I first saw this gem when I was a kid and have held a copy of it close to my heart ever since. Whether it was in VHS format, or Blueray the only thing that’s changed over the years is the quality of the pictures.
It was written by Nigel Kneale, released by Hammer in 1967 and was the third film in the dotty professor versus the unbending ignorance of the establishment trilogy, that was originally a BBC screenplay, dating from 1958. It’s also the genre directorial debut of the acclaimed Ray Ward Baker. The film was released in America under the much less evocative title: Five Million Years to Earth.
I remembered looking at the timer on the VCR, it said just over fifteen minutes had elapsed. Fifteen. In that time, my eight year old eyes had witnessed a man’s head being blown clean off with a shotgun, a strange bluey-grey man who I thought was going to hug someone, instead decide to rip a chunk out of a woman’s throat. In a few minutes more, I’d see one of those weird people get the top of their head cut off with a rotor blade.
Dawn of the Dead was awe inspiring, it had things in a film I had never seen before, it wasn’t until Peter said the Z word two thirds of the way through that I even knew what these things were called. They seemed weird, how can something that moves so slowly, with no real obvious superpower manage to take over the world?