Starring Christopher Lee and Patrick Allen, Night of the Big Heat is set on the remote island of Fara where soaring temperatures are putting everyone on edge. Godfrey Hanson (Christopher Lee) and writer Geoff (Patrick Allen) try to uncover the mysterious reason for the sudden change in climate but they discover to their horror that the rising heat is the start of an invasion of aliens from another world…
Made in 1967 with a low budget director Terrence Fisher gets the best out of the cast and creates a great atmosphere of heat and tension. The film at times drops into soap opera territory especially with the arrival of an old flame of Geoff’s who want to rekindle their old romance. Peter Cushing has an extended cameo as the local doctor and look out for Kenneth Cope (Randall and Hopkirk Deceased) as a local mechanic.
The special effects are pretty poor, the alien when revealed looks like a giant poached egg and the climax is predictable and abrupt. It’s always great to see these classic British films get the HD treatment and Odeon Entertainment have done a pretty good job with this release. The 1080p picture is good, a big improvement over the last DVD release. It starts poor with lots of scratches and specks but after the titles it settles down to a colourful presentation, close-ups especially look excellent. Audio is LPCM mono and serves the film fine, clear dialogue and sound effects are all that can be asked from a film of this vintage.
Extras are well served with an informative audio commentary by Christopher Lee and screenwriters Pip and Jane Baker that originally appeared on the 2004 DVD release as well as an episode of British Legends of Stage Screen, in which Lee looks back at his life and career. This appears to be a cut down version and I am informed that the full version of this episode will be on a future release by Odeon.
Overall a fun movie, well acted and directed and it’s always a pleasure to watch Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee on the screen.
FILM: 6 PICTURE: 6.5 AUDIO: 6 EXTRAS: 7