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Flame Barrier, The

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1958; vt It Fell from the Flame Barrier). Gramercy Pictures/United Artists. Produced by Arthur Gardner and Jules V Levy. Directed by Paul Landres. Written by Pat Fielder and George Worthing Yates from a story by Yates. Cast includes Robert Brown, Kathleen Crowley and Arthur Franz. 70 minutes. Black and white.

Attractive Carol Dahlmann (Crowley) hires jungle guide Dave Hollister (Franz) to lead an expedition in search of her missing husband, a wealthy industrialist and amateur Space Flight enthusiast. He vanished while hunting for the X117 satellite, a US vehicle which unexpectedly de-orbited. Arriving in a village near the Mexican Yucatan jungle, they meet Dave's free-spirited brother Matt (Brown), who to Dave's disapproval joins the expedition. After encounters with frightened natives and the usual jungle perils – spiders, large snakes and the like – the trio discovers the downed satellite, which has somehow got inside a cave. Also present is a blob-like organism which is rapidly multiplying every few hours, with Carol's husband's skeleton in the midst of the mass. This Alien blob apparently originated in the "flame barrier", a non-existent (see Imaginary Science) zone which knocked the vehicle out of orbit. SHowing himself to be not such a bad sort after all, Matt heroically sacrifices himself to the ooze and gains time for Dave to burn the organism to ashes before it can engulf the entire world. The standard romantic relationship has developed between Carol and Dave by the fade-out.

A minor and at best routine production rushed into release to capitalize on the US near-panic caused by the 1957 launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik satellite, The Flame Barrier bears some similarity to the superior Space Master X-7 (1958). [GSt]


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