Unique special effects combine with taut suspense in this gripping tale of a city caught up in a nightmare! A baffling alien object falls from the sky, a few miles outside London. The city becomes prey to a series of deadl... more »y kidnappings. Innocent women are being stalked, then disappearing without a trace. When it becomes apparent the reign of terror is caused by the horrifying creature from outer space, it's a chase to find him, before many more women fall into his clutches.« less
"Ganymede ("GAN uh meed"), in case you weren't aware, is the seventh and largest of Jupiter's known satellites and third of the Galilean moons. It's also the name of a Trojan boy of great beauty whom Zeus carried away to be cup bearer to the gods. In the case of The Night Caller (1965), my reference relates to the very real moon and not the mythological figure.This British film, directed by the prolific and well known John Gilling, stars John Saxon as Dr. Jack Costain, an American scientist working in a research facility in England. While doing some routine research work, an object is observed traveling to Earth. What makes it so strange is that it appears not to be a random piece of space flotsam, but an object guided by some unseen force. The military is also aware of the object, having tracked its' decent, has concern that it may be an atomic device from an unfriendly country, so they are actively seeking the mysterious widget. Once found, the mystery deepens as the orb, about the size of a bowling ball, is comprised of an unknown material and has a temperature of below zero. After a couple of incidents, one involving a death, the cosmic bowling ball vanishes, and young women from the area begin disappearing. The women all seem to have a common link in that they answered an ad in a magazine, one that is calling for attractive women to model on television, promotional advertising, and such, and a strangely garbed individual calling himself Mr. Medra. As the police search for clues, Dr. Costain feels that the timing of the disappearance of the space orb and the missing girls are linked, along with this shady Medra character. The police, with the help of Dr. Costain, begin to put the pieces together, and the hunt for Medra begins. Will they learn the true nature of the sphere, Medra, and the missing girls? If you've read the cover of the box, you've probably already deduced that Medra is an alien and he is kidnapping the women to take back to his planet, Ganymede, so I don't think I am really giving anything away. For what purpose, though? The Night Caller is listed as a horror/sci-fi film, but it has a strong element of mystery throughout as the police and Dr. Costain try to track down this Medra, and learn of the nature of his appearance on Earth, and for what purpose he needs the women. The casting of John Saxon in the lead role seems an odd one, but I suppose it was done to help the film sell within the US, as similarly done with other British productions like The Quatermass Experiment (1955) and The Trollenberg Terror (1958), starring American actors Brian Donlevy (actually, Donlevy was sort of a transplanted American, being born in Ireland but immigrating to the US early in his life) and Forrest Tucker, respectively. The science fiction portion is obvious, but certainly competes with the mystery element of the story. The horror aspect is not really in a visual sense, but more of an underlying theme as we are unaware of what purpose the women will serve, and if they will ever be seen again. The reference of the Night Caller is because the character Medra always stayed in the shadows, appearing only at night, and wore dark garments further shrouding himself in darkness. The box would appear to make this look like a cheap, schlocky, run of the mill science fiction feature, but when I saw that Gilling had directed it, I took a bit more interest in it, as I knew I would, at the very least, get an visually entertaining story. Not only that, but it's pretty intelligent and has a light smattering of comedy (the part where the police and Dr. Costain interview the parents of one of the missing girls is rife with your classical, dry British humor). I found surprising a few of the plot twists within the film, and found it interesting that the story developed the way it did. What really shocked (well, maybe not so much shocked, but more startled) me was the way the film ended. I didn't see it coming, and, while some may be unsatisfied with it, I thought it was a pretty gutsy move, going against the some of the conventions I am used to seeing in other science fiction films of the time. Image Entertainment provides a really good looking print here in full screen format. I am unsure if this was the original aspect ratio, but it shows very little, if any signs of wear and tear. Also provided are fairly detailed listing of filmographies of director Gilling and Saxon, looking like complete listings, rather than `selected' listings as I am used to seeing whenever a disc has this feature. By the way, love that opening song sung in classical Las Vegas lounge style...you wouldn't think serious science fiction and cheesy lounge music could mix...and you'd be right.Cookieman108"
Much Better Than The Cover Would Suggest
Robert I. Hedges | 06/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a huge fan of B-Movies from the 1950s to the present, and when I saw the cover art (surely a near reproduction of the original theater poster) I highly suspected that this would be a first class piece of cheese. I was wrong.This film is an extremely well made black and white psychological thriller from the mid 1960s. It is taut, has good (for the day) special effects, a plausible story line, genuine suspense, and excellent acting, especially by the young John Saxon (much better than his later role opposite Joe Don Baker in "Mitchell" that MST3K fans would be better acquainted with.) The story concerns an object from Ganymede (a moon of Jupiter) which is an energy door which allows a being, the night caller of the title, to come to Earth. The night caller sets up a system to recruit women (via ads in 'Bikini Girl' magazine!) to return to Ganymede with him. The plot is well executed, and keeps tension high throughout. The conclusion proves both dramatic and cautionary about the future of Earth, and is not overdone with the histrionics so common today.I liked this film for totally different reasons than I expected to. Although frequently lumped in with other monster movies from that era, this film is well executed, well acted, and suspenseful from start to finish."
Opening intro score; (UK) Different to U.S.!!!
Mr. B. Fraser | London United Kindom | 01/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There have been many good reviews about this odd little film already by fellow IMDB users. One note of interest however, is that very unfortunately the new crisp release of 'The Night Caller' has omitted the fantastic opening (UK)score to the film. "Image" was recorded by Alan Haven; A superb musician who specialised in Hammond Organ, the opening scenes have a tracking shot over London by night and the music on original U.K. release, perfectly captures the essence of Mid-sixties Britain. The piece has a spooky organ mix set to a mod (ish) and orchestral background, it has become a bit of a 'Northern Soul' classic in the UK having been released in Britain in February 1965! Great shame then, that the USA release has a totally inappropriate male vocalist-romantic-lounge piece SINGING the title track! For those who haven't heard the UK original you'd be very pleasantly surprised..."
Moody, atmospheric, satisfying entertainment
Trevor William Douglas | Gorokan, NSW Australia | 11/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent black and white photography and first rate performances all round make this an entertaining thriller. John Saxon is well cast as one of a trio of scientists determined to discover what secrets a glowing sphere from outer space hold. A few nice touches of subtle humor add to the enjoyment."
A Fun Movie To Watch
Plain Jane | USA | 02/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Truth be told, the only reason I bought this movie was because my favorite actor, John Carson, was in it. All in all, it's a fun movie to watch when you want just that - a fun movie to watch. The plot was certainly different, the ending was VERY odd, but all in all, it was fun. John Saxon was an odd casting to this - I wasn't really sure if he was supposed to be "British" because sometimes he had a slight accent, while other times he didn't. The only thing I didn't like was that my favorite guy was killed. The quality of the picture was amazingly fantastic - very crisp and clear! I've got DVD's of television shows and movies made today and the quality is nothing like this. The quality alone of the picture is 5 Stars! Enjoy and just have fun watching it!"