There’s a sci-fi horror sub-genre involving dramas played out largely from the perspective of a village pub. The Doctor Who story, The Daemons, featured a possessed village and lots of pub action as did the cult kids’ serial Children of the Stones and no end of sixties films… after all, when the chips are down and your rural paradise is under threat of alien invasion, where better to be than the pub!?
This film was based on a book of the same name by John Lymington which had a number of screenwriters including Pip and Jane Baker who also wrote for The Doctor and for Jon Pertwee you can not only read the booming presence of Patrick Allen but also Peter Cushing who had just played the Doctor in two films.
|Peter Cushing and Sarah Lawson|
The pleasure is in these familiar faces and their beer-swilling journey into mystery…
|Angela arrives past the secret base...|
|...and in a very flash car!|
|Christopher Lee senses unnatural forces at work|
|The locals are impressed with...|
|Jane Merrow and her lovely face|
Legs akimbo in a flowery bikini, Angela reels in her former lover… he won’t be escaping her that easily.
|Dressed to impress|
|Jeff panics at the sight of Angela's bikini...|
The heat is intolerably high leaving the island’s inhabitants in a fog of slow-motion lizard logic as Ben Siddle’s sheep get fried and Bob perishes near a gravel quarry another frozen in terror as an unseen entity seems to burn the life from him.
As the heat rises in the love triangle between the published, publican, his wife and secretary, Jeff finds the time to find out what the secretive professor is doing and it’s not good news…
|The professor reveals all|
The evidence soon mounts to support the Professor’s ideas as one by one the locals get fried.
As Jeff and Frankie’s marriage heads for the rocks as Angela tells all, the reality of the invasion overtakes their concerns as the struggle just to survive takes over…
|Preparing for the worst in the pub|
Jane Merrow is one of my favourite actresses of the period and she does well even when her every appearance is accompanied by romantic easy listening strings from Malcolm Lockyer’s score.
The two Hammer legends are, of course, class acts and both don’t really have enough to do: Peter Cushing hanging around the bar as if he’s doing a favour for a friend whilst Christopher Lee just has to look earnest and mysterious (not a problem!).
|Patrick and his jaw of resolution|