Alien Contamination – this Italian film pretty much transplants the plot of Ridley Scott’s Alien to Earth. A tramp freighter from South America drifts into New York harbour, its crew all dead. In the hold are strange alien eggs… which cause people to explode messily. The detective in charge, with the help of a secret government organisation of scientists, tracks down the surviving astronaut from a Mars mission. Together, they travel to the ship’s origin… and discover the other Mars astronaut, who had faked his own death and is now growing and distributing alien eggs for his alien masters on Mars. This film was entirely ordinary.
Alien Species – a trio of prisoners are being transported by sheriffs, when a fleet of UFOs attack Earth and force them off the road. The prisoners escape, and hide out in a nearby cave. Which proves to be the headquarters of the invading aliens. Initially watchable, this film quickly descended into silliness. The cave sets look fake, the aliens looks fake, and ten minutes in, the story began shedding plausibility and intelligence by the second.
Atomic Rulers of the World – a Japanese Starman film, and as such resembles all the other Starman films. The alien council of the Emerald Planet look like the deranged imaginings of the insane brother of the inventor of Teletubbies. The plot: Starman saves the Earth from human invaders from the planet Mirapolia.
The Alpha Incident – A space probe returns to Earth and brings with it a dangerous micro-organism. While being transported by train, a sample of this micro-organism is inadvertently released by a criminally stupid train guard. Five people are exposed, and promptly confined at a remote train stop while scientists rush to find a cure. This was as dull as it sounds.
Attack from Space – another Starman film. This time the Spherions are out to conquer Earth. Of course, Starman defeats them. Happily, they don’t make films like this any more.
Beast of the Yellow Night – a man sells his soul to the Devil after being saved from certain death. As a result, he turns into the titular creature at night – not just on yellow nights, I should add; whatever a “yellow night” might be – and kills people. This film couldn’t quite make up its mind what it was supposed to be – horror, thriller or family drama. The poor transfer made it even harder to figure out.
Warriors of the Wasteland – an Italian post-apocalypse movie. And if there’s one thing we now know about the Apocalypse from all the films on the subject, it’s that the Goths will inherit the Earth. Well, they’re not quite Goths in this one – the eponymous warriors wear white, for one thing. (Which means we also know Persil will survive the Apocalypse.) And they’re a bit too camp to be Goths. But, essentially, this film is Mad Max meets the Camp White-Clad Goths of the Wasteland. And he kills them all.
Werewolf Woman – this one is about a woman who turns into a werewolf. Of course. Actually, she only thinks she turns into a werewolf. Except she does at the end. Along the way, she meets and seduces numerous men, and then kills them. This is one of those movies where you get exactly what the title leads you to expect. In fact, the film’s alternative title Naked Werewolf Woman probably tells you more than you need to know…
The Nightmare Never Ends – an old Nazi hunter is killed, and the detective investigating the murder begins to obsess about the man’s death. The Nazi hunter had been tracking a notorious war criminal, a louche young SS officer, who doesn’t appear to have aged in the 35 years since WWII. Unfortunately, the title better refers to the film itself than it does to its plot…
Counterblast – a Nazi scientist escapes to England at the end of WWII, and murders and takes the identity of a British scientist returning from Australia. He continues to work on the biological weapons he had been creating for his Nazi masters, with the intention of using them to usher in a Fourth Reich. But it all starts to go wrong… This B&W British film from 1948 was actually quite good.
All the Kind Strangers – Stacy Keach is driving through deepest darkest Tennessee when it sees a young boy walking by the side of the road with a heavy bag of shopping. He stops and offers the kid a lift… which subsequently involves a long drive down a dirt track and across a creek… to a house where seven kids (ranging in age from late teens to under ten) live alone. They do have a “mother” – but she’s actually a woman they’ve kidnapped and forced to play that role. And so they likewise force Keach to become their father. There was a halfway decent story buried in this film – which isn’t at all sf or horror – but it didn’t deserve 74 minutes.
The Day the Sky Exploded – Earth is bombarded by asteroids. Which is sort of like the sky “exploding”. Cue lots of running around, explosions, buildings falling over. I don’t actually remember there being much in the way of a story in this film. Deep Impact it’s not. Happily, neither is it Armageddon.