12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Put that colander on your head and follow me!,
This review is from: They Came From Beyond Space [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Hey, if it has shots of giant radar telescopes tuning in to the celestial symphony of outer space, the movie has to be good, right? Even if it features a dude wearing a colander on his head? Uh, I think not. Despite its great title, They Came From Beyond Space doesn't exactly impress. It starts OK, but once you spend what seems like an hour watching a guy try to sneak his way onto a farm, a lot of the magic is lost. I did like the main character, though. First of all, having a metal plate in your head is just plain cool - that's a well-established fact (driving around in a convertible roadster, sans seatbelt, is even cooler-- especially when that plate in your head came courtesy of an earlier automobile accident). Second of all, Dr. Curtis Temple isn't your average namby-pamby scientist; he's no Captain Kirk (although he does do a mean Kirk imitation whenever he's told to pretend that he just got zapped by some kind of subsonic gun) , but he can hold his own in a fight, even when his opponent keeps smashing him plate-in-head-first into posts. He does need some serious work on his spying and stealth skills, however. Fortunately for him, most of the bad guys are just plain dumb most of the time.
Let me take you back to the glory days of yester-year, back before weightlessness in space was even invented, when all you needed for a spaceship control room was some dials, a machine that goes ping, and miscellaneous whatsits, and where proto-MacGyvers could reverse engineer super-advanced alien technology in a matter of hours. Into this halcyon world a meteorite falls - actually several meteorites. No big deal, right? Well, what if I told you that they all fell close together in an obvious formation? Interested now? Well, somebody in the British government is, and he puts together a crew of brilliant scientists to go and investigate the thing. Naturally, Dr. Temple (Robert Hutton) is the obvious choice to lead the group. Sadly, though, his doctor won't write him a permission slip to go (darn that metal plate in his head), so his assistant Lee (Jennifer Jayne) goes in his place. Fine and dandy - until, that is, Dr. Temple loses contact with Lee and everyone at the site, even as pork barrel Democrat-sized requisitions start flooding his research lab. At that point, he tells his doctor to go sit on a tongue dispenser (OK - he doesn't actually do that) and off he goes.
To his surprise, he finds himself persona non grata (him, the great Dr. Temple) when he arrives at the heavily secured site of the meteorite crash. He doesn't know what's going on, but he knows that the folks working there so secretively are not behaving normally - especially his beloved Lee. That's where all the sneaking around the farm stuff comes in. The doc's determined to find out what is going on, despite repeated warnings and murderous attacks. Realistically speaking, Temple should have died early on. The guy may be a scientific genius, but he knows nothing about breaking and entering, not to mention alien technology sabotage. He actually throws very effective weapons down a couple of times and forges ahead empty-handed.
I won't tell you what the aliens are up to, but I will warn you that their leader can't do anything without giving a long, drawn-out speech first. What was it with these aliens in the 1960s? You would think they were all running for Congress given all the boring speeches they made. And that music? Each fight scene score was apparently performed by The Little Drummer Boy on acid.
They Came From Beyond Space isn't your typical 1960s science fiction film, but that shouldn't be a selling point in and of itself. This movie is average at best, with its most memorable moments coming in the form of unintentionally humorous scenes.