Wednesday, March 12, 2008

PD Project Part 11

Sci-Fi50

    Disc 11
  • They Came From Beyond Space (1967)

    Meteorites carrying a malevolent alien intelligence crash in rural England and begin taking over the minds of the nation's leading scientists.
    I saw this movie as part of an Elvira Movie Macabre double feature (Gamera, Super Monser was the other feature) and she says just about everything that needs to be said about this movie. What is "beyond" space? And since the aliens actually come from the moon, is that really space at all? In many ways standard sci-fi fare: dumb white-guy hero who doesn't actually figure anything out, aliens of profound intelligence thwarted by dumb luck and a warm, almost fuzzy-wuzzy conclusion that's basically, "Well why didn't you just ask? We'd be happy to help you. A-hyuck." Nice and brutally stupid. So much so that there isn't even a Wiki page for this flick. The movie was made and set in Britain but is based on a novel entitled The Gods Hate Kansas. I would guess because the Gods have been there.
    I'm in the process of uploading this film to the Internet Archive.

  • Warning From Space (1956) runtime: 1:27:48

    Aliens arrive on Earth causing a panic. However, when people figure out what the aliens really are, they find themselves facing a wholly different threat.
    Star men with one eye who must destroy humanity because of our "blood rage." "Blood rage" sounds like a metal band whose unbounded power to rock threatens the very walls of reality. I'd see that act.
    But this movie is so slow. It takes a good fifty of the ninety minutes to arrive at the eponymous "Warning." There's a battle over a formula for an explosive more powerful than an A or H bomb which seems really unnecessary but it's just one of many plot holes and inconsistencies. For instance, the aliens already developed the formula for the super-bomb but abandoned it because they recognized that it was too dangerous. Then they develop the bomb anyway to destroy the incoming planet that threatens Earth, but they need the formula--which they had already figured out an discarded a generation ago--from the professor. And what of the men who kidnap and then abandon the professor? The whole thing just doesn't add up. And none of this addresses the issue of our "blood rage," the issue the aliens were going to confront us over in the beginning of the film. What a gyp. I was promised blood rage and, being denied it, feel as though I'm about to enter one.
    I'm in the process of uploading an MPEG of this film to the Internet Archive.
    AVI Archive.org page
    Wikipedia article

  • The Phantom Planet (1961) runtime: 1:22:00

    A spaceship crashes on an invisible asteroid whose tiny inhabitants enlist the astronaut's aid in defeating their enemy.
    Honestly, I didn't watch this movie. I remember seeing the MST3K version and that's really enough. Very few of these movies warrant repeat viewing.
    I'm in the process of uploading an MPEG of this film to the Internet Archive.
    iPod Archive.org page
    Wikipedia article
    This was episode 0902 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and can be purchased as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 8.

  • Planet Outlaws (1953) runtime: 1:08:33

    Buck Rogers, frozen for 500 years, is awakened and joins the forces of the Hidden City against the despot Killer Kane.
    A compiled Buck Rogers serial. A least they're up front about it. Brutally cut though. It's just each episode's plot point and cliffhanger. Very little breathing room. Just plot point, plot point, plot point. To describe it as "manic" would give the impression that it's much more sedate than it is.
    Archive.org page
    Wikipedia article

I'll be back next time with the final disc, Disc 12: Colossus, Arch Hall Jr., dubbing and, of course, the king of pain, the master of cinematic disaster, Gamera!

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