The Body Stealers


Horror / Mystery / Sci-Fi

IMDb Rating 4.2/10 10 574 574


Top cast

George Sanders as Gen. Armstrong
Carol Hawkins as Paula
Maurice Evans as Dr. Matthews
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
847.76 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
Seeds 14
1.54 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
Seeds 25

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by pottedstu 4 / 10

Nice aerial footage, dull on the ground

A few minutes of well-shot footage of parachute jumps and aerobatic flying seem the real impetus for this British science fiction picture. When there are no bodies hurtling towards the ground or planes shooting past each other, what's left is a bad script with far too many scenes of men in suits talking in offices and not nearly enough science or action. Since it was made for a family audience, there isn't even much in the way of female flesh.

Patrick Allen and his improbably large chin take the lead. His character, a NATO troubleshooter, is big on the sub-James Bond womanising and tough posturing. Yet for all his smooth lines and fetching cardigans, he does curiously little to actually solve the mystery of disappearing military parachutists. Plot development consists of supporting characters waving a Geiger counter over a few things while Allen chases the girls.

George Sanders is normally a reliable figure (see the far superior Psychomania, for instance), but he is wasted here as a personality-deficient general. Hilary Dwyer has the requisite qualities for a female star, being very pretty and a great screamer. Lorna Wilde is quite fetching as a mysterious blonde, but the rest of the cast do little.

This is a competently-made film from people who understood the limitations of their budget, limitations which mean rare special effects and few action sequences. The real problem is an absence of ideas or any ambition beyond filling the screen for 90 minutes. Once all the aerial footage has been used up, what is left is a very unoriginal story with little imagination or characterisation and lots of dialogue of a "The minister isn't going to like this" type. Nonetheless, Reg Tilsley's jazz score deserves a mention, ratcheting the tension even when the most mundane action is unfolding on screen.

It's hard to recommend this film when there are so many better British exploitation films from the era; it lacks even any Austin Powers-ish campness and shows nothing of 1960s Britain. As an attempt at family-friendly science fiction from Tigon, a studio better known for its sexually-frank horror, it's a slight curio of film history. For entertainment, you're better off jumping out of a plane, or even watching an in-flight movie.

Reviewed by g-hbe 5 / 10

So bad it's (almost) good!

This is a fairly typical low-budget British sci-fi from the late 60's, and has as its 'stars' George Sanders and Patrick Allen, themselves quite common in such films. Things kick off to a fairly intriguing start, when parachutists start disappearing mid-jump. It's serious enough to make even the Army put down their cups of tea and investigate - or rather to call in top-whack investigator and philanderer Bob Megan (Allen) to see if he can get to the bottom of it. He sets about his task by doing a good deal of leering at various secretaries and pretty young scientists before waving a Geiger counter around and meeting a mysterious lady on the beach at midnight. She's no raving beauty but Bob has a go anyway, before wandering back to his digs and looking like he might manage a quick one with his over-the-hill landlady. But no, he's got a busy day ahead. Quite what happens next is spoiler territory, and I can't remember anyway. Worth a go if you like wondering how much the actors got paid and why.

Reviewed by trouserpress 4 / 10

You know, from the right angle, he DOES look like Sean Connery

The 1960s was the era of the brash, misogynistic hero who uses his fists first and asks questions later. He assumes that all women want to sleep with him, no matter what the age gap, and wears a variety of chunky knitwear a Cornish fisherman would feel comfortable in. This behaviour can all be blamed on James Bond. The mega-success of the Bond franchise lead to every other TV and movie producer falling over themselves trying to get a piece of the action. There were spies, espionage and action heroes everywhere. Now The Body Stealers is not a spy film as such, but it is Bond that it most closely resembles, despite its extra-terrestrial enemy. And unfortunately our Neil does not take the lead role, the honour falling to Patrick Allen. Allen was a great character actor in the 1960s, making many appearances in Hammer films, including the fan favourite Captain Clegg aka Night Creatures, along with assorted low-budget science fiction efforts. Here he plays a no-nonsense, womanising private detective called in by the military to solve the mystery of parachutists disappearing in mid-drop. Neil Connery is relegated to standing in the background in most of the scenes, playing an old friend of Allen's.

So, the plot goes something like this: The British Air Force are testing a new kind of parachute, but their jumpers (not the knitted kind) are vanishing into thin air before they hit the ground (incidentally Thin Air was the original title of the film, but exploitation master Tony Tenser, producer and head of Tigon, thought it wasn't catchy enough). It IS all a mystery. Allen, who used to be a parachutist himself, leaves a women he was enjoying an intimate picnic with at the order of George Sanders and moves into a seedy looking B&B by the airbase. After clumsily trying to chat up a female scientist, and meeting the chief scientist Maurice Evans (better known for his appearances under heavy makeup in the Planet of the Apes series), he starts to make his moves on a mysterious, bikini-clad blonde he meets on the beach. Meanwhile, for no given reason other than he may be a pervert of some kind, Neil Connery takes secret photos of his old mate Allen making love to this woman right there on the sand. But when he develops the photos, possibly for publication in a seedy magazine (everything was seedy in sixties low budget science fiction), he discovers that she doesn't appear in the photos! That's because she is an alien!

Are you following this? I won't continue, as I'm confusing myself as much as I'm probably confusing you, and I've seen the film. It's no wonder George Sanders spends most of his scenes looking mistily into the distance, no doubt reminiscing on his earlier days working with the likes of Visconti. Even Allen admits on the DVD commentary that he had no real idea of what was going on. Now depending on your view point, this confusing plot, and the lack of a satisfying conclusion, could lead you to believe that you have just wasted the last ninety minutes of your life. Or, if like me you have a certain fondness for sixties British science fiction then there is still plenty of enjoyment to be had from The Body Stealers. You can wonder how Neil Connery didn't do more to cash in on his brother's celebrity status (his only other film appearance of note is the notorious Italian Bond rip-off Operation Kid Brother), or whether this film was the tipping point for Sanders, resulting in his suicide just a couple of years later. You can admire how Allen's heroic chin can win over even the most resistant of women, and even speculate whether there couldn't have been an easier, lower-profile way for the alien race to abduct men to take back to their home planet.

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