Invasion posterDirector: Alan Bridges
Screenplay: Roger Marshall
Starring: Edward Judd, Yoko Tani, Valerie Gearon, Lynda Brook, Eric Young
Year: 1966
Country: UK
Running Time: 77 mins
BBFC Classification: PG

A traffic accident victim is taken to a small nearby hospital where the medical staff soon discover that their new subject has unidentifiable blood and an X-ray later reveals a disc-like object lodged in the man’s brain. The traffic accident patient claims to be an escaped prisoner from an alien space ship. Meanwhile police investigating the road crash find what appears to be a rather radioactive space capsule in the woods. The army wants to arrest the patient, and not long after the authorities start taking an interest in him odd oriental-looking people start turning up at the hospital, also looking for the patient.

It soon becomes apparent that the hospital is under siege from strange forces; forces which have created an energy-field around the hospital that prevents anyone getting in or getting out. The ‘protective dome’ also begins to raise the ambient temperature inside the hospital, resulting in lots of sweaty looking actors, although the aliens remain fresh – better deodorant perhaps?

One of the doctors manages to escape via the sewers, only to find the army not doing much except for babysitting the spaceship. Back in the hospital the mystery patient gets up, stabs an army guy and then persuades a female doctor to escape with him. A disappointing chase occurs, followed by a rather confusing ending.

This rather subdued British science fiction film is based on a story by Robert Holmes (he of ‘Doctor Who’ fame), which Roger Marshall (‘Public Eye’) then turned into a workable script. Invasion features Edward Judd (also seen in the much better ‘The Day the Earth Caught Fire’) as Dr Vernon, the token ‘hero’ of the film.

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Sadly, despite all the quality talent in front of and behind the camera, Invasion is a bit of a let-down, although it does hold one’s interest, for the most part. Perhaps it’s the age of the film, but I found much of the dialogue to be a little too po-faced for its own good and was somewhat further hindered by the fairly soft sound on the audio track. Having said that the film is shot fairly well, the picture quality is great, and the acting is decent, but I wasn’t bowled over by the rather weak script.

Invasion features some interesting locations and sets (the film was mostly shot at Martin Park Studios), and the various characters all react to each other in a very matter-of-fact way, which can be somewhat amusing at times. Plus it’s weird seeing patients and doctors smoking inside a hospital! The music is pretty low-key, but kind of suited the slow-paced narrative.

Sadly, this is one for sci-fi completists only methinks.

Invasion has been released on DVD and is being distributed by Network Distributing who are currently releasing lots of these rarer British film titles, many of which are pretty decent.

Extras consist of a 10 stills and one poster within a gallery of mainly lobby cards and photos from the film, and the original theatrical trailer.

Invasion
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About The Author

Justin Richards is a journalist by day and a scriptwriter by night. His work has appeared in the darker recesses of the internet and in various niche publications including ITNOW, The Darkside, Is it Uncut?, Impact and Deranged. When he’s not sitting hunched over a sticky, crumb-laden keyboard he’s paying good money to have people in pyjamas try and kick him repeatedly in the face.

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