Friday 3 January 2020

Fear Is The Key 1972

From a book  and screenplay by Alistair MacLean comes this obscure thriller with some miniature submersible shots supervised by Derek Meddings.

The submersible is a strange boxy truck like design without the usual spherical or cylindrical hull shapes so prevalent in underwater craft.
There is also an underwater crashed Douglas Dakota wreck miniature environment.
The miniatures were shot at Bray Studios in England.

While the movie was originally widescreen as the letterboxing of the title and end credits show, this release has been cropped to the 3:4 aspect ratio for old school television.


  1. Thank you for finding this one. I'd heard about it, but not that Meddings was involved, as with much of his work I'm always reminded that he got his start working for Gerry Anderson, there's a definite 'Thunderbirds Are Go!' feel about that submarine.

    1. I'd never heard of it until recently when it popped up on a Derek Meddings Facebook group. After all the numerous books and articles I have read about Derek Meddings this has never cropped up once.

  2. Thanks for posting the sequence. I saw the film when it was first released and was surprised to discover Derek doing the effects. I went to see the film a couple of more times just to see the sub effects. But it was filmed very dark, it heightened the relisim but you couldn't see the sub that well. I wonder what happened to the miniature after the filming was done?

  3. Thanks for the Meddings info and good clips. Not his best work,even in low budget environment. The restricted view and plants make it look more like bottom of fish tank than bottom of ocean

  4. Shot in a 12x12 ft tank at Bray Studios...

  5. i'd seen this movie when i was a kid, when i watched it again a couple of years ago i couldn't remember any of it until i saw the dakota at the end and spoke the dialogue that newman speaks word for word


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