Just when you thought you'd seen every Brit film about strange temperature
meddling aliens and the sweaty antics of the stiff-upper-lipped twats
within their range of influence, along comes another one. What was it
with filmmakers in the 1960s and their desperation to get everyone as
moist and wheezy as possible?
Like a particularly bad episode of Doctor Who (this one was even
written by Who scribe Robert Holmes), something crashes in the
woods, setting a few twigs on fire and making a nearby radar operator
drop his novelisation of "The G-String Murders" (complete with
large photograph of tits on the front cover). "That's a bit odd..."
he underacts. "Much too small for a plane..."
Meanwhile, a couple (young woman in furs, too-old man) are busy mowing
down a pedestrian in their car, with a typically stiff-upper-lipped reaction
(or it could just be bad acting again). Little do they know they are being
watched by strange figures in the woods...
At a nearby hospital, our hunky doctor, played by Edward Judd (from the
very similar Island Of Terror) is busy turning away a tramp who
reckons he's been made blind by "lights in the sky", and, as
the car crash victim is brought in, a couple of rubber-suited cuties are
honing in on the place too.
Finally, our Doctor hero realises that the crash victim isn't human -
he's got a plate in his head and dodgy blood. "Whoever he is and
wherever he came from, he came prepared..." he explains. Prepared
for everything except cars, obviously. Soon he's woken up, and after touching
someone (and therefore learning English, obviously) he starts babbling
on about coming from a planet called Lystria. The two cuties are escaped
prisoners who went on the lam after his ship broke down.
Meanwhile the army is investigating a crater nearby, and the local bobby
mentions that a "foreign-looking bloke" has just been brought
into the hospital. For some reason, a forcefield has been layed around
the hospital, causing the tempreature to rise and all the nurses to change
out of their nylon slips (I kid you not).
Just when you're losing the will to live yourself (none of this has been
particularly exciting), the hospital boss decides to jump in his car and
leave, only to spectacularly crash into the invisible barrier created
by the forcefield, his body shooting through the windscreen and burning
up. In such a pedestrian movie, a simple little thing like this comes
as quite a shock.
Realising that the alien bloke seems to fear women, the feisty lady doctor
carries on the interrogation and soon finds out that it's him who's the
prisoner, and the women are his guards. As the male doctor makes his way
under the forcefield through the sewer to recover the male alien's power
pack (and gets ridiculouly dirty in the process) the alien women home
in on their escapee, and the entire film ends very quickly indeed in a
storm of stock footage and namby-pamby Liberalism, one character deadpanning:
"Now we've got them killing each other... just like us..."
Invasion does actually play against the stereotypes of the time,
with Chinese nurses and feisty lady doctors - but then it blows it big
style by making the plot turn on the rather offensive idea that "all
Chinese people look the same". But at the end of the day, it's as
dull as its washed-out monochrome film stock. Yawn. The best thing you
can say about it is that it's short, but it still outstays its welcome.
Director: Alan Bridges Writer(s): Robert Holmes (story) Ron Marshall
Cast: Edward Judd - Dr. Mike Vernon, Yoko Tani - Leader of the Lystrians,
Valerie Gearon - Dr. Claire Harland, Lyndon Brook - Brian Carter, Ric Young
- The Lystrian (as Eric Young), Eric Young - The Lystrian, Tsai Chin - Nurse
Lim, Barrie Ingham - Major Muncaster, Anthony Sharp - Lawrence Blackburn, Glyn
Houston - Police Sergeant Draycott, John Tate - Dundy, Jean Lodge - Barbara
Gough, Tony Wall - Ted, Peter Thomas - Harry, Cali Raia - Lystrian Woman, Mark
Kingston - Morgan Emrys, Leyshon - Sergeant Williams, Leonard Cracknell - Lloyd,
Stephanie Bidmead - Elaine, Norman Mitchell - Lorry driver, Peter Sinclair -