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Spaceways

UK 1953
produced by
Michael Carreras for Hammer, Lippert Pictures
directed by Terence Fisher
starring Howard Duff, Eva Bartok, Alan Wheatley, Philip Leaver, Michael Medwin, Andrew Osborn, Cecile Chevreau, Anthony Ireland, Hugh Moxey, David Horne, Leo Phillips, Marianne Stone, Jean Webster-Brough
screenplay by Richard H.Landau, Paul Tabori, based on the radio play by Charles Eric Maine, music by Ivor Stanley

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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American scientist Dr Mitchell (Howard Duff) heads a British research team entrusted with the task to shoot satellites into space (something completely novel in 1953 of course) - much to the dismay of his wife Vanessa (Cecile Chevreau), who doesn't like life on a top secret military base and thinks he should (and actually could) earn more, too. The first rocket launch to shoot a satellite into orbit though proves to be a failure since the final stage of the rocket inexplicably lacked sufficient fuel. Sure, it still sufficed to shoot the thing up there and keep it in orbit for a few decades, but eventually it will come down. Interestingly, on the day of the launch, Mitchell's wife disappears with his colleague Crenshaw (Andrew Osborn), whom she is known to have had an affair with, and since apparently nobody could leave the base, soon there is talk of murder. An outside investigator and fellow scientist is soon brought in, Dr Smith (Alan Wheatley), who soon establishes that Crenshaw was a foreign spy - but he also figures Mitchell has killed him and his wife and hid them in the rocket's fueltank to destroy all eviodence for good. Mitchell finds himself cornered in such a way that he offers to take a second rocket to outer space to retrieve the satellite and clear his name - which is ok with everyone, apart from Mitchell's colleague Lisa (Eva Bartok), who has long been in love with him and now refuses to let him go - but when she realizes she can't hold him back, she sneaks into the rocket with him ...

Smith meanwhile follows another lead, and eventually tracks down Crenshaw, very much alive, who has shot Vanessa dead only moments before he could be apprehended. Of course, it's too late to stop the rocket launch now, and the journey to outer space almost kills Mitchell and Lisa ... but only almost.

 

A film that seems to be terribly undecided what it wants to be, science fiction (of the space race variety), espionage flick, murder mystery, or even love story - and while genre blends like this can be quite interesting, this film is not, it quite simply lacks a clear direction it wants to go into and as a result lacks tension and suspense, but also is rather weak on the science fiction elements, that seem to constantly take aq backseat behind everything else. Not one of Terence Fisher's better films and not really worth a watch.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD