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Night of the Big Heat
Directed by Terence Fisher
Produced by Tom Blakely
Written by Jane Baker
Pip Baker
Starring Christopher Lee
Patrick Allen
Peter Cushing
Sarah Lawson
Distributed by Planet Film Distributors
Release date(s) 1966
Running time 94 m
Language English

Night of the Big Heat is a 1967 British sci-fi horror film released by Planet Film Productions, based on a 1959 novel of the same name by John Lymington. It was released in the United States in 1971 under the title Island of the Burning Doomed and was double-billed with All Monsters Attack.



Jeff and Frankie Callum run the Swan, an inn and tavern on the remote Scottish island of Fara. Jeff, a novelist in his spare time, hires a secretary named Angela Roberts. Unknown to Frankie, Jeff and Angela are former lovers. The Callums moved to Fara Island so that Jeff could escape Angela's amorous advances (although as far as Frankie knows, it was to escape the tedium of city life on the mainland). Angela wants to resume her fling with Jeff, despite Jeff wanting nothing to do with her. Not helping matters much is the fact that despite the fact it's the middle of November, Fara Island is experiencing a stifling and inexplicable heat wave, with temperatures in the 90s and rising daily. It has become so hot that cars stall, beer bottles shatter, Televisions explode, and telephones have ceased to work.

Into this tense situation comes Dr. Godfrey Hanson, a mysterious scientist from the mainland who rents a room at the Swan. Hanson spends his time exploring the island, setting up motion-sensitive cameras and taking soil samples. The locals, including the Callums, find this suspicious, especially since quite a lot more is going on on Fara than just the heat and Hanson's snooping. First, a homeless man is burned to death in a cave by an unseen menace emitting a high-pitched whirring sound. Then, farmer Ben Siddle is found on the road by local mechanic Tinker Mason, claiming that his sheep are all dead. Hanson examines the dead sheep without anyone's knowledge, and discovers their corpses are blackened and burnt.

Unknown to anyone else, Swan regular Bob Hayward, driving into town to buy a new TV after his explodes due to the heat, is attacked by something on the road. He crashes his car after being blinded by a flash of bright light which generates enough heat to ignite the petrol tank of his car. Jeff finally corners Hanson and demands answers from him. According to Hanson, Fara Island is the site of an invasion by extraterrestrials from outer space, who generate enough bodily heat to burn alive any living creature that gets too close to them. After Tinker Mason goes insane and tries to rape Angela, only to be chased off by Jeff and Hanson and to be killed when he encounters one of the aliens, Jeff and Hanson attempt to stop the aliens with the help of local physician Dr. Vernon Stone.

Stone attempts to make a run up to Fara's radar station so he can alert the mainland of the invasion, only to be waylaid by one of the aliens and killed. Hanson makes a go at it next. En route he witnesses the death of Stella Hayward, Bob's wife, and realises that the aliens are attracted to light. Once at the radar station, he learns from operators Ken Stanley and Gerald Foster that the aliens have destroyed all their communications equipment, making it impossible for the islanders to call for help.

Quickly formulating a plan of action, Hanson summons Jeff, Frankie and Angela up to the radar station. He and Foster will set fire to bails of hay in a field, attracting the aliens, whereupon the others will lob them with dynamite and hopefully destroy them.



Actor/Actress Role
Christopher Lee Dr. Godfrey Hanson
Patrick Allen Jeff Callum
Peter Cushing Dr. Vernon Stone
Sarah Lawson Frankie Callum
Jane Merrow Angela Roberts
William Lucas Ken Stanley
Kenneth Cope Tinker Mason
Percy Herbert Gerald Foster
Thomas Heathcote Bob Hayward
Jack Bligh Ben Siddle


This film's alternate title is Island of the Burning Doomed (US TV title) and Island of the Burning Damned (US release). Its companion piece is generally considered to be 1966's Island of Terror. In fact, the cave in which the homeless man is killed is the same cave set used for Ian Bellows' death at the beginning of Island of Terror.

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