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I was honored to play Dectective Laskey in this Yesterday Machine movie. Tim Holt was a true professional to put up with a bunch of local Dallas actors and even thou this is a typically Bad Science Fiction movie-- for the time, it is OK to watch. The reason I am writing this today is I just found my VHS copy of the movie and made a DVD of it for my own restoration and to have something to play for my Grandkids. Actually, the quality of the DVD turned out pretty good even thou the VHS is quite old. I had a recording studio in Dallas, Texas at the time of the shooting of this movie and most of the interior scenes were done in the back rooms of my studio---sets built for the dungeons, and the time machine locations, etc. All of the music was recorded at my Studio with the Nick Nicklas band doing the playing. All in All-----it is a really good example of a Bad Sci-fi 1960's movie and worth the watch----if you can find a copy. I'm glad I have one and now a DVD that will last for a few more years.
This film is incredible! It has everything you could hope for in an enjoyable bad film. An amazing plot, Hitler's director of "scientific warfare" Dr. Ernst Van Hauser (played by Jack Herman, an ex-Yiddish theater player who was a drama coach at a local black college) is living underneath a farmhouse in Dallas, Texas (where the movie was made). He is doing time travel experiments and giving lectures to captured subjects about his theories of "Superspectronic Relativity and the Minus Ray" (while his drawings on the blackboard are redrawn twice during his lecture). He states that his theories are far more advanced than Einstein's. He captures a baton twiller and her sister a bad night club singer ("the girl with the orchid voice" the film lets us know) who sings a funny bad song written by the director Russ Marker (I think). The director was an associate of Texas film maker Larry Buchanan and uses some of his stable of actors like Bill Thurman. Also stars a somewhat over the hill Tim Holt as a police detective who immediately knows when a baton twiller disappears in Texas it must by Nazis and Dr. Ernst Van Hauser. Jack Herman's over the top performance as Dr. Ernst Van Hauser is beyond words (William Shatner looks tame and controlled by comparison). Some amazing bad films, with wonderful low budget charm, came out of Texas in the 1960's and this takes its place as a classic along side such bad films as Manos Hands of Fate or any of the Larry Buchanan epics of the period. Highly recommended for bad film scholars. Needs to come out on DVD!
This film has to be seen to be believed. A post-war Nazi physicist who
is exploring the concept of time travel to bring back Adolph Hitler,
sets up his laboratory in a farmhouse in Texas!!! What happened to
hiding out in South America with the rest of the gang? To add insult to
injury, he manages to kidnap a majorette(!) the day before the big
game. This really ticks off the local police, led by an aging Tim Holt
whose star was sinking fast. Also involved in the investigation is a
reporter and a nightclub singer (??!!!). They must take on the band of
evil henchmen, which consists of 2 or 3 heel clicking guys and a slave
girl from somewhere in the past. And if you can believe it, it goes
downhill from there.
The reason to even consider watching this horror, is for the joy of seeing Jack Herman as the unapologetic Nazi. This is a man who at one time worked in the Yiddish Theater, a proving ground for such stars as Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson. His performance can be summed up in one word......ludicrous. Flailing arms, rolling eyes, clenching fists....unbelievable!! I am not familiar with Mr. Herman but I have to believe that he did not use this type of emoting in the Yiddish Theater. This was near the end of his life and possibly he was failing in health. Whatever the reason, it is the type of performance that hasn't been witnessed since. It is for this alone that I recommend this film for the bad movie buff. You will love it!!!!
This movie, its poor production values and picture qualities, and
absolutely ABYSMAL Sound qualities aside, is actually a pretty
effective sci-fi Horror story, told to the viewer in a pretty much
I have always liked the actor TIM HOLT, going back to his playing the clean-cut young Prospector in "The Treasure of The Sierra Madre" with Bogart and Walter Huston. In this flick, his Police Lieutenant Partane character adds some semblance of credibility to his role and the overall storyline.
And Jack Herman, the apparently LIFELONG Yiddish Theatre Actor, who plays the "ESCAPED, VIRULENT NAZI SCIENTIST, Ernest VON HAUSER," absolutely steals the show, with his Mad Scientist's "Time-Travel Slave and Death Camp" of a deserted farmhouse, in Texas, no less!(* Actually, the Lonestar State has always been one of THE "All-American" Locales, for great MONSTER, HORROR and SCI-FI, Cinematic "Carnage"!)
All the usual mad Nazi "thoughts" and CRUELTY is there of course, in "The Yesterday Machine," yet there is indeed thoughtful DIALOGUE, as Mr. HERMAN'S Von Hauser character explains the "real science" behind time travel, to the heroic news gatherer-guy, "Jimmy Crandell," whom I believe is played by James Britton.
There are a couple of VERY WEAK, climactic plot points as the film closes out, but this one is still an A-OK to Good piece of SCHLOCKO Movie "AUTEUR-SHIP," let us, RIGHTLY, call it such!
Wow. 1963 was an amazing year in the annals of movie history. Not only
did it bring us "They Saved Hitler's Brain" but also "The Yesterday
Machine", so apparently this year was a banner one for insane neo-Nazi
scientists and their kooky schemes. In many ways, both these films are
very similar--lousy acting, lousy sets and lousy dialog. The only
notable way they are different is that "The Yesterday Machine" lacks a
cameo appearance of Hitler's head in a pickle jar!
The film begins with a young man being shot (apparently by disgruntled Confederate soldiers who were brought forward in time) and his girlfriend disappearing. This can only mean one thing...a crazed Nazi scientist is running amok experimenting with the fabric of time. So, it's up to a crack team made up of a dull guy and his amazingly untalented and annoying blonde girlfriend to save humanity. While this sounds ridiculous, this neo-Nazi movement only appears to have three members, so the odds aren't that stacked against them!
Jack Herman stars as the brilliant but wacky Nazi scientist. Not only can he make time do goofy things, but he can make the drawings on his chalkboard instantly change due to bad editing. And, he also is less subtle than Dr. Strangelove--and a horrible actor to boot. James Britton is the film's "action hero" and based on this performance, I can see why this is his only film credit--he has the charisma of cheese curds. As for the only "name" in the film, once important actor Jack Holt, he's barely in the film at all--just a walk on in the beginning and end of the film. But, since he'd been in "The Magnificent Ambersons" and some other REAL movies, they decided to list him first in the credits. You gotta feel sorry for the guy being stuck in ultra-low budget crap like this and "This Stuff'll Kill Ya" at the end of his once promising career.
My favorite bad scene in the film? The one where the Egyptian slave attacks the guard to save the dumb blonde's life. The blonde just stands there as this happens and even does nothing when the stabbed guard then strangles the slave! Talk about ingratitude!! Other great bad scenes are the "magic chalkboard" and the ranting and raving of the scientist--rarely have I ever seen any actor chew that much scenery.
Overall, it's a terrible movie in most every way. Understandably, most people who made this film never went on to do much of anything else. The film is bad, but perhaps silly enough to excite a few bad movie buffs.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*Spoiler/plot- The Yesterday Machine, 1963. A couple of college
students stumble on a couple of Civil War soldiers while trying to get
car repairs in a lonely rural road. The boy is shot and the girl
disappears. The police investigate and find many improbable time travel
matters located in an secret professor's lab under a abandoned
*Special Stars- James Britton, Ann Pellegrino, Jack Herman, Tim Holt('Treasure of Sierra Madre').
*Theme- Time is a river that flows and we are in it.
*Trivia/location/goofs- B & W. During Natzi time travel doctor's lecture the chalk drawings change back and forth.
*Emotion- A quirky, unique, and stylish low budget science fiction film. I would NOT call this a B-movie or a D-movie due to it's very good script, directing, casting, and acting. The low budget aspects of this film only become apparent with the time machine set piece and German doctor's lab sets. Maybe more money or creativity should have been shown there to treat the film viewer with a better reward for staying around to watch the whole film to it's finale. Exciting, suspenseful and frightening, this film is enjoyable.
Tim Holt who besides being a B movie cowboy also was directed at
different times of his must have wondered how he came to be in this
rather atrocious science fiction film shot on your average household
budget for a family on food stamps.
His will be the only name you recognize from this cast of never wases in The Yesterday Machine. One of Hitler's top scientists escaped and has set up shop somewhere in the southern USA near the Battle Of Shiloh's site. We know that because a couple of Johnny Reb soldiers show up in the present day of 1963 and kidnap a young coed from that era.
Investigative reporter James Britton follows up the story with Holt playing a police detective. Together with coed Linda Jenkins's sister Ann Pellegrino they find the source of the problem. It's Jack Herman playing a mad scientist who if he were a little more mad would be Professor Irwin Corey.
Herman was one of Hitler's top physicists and he's cracked the space time continuum and he's even brought back a Nubian slave from the court of Rameses II. We don't get specifics, but Herman is going to a mess with time sufficiently that Hitler will triumph.
My high school plays showed better talent than this one did. Poor Tim Holt played it tight lipped and grim which was how he must have felt for being in this wretched film.
If "Goofy" had a scale from 1-10, this would be about a 8.5.
It's a Scienece Fiction, or roughly Science Fiction, bit about a time machine invented by a Nazi.
It starts off okay, and when you watch how it begins, you will get a big thrill, because you will recognize a later classic for using much of what you see here. If you see it, you'll instantly know the name of the satire that uses much of the early part of this movie.
There are a few things to like. The girl with the legs at the start vanishes for a while, but then you get to see her again.
We have the "reporter and cop friend" cliché, which is sometimes not too bad, depending on how much "atmosphere" you get. This movie does give a pretty good amount of atmosphere for the few special effects it has.
Most of the early sixties and late fifties science fiction has good atmosphere, and a camaraderie among local folk. We get that here. What we don't get are good lines. These movies aren't usually this "corny". And the acting usually isn't this poor, either. I am usually not that particular with "acting", but these actors cross the line. They are truly just reading lines. Ironically, the best acting comes from the hot babes. The men are the dweebs here.
The atmosphere would usually let me forgive the corny writing and acting, but the second half just had too many "horrible" scenes. The worst one is where a girl helps the heroine escape, and the heroine just stands and watches while the girl who helps her is strangled to death. No explanation can cover this. Then there is the Hitler's scientist, whose lines are the most "expository" you will ever see on celluloid.
Not the worst, by far, but it leaves you with a feeling that even for a low budget horror, it should have been much better.
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