Project X (1968)

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Project X (1968)

Post  BoG on Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:43 pm

An ambitious but low-budget, labored and talky sci-fi pic taking place a little over a hundred years from now.  The plot involves the strained relations between the two super powers of this future era, the U.S. and China. Christopher George plays a genius of the era named Hagen who went on a secret mission to the Orient; his last words before losing his memory and konking out was that the U.S. would be destroyed by some Sino-Chinese plot in 14 days. The U.S. military and some scientists (headed by Henry Jones, along with Philip Pine and Lee Delano) concoct an elaborate plan to place Hagen in a recreation of a sixties farm, and role-play him as a bank robber on the lam, hoping that this will somehow trigger his buried memories. A couple of hitches pop up: a modern female (Greta Baldwin) from a nearby factory strolls in, ruining the 1960's feel of the whole play and then the mysterious Gregory Gallea (Monte Markham) shows up suddenly, being the other agent who had escaped China with Hagen.

Some of this is tough to follow and the irony here is that if Gallea hadn't bothered to intrude on this set-up, the eventual revelation of China's plot probably would have never been revealed. All Gallea had to do was stay out of it and the plot would have succeeded. As the hero, George is required to be in a fitful sleep or dazed during much of his role. He is essentially a pawn during the whole film. The FX, such as they are, usually involve severe cost-cutting measures. Many images are representations of memories, having a surreal feel, including Hagen's mission to China. It's similar to the imagery in Angry Red Planet (1960), including the use of animation. Much of the plot also involves wiping the memories of a person and then creating a new template, an artificial person as a result. BoG's Score: 5 out of 10

X Trivia: one of famous producer William Castle's later films, sci-fi rather than horror.
Star Trek TOS actor alert: both Pine and Delano appeared in TOS episodes; Pine in The Savage Curtain, Delano in A Piece of the Action
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