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.
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.
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
Posted by Andrew Glazebrook at 8:07 PM