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The Night Caller 1964 ***

Adapted from Frank Crisp’s novel, The Night Caller is also known by the more lurid title Blood-beast from Outer Space, but thrill-seekers in 1964 may have been more than a little let down by the charmingly quaint depiction of an interplanetary invasion. An alien has come to earth, but his plan is rather sleazier than most; settling into suburban London, the mysterious Mr Medra starts a small business called Orion Enterprises, and places adverts in the popular Bikini Girl magazine for attractive young women. His intentions go further than kick-starting glamour model careers; he’s harvesting their blood, and only a police investigation led by John Saxon can stop him. An antidote to big budget sci-fi, The Night Caller is a sober-minded little British thriller, shot in black and white and with a feel for the seedy atmosphere of Soho bookstores; support from Maurice Denham, Ballard Berkley and Aubrey Morris add to the period feel in John Gilling’s likable eccentric thriller, a pre-cursor to Under the Skin 2014.

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