Night Of The Big Heat
Remember those conversations we used to have in the playground during
the atom bomb eighties, when everyone seriously expected that we'd all
end our days with just four minutes to do whatever we could? Usually the
conversations went along the lines of:
"I'd steal a Porsche..." (none of us could drive, or knew how
to hotwire a car. Also, this was rural South Cheshire. We might have been
able to find a tractor within four minutes, or if we were lucky, a Ford
"Well, I'd get pissed..." (actually, probably the most realistic
claim, as half a can of Top Deck shandy would have probably done the trick)
In the 60s, there were no thoughts of car stealing when it
came to the end of the world. But getting pissed did feature quite heavily.
In films like The Deadly Bees, The
Earth Dies Screaming and, of course, Night Of The Big Heat,
huge natural disasters mean only one thing - a trip to the local pub.
Not that there's much wrong with that, of course - and italso gives these
films a believable stage to tell their unbelievable stories on. Take for
example this one. The temperature on a small island off the British coast
keeps rising - despite the fact that it's winter and bloody freezing on
the mainland. But is anyone worried? Nah. They're just a bit hot and sweaty,
Of course, the mainland knows all about the freak weather conditions,
but have they sent anyone to investigate? Not a bit of it. There's just
Christopher Lee, wandering around and bothering the sheep, by all accounts.
He's the only one who is bothered about the temperature, yet everyone
thinks he's the odd one. I ask you... Anyway, there's a number of deaths,
the temperature keeps on rising, and Peter Cushing refuses to take his
jacket off. Chris Lee deduces that there's extra terrestrial powers at
work, most of the cast get fried, and then it rains and the "aliens"
(which look like cast-offs from 60s Star Trek) all die. Crap, really.
Most of the film is more a kind of domestic drama than sci-fi invasion
extravaganza, with that bloke out of the Barratt Homes ads trying his
best to ignore the sultry shenanigans of his sweaty secretary and the
temperature in the pub getting so hot that all the bottles of Pilsner
explode. Is that likely? I think not.
And if the monsters' temperatures are so high, how come humans can survive
so long in their presence? You see, crap.
Night of the Big Heat (1967)
Director: Terence Fisher Writer(s): Jane Baker (additional dialogue),
Pip Baker (additional dialogue), Ronald Liles, John Lymingtom (novel Night of
the Big Heat)
Cast: Christopher Lee - Godfrey Hanson, Patrick Allen - Jeff Callum,
Peter Cushing - Dr. Vernon Stone, Jane Merrow - Angela Roberts, Sarah Lawson
- Frankie Callum, William Lucas - Ken Stanley, Kenneth Cope - Tinker Mason,
Percy Herbert - Gerald Foster, Thomas Heathcote - Bob Hayward, Anna Turner -
Stella Hayward, Jack Bligh - Ben Siddle, Sydney Bromley - Old Tramp, Barry Halliday
- Radar Operator