Sunday, March 25, 2007

H. G. Wells' The Shape of Things to Come (1979)


This film has about as much to do with H.G Wells' story as ITV has with making decent TV. Filmed in 1978 the film is a blatant attempt to cash in on the popularity of Star Wars. Filmed in Canada for around $3m it stars Anne-Marie Martin (Sledge Hammer) Nicholas Campbell, Barry Morse (Space 1999) and Jack Palance as Omus.

Plot synopsis:
Planet Earth is a devastated wasteland, and what's left of humanity has colonized the Moon in domed cities. Humanity's continued survival depends on an anti-radiation drug only available on planet Delta Three, which has been taken over by Omus, a brilliant but mad mechanic who places no value on human life. Omus wants to come to the Moon to rule and intends to attack it by ramming robot-controlled spaceships into the domes. Dr. John Caball, his son Jason, Jason's friend, Kim, and a robot named Sparks embark on Caball's space battlecruiser on an unauthorized mission to Delta Three to stop Omus.
IMDB

I remember seeing adverts for this film in early 1979 in magazines like Starburst, and when you're 12 anything with spaceships in is cool, actually come to think of it when you're nearly 40 anything with spaceships in is cool too. "Must not mention the Star Wars Prequels !"
I eventually got to see this film when I bought the Region 1 DVD release. I'm sure if I had seen this when I was 12 then I'd have thought it was great, now after all these years I can appreciate it for all the wrong reasons, mainly Jack Palance's over the top bad guy, Robbie the Robot-esque robots, Anne-Marie Martin being almost Wilma Deering ( Erin Grey) sexy before Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was made, Anne-Marie did actually appear in a 1979 Episode of Buck Rogers called 'Twiki is missing'. Spaceship miniatures that look just like miniatures but still look pretty cool. And just the general nonsense that was late 70's early 80's Sci-Fi, and although this film was a Box Office failure on it's release and the critics hated it too, it's become a cult favorite.

You can read a short interview with Barry Morse talking about his experiences on the movie over at Blue Underground, the company that released the DVD http://tinyurl.com/yosz6n


8 comments:

Michael G Clark said...

I know this film well, and what a load of bollocks it was. It would have HG spinning in his grave if he wasn't chasing David Warner around modern day San Francisco.

Finally put some Vue 5 stuff on me blog, simple things, but my old pc keeps exploding when I try anything complex.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

It's not a patch on Starcrash or The Humanoid, Italians do low budget SF woth class.

Michael G Clark said...

I know you like Humanoid so I won't slag it off tooooo much,
ohmygoditwasbad! And it had that big bloke from Moonraker on it.

For classic sf hokum its got to be 'Battle beyond the Stars!' Goodnight John boy.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Battle Beyond the Stars is great !!

allen said...

Any movie that has a space ship with breasts on it can't be bad.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

That was a great ship, I believe Jim Cameron designed it !!

allen said...

Yes, and James Horner did the soundtrack!

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams did the music, James Horner just did what he normally does and rip them both off and call it an Origianl Soundtrack, and when he doesn't do that he rips himself off !! I've lost count of how many times he's used the same themes in different movies. His music is OK but he's no Jerry Goldsmith for sure !!