The Body Stealers

Rating 2

Directed by Gerry Levy

Written by Michael St Clair, additional material by Gerry Levy

Starring Patrick Allen, George Sanders, Maurice Evans, Allan Cuthbertson, Lorna Wilde, Hilary Heath, Robert Flemyng and Neil Connery

When British paratroopers disappear in mid-air while testing a prototype parachute the army brings in a special investigator (played by Patrick Allen) to conduct a secret investigation into the mystery.

This hilariously bad 1969 British sci-fi movie has a touch of both ‘The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers’ and ‘This Island Earth’ about it, although it is hardly in the same class as those two classic films. It also has much in common with the earlier British sci-fi film ‘The Night Caller’, although here it is the male of the species that is being harvested, rather than the female. More than anything else, though, it is reminiscent of old British television shows like ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Persuaders’.

Patrick Allen plays a kind of cut-price James Bond, an all-male action man, swaggering his way through the story and hitting on every (pretty) female he encounters, including one of the aliens! George Saunders sleepwalks his way through his performance as the army General, clearly bored by the proceedings. Neil Connery, who plays the inventor of the parachute, is the younger brother of Sean Connery, and he looks and sounds exactly like him.

The film is incredibly sexist, portraying, amongst other things, the various secretaries of the defence department senior civil servant, as devious gold-diggers, constantly ready and willing to have sex with this smug and arrogant middle-aged man. However, it is a product of its time and viewed as a museum piece it is reasonably entertaining, even if it is horrifying to think how appalling attitudes in general were back then, just 40 years ago.

No comments: