The Doomsday Machine (1972)

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The Doomsday Machine (1972)

Post  BoG on Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:40 pm


This was one of those films which was mostly shot in 1967 but, due to money problems, wasn't finished up with final footage until 5 years later. It's the story of a space expedition to Venus. It begins on Earth when there are tensions among the world powers. The crew of the expedition later watches Earth being destroyed by atomic war. Despite the fact that the group doesn't get along so well, they bravely face the fact that the survival of the race depends on how quickly they can start making babies.

Exterior shots of the rocket in flight are borrowed from Gorath (1962 Japanese) and interior shots from Wizard of Mars (65). The cast includes Grant Williams (The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Monolith Monsters) in an atypical role (wound too tight), Mala Powers (The Colossus of New York, The Unknown Terror), Mike Farrell (M*A*S*H*), and other faces that are very familiar to film fans in the 1960s -- Ruta Lee, Bobby Van, and Casey Kasem. Directed by  Harry Hope and Lee Sholem (the new footage).

I have a double feature DVD on which this is paired with Werewolf of Washington, an Elvira's Movie Macabre release (Elvira used to host a program with such films, offering introductions and commentary during breaks; one can watch the film with her hosting it as an option on the DVD).

We see the bare back of a younger actress - I think her name is Lori Scott. Mala Powers plays a slightly older, stern Russian astronaut. Mike Farrell of M*A*S*H fame shows up in one scene as a reporter.

This isn't that bad in the first three-quarters of the film, but the final act is all but unwatchable - to me at least. I think that's where all the footage from another film was inserted to finally finish the film and it presents what should be one minute of astronauts getting into a space capsule and sitting down as a 10-minute scene, as if in super slow motion. On top of that, we never get to see them reaching Venus - that plot had to be changed for the ending. BoG's Score: 3 out of 10

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