost as good a print as the one released here. Very disappointing transfer and presentation of a much under-rated film.

OK, the sets are as wobbly and the bug-eyed monsters as ridiculous as anything in an old Dr Who episode, but the script and several of the performances are first rate, and I just love all these old Amicus/John Dark and Kevin Connor summer flicks of the 1960s and 70s. In all, while I love the film, I suggest you wait till a better version of the full movie becomes available. The producers of this one can have a copy if mine if they like! I only give this disc one star as I am not allowed to give nil points!

And if you read the source novel, The Wailing Asteroid, you'll be doing yourself a real favour and will appreciate the story more.
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on 5 November 2015
The last time I saw this film (before buying and watching this DVD) it was back in the seventies. My mum and dad used to rent a TV from Rumbelows but it was only a black and white TV. As a kid I had nightmares about the film and so when I saw that the film was now on DVD and in colour I just had to buy it. Anyway, because it scared me as a young lad the only appeal the film has today is in it's nostalgic value. Shame about the improper cuts. By today's standards not a great film. Young children might like it. 3 stars given.
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on 11 May 2014
This film had a very silly plot and terrible sci-fi scenes It was good to see the actors from the past they must have needed the money to star in a film like this
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on 19 March 2014
After years of bootleg versions , network DVD, who always do a splendid job release not one but two versions on one DVD in wide screen 1.66:1 plus trailer and photo gallery , bring on other Amicus rare films like DANGER ROUTE and WHAT BECAME OF JACK AND JILL
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on 31 March 2014
I love the old Sci-Fi films of the 50s and 60s and this one fitted the bill for me. Back then of course, the effects weren't all that brilliant, but gloss over them and watch an entertaining film. The DVD cover might hint at more than what the film has to offer, but still I would recommend the film and look forward to further releases of 'forgotten' films being commissioned/brought to DVD by Amazon.
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