August 20, 2016


Review #833: Spaceways.

Howard Duff (Dr. Stephen Mitchell), Eva Bartok (Dr. Lisa Frank), Alan Wheatley (Dr. Smith), Philip Leaver (Professor Koepler), Michael Medwin (Dr. Toby Andrews), Andrew Osborn (Dr. Philip Crenshaw), Cecile Chevreau (Vanessa Mitchell), and Anthony Ireland (General Hayes) Directed by Terence Fisher (#257 - The Curse of Frankenstein, #258 - Dracula (1958), #272 - The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), and #469 - The Revenge of Frankenstein)

Believe it or not, this film was co-produced by Lippert Pictures (named for Robert L. Lippert, who would lead Regal Pictures a few years later) and Hammer Film Productions; most of you may know the latter though their horror films, which have been featured a few times on the show. Both of the companies had a deal in which the former would distribute the latter's films in the US, and vice versa in the UK, with this filmed entirely in England. As fun as the title or poster may seem (if you're into that sort of thing), the movie is actually a murder mystery, with the main lead being suspected of not only murdering two people, but putting them into a rocket that is spiraling the Earth. Naturally, footage from Rocketship X-M (#618) is featured during scenes with the rocket, because sharing is caring. There's obviously a bit of dedication to featuring some technobabble and moderately entertaining effects (and a bunch of gauges!), which is somewhat marred by a barely interesting plot. The cast is adequate for the material, for better or worse. Duff and Bartok are moderately entertaining, but there really isn't that much in terms of energy that can help the movie, which trudges a bit in a mystery that only goes somewhere with less than 15 minutes to go, with a twist that works if you actually thought someone would stuff bodies into a rocket. If you're looking for some sort of British thrill that's only 76 minutes long, I guess this works for you. It's okay, but nothing too spectacular.

Overall, I give it 6 out of 10 stars.

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