Saturday, February 25, 2012

They Came From Beyond Space

What is singular about "They Came From Beyond Space" as a science fiction film, is that it's British-made. I watched it last night on YouTube.

This 1967 film begins with a bunch of meteors landing somewhere in the English countryside. The locals report this to the Authorities, who send scientists to examine the debris. They are astonished to see that these meteors, unlike your normal meteors, had landed in a perfect geometrical formation. It's as if they're intelligently controlled. And, also unlike your average meteor, these meteors look like very large crystals, but are blackish grey.

To get a better sense of what these meteors are made of, one of the scientists hits it with a large hammer. This causes the meteor to send out a powerful wave of energy that also makes a funny but scary noise. The scientists gathered there fall to the ground in agony. Their faces contorted, they wriggle around for a few seconds. Then the noise stops. But when the scientists get to their feet again and begin talking, they sound robotic. It's as if invisible alien entities have taken over their minds.

This turns out to be the case. However, one of the scientists, the head scientist in fact, isn't affected by these invisible alien entities. Hence he is still himself, and must flee his colleagues, the better to consider what to do.

Next, people in the neighbouring town and elsewhere, start acting robotic too. The invisible entities have obviously also taken over their minds. Will it be only a matter of time before the minds of everyone in England, and indeed the minds of everyone all over the world, Americans included, are taken over by these invisible alien entities? And to what end?

Why should the mind of the head scientist not have been affected by the invisible alien entities? It's because he has a band made of silver inside his head. Doctors had inserted it after he'd injured his head in a car crash when young. Anyone not having the luxury of a silver band inside his head, can only prevent his mind being taken over by wearing a head-covering of silver. Easier said, though, than done.

Something else starts happening. People begin being covered with painful rashes and drop dread. It seems the alien entities have brought their germs with them, against which the people of England have no immunity. What if this plague should spread beyond England, to throughout the world, America included?

The plot gets complicated, so I won't say more about it.

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As with most science fiction films, "They Came From Beyond Space" makes you think. Like, are you a robot? Do you, for instance, think the same things as do most people, and believe the same beliefs as do most people, and enjoy the same films as do most people, and go euphoric about the World Series and Superbowl as do most people, and wear the same clothes as do most people, and laugh at the same silly jokes as do most people, and guzzle hamburgers and fries as do most people, and go to a soul-destroying job everyday as do most people, and live in a split-level house in a suburb with a two-car garage and two brats and a dog and a cat as do most people?

If yes, chances are you're a robot. As you live as a robot, so you'll die as a robot.

"They Came From Outer Space" may be one of the last films in which almost everyone speaks with Received Pronunciation (RP). It was only in the early 'sixties with the "kitchen sink" dramas, and actors like Albert Finney, Tom Courtney, and Michael Caine, that the sort of accents with which most Englishmen speak, began to become the norm in English filmdom.

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If you wish to watch "They Came From Beyond Space", *click here*.

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