THE BODY STEALERS (1969). Review by Steve Kirkham



    3 stars
    88 Films. Blu ray. Out Now
    88 Films continue their exploration into Tony Tenser’s Tigon catalogue – better known for their horror titles like WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968), THE BODY STEALERS is a dip into science fiction territory.
    A military airfield. A new type of parachute is being tested – but then suddenly a strange noise and the three men disappear mid-plummet. Then at an air show – again a weird sound, red and pink glow and some skydivers are gone.
    An important meeting is called with the government to try and get to the bottom of this mystery. Hindesmith (Allan Cuthbertson), a civil servant, is demanding action from Jim Radford (Neil Connery, brother of Sean), the designer of the chute, General Armstrong (George Sanders) and Wing Commander Baldwin (Robert Flemyng).
    By now eleven men are missing. They decide to look for outside help and bring in Bob Megan (Patrick Allen) to try and ascertain what has happened – though this lothario is more interested in every woman he meets than actually doing any investigating. This includes the odd Lorna (Pamela Conway) who he encounters on the beach, who has a penchant for skinny dipping and may well be associated with what’s going on.
    Way too talky, the plot ambles along with very little actually happening and all delivered with a resolutely straight faced cast. Honestly, Tigon should have stuck to horror as this is a minor British sf. Still, it looks splendid, with a brand new fully uncut master – though a few scenes (presumably the previously snipped parts) are slightly inferior quality.
    Carol Hawkins, best known as Sharon in the TV series PLEASE SIR! pops up briefly in her screen debut, Hilary Dwyer plays a scientist fending off Bob’s advances and it was nice to see the spaceship from the Cushing Doctor Who movie DALEKS’ INVASION EARTH 2150 AD (1966) turn up at the end – though sadly with no Daleks on board to enliven proceedings.
    Also known as Thin Air
    Steve Kirkham
    3 stars
    Audio Commentary By Film Critics David Flint and Allan Bryce
    Audio commentary by Actor Patrick Allen, moderated by author John Hamilton
    The Making of The Body Stealers (41 mins): a talking heads documentary with Editor Howard Lanning, Dixon Adams (David), Pamela Conway (Lorna), Sally Faulkner (Joanna), Stand by props Arthur Wicks, Assistant Editor Marion Curren, Michael Culver (Lt. Bailes) and Boom operator Rolland Fowler
    Invasion of The Body Stealers – An Introduction by Jon Dear (11 mins)
    A Career Man – Will Fowler on George Sanders & The Body Stealers – a nice 20 minute overview
    Original Trailer
    Reversible sleeve featuring very cool new artwork by Sean Longmore & original poster


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