Terror From the Year 5000

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Terror From the Year 5000

Post  BoG on Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:37 pm

What's Happening: Scientists receive future objects - and future woman - in their time machine
Famous For: Only time machine in 1950s sci-fi
Time travel rarely figured into 1950s sci-fi. It occurred in World Without End and was suggested in The Invisible Boy but didn't become a common theme until the early 60s. Bill Warren thus believes that this AIP production is the first American feature film with an actual time machine. He's right as far as I know, and he's right in crediting the film for its imaginative ideas and decent acting. Unfortunately, he's also right that the film doesn't know what to do with its own ideas. The meandering and talky screenplay is most concerned with verifying the fact that the time machine works and with establishing a love triangle. Contemporary viewers must have squirmed in their seats wondering if the "terror" would ever show.
When the "terror" finally shows it is something surprising, although perhaps disappointing to those expecting a monster: it's a woman with a deformed mutant face, seeking to bring a male back to the future to help revitalize radiated future humanity. She is not unsympathetic, although one wonders why she - like the Astounding She-Monster which probably inspired her - didn't come with better communication skills. The remote Florida setting is somewhat interesting, as is the brief glimpse of a radiated four-eyed cat, as is the opening narration which is more spirited than most such 50s-style narrations, and which comes with a slight echo. Other odd touches include a handyman-voyeur and a high percentage of shirtless men (swimming in Florida rivers) and the heroine in bathing suits or underwear - even nude (in silhouette) for a distant moment.

Goldweber, David Elroy (2012-06-14). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film: A Complete Guide: 1902-1982 (Kindle Locations 69211-69228). David E. Goldweber. Kindle Edition.

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