Scientists working on induced hibernation for space travel are killed, apparently by machines acting independently. Security agent Sheppard arrives at the secret underground space research base to investigate possible sabotage. He finds that the whole base is coordinated by supercomputer NOVAC and its robots Gog and Magog; and a strange aircraft is detected high overhead. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
"The Return of Gog" - sounds good doesn't it? Shot in 3-D, but unseen in that format for 50 years, GOG hit the big screen at the Hollywood Egyptian last weekend as part of a 3-D film festival. After its premiere in Hollywood, UA decided NOT to release GOG nationally in 3-D, setting the stage for a film which has been more read about than seen properly for decades. For, once its theatrical (non 3-D) release was completed, the film apparently was sold to TV in B&W prints which further robbed the film of its production lustre. Only in the last few years did a color print show up courtesy of Turner Television. And, now, a 3-D dual print (complete with intermission to change reels!) has been unearthed.
Unfortunately, all this buildup is for a small, talky B-picture. It IS refreshing to look back at a time when SF films weren't just glorified Chase/Action films (ie: T3), but GOG is mostly banal. Still, there's a lot of gadgetry, political intrigue and genuine science (!) packed into its brief running time. The unseen enemy behind it all is clearly the old Soviet Union, setting the film apart from so many films which depict the science itself as evil or suspect.
Director Herbert Strock was there along with Joe Dante and Leonard Maltin. Dante interviewed Strock, who was still spry and proud of his film. Ironically, Strock (like Andre De Toth) has monocular vision and couldn't guage the 3-D effects himself. Indeed, Strock's decision to keep garish 3-D effects to a minimum also may have contributed to the studio's decision to forego a costly 3-D release. And even Strock was amused at a line in the film where someone is hospitalized by an overdose, "It was only a little radiation!"
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