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The reason a film such as this (low budget '50s or '60s sci-fi) is on many viewers favorites lists is not necessarily fond childhood memories or nostalgia - it's because it's well made. Of course, they had very little money for props and such, but the story is more inventive than 95% of the stuff that's released now or has been since the nineties; no, make that the eighties. Yes, I'm one of those guys who saw it 30 years ago as a kid on TV during a Saturday matinée slot or something; but I've seen it again within a couple of years ago and it's still quite entertaining. Here, the writers proposed a question, a 'what if?' question about time travel. What if certain people, a small group of scientists, accidentally invented a time travel device? What if they used it? (Again, accidentally). What if the device short-circuited too early? What if this, what if that - and so on, with inventive answers provided to each question. If you've never seen this picture, you're in for a treat - you'll be wondering what's the next answer every 5 to 10 minutes. This is a quality sorely lacking in most films today. Maybe all the good ideas have been used. The same concept was utilized a couple of years later in the short-lived "Time Tunnel" TV series, but that show lacked the wild turns of this sci-fi set up. Some of the further situations in this story of the future are a bit goofy, but I believe it's intentional. The ending, which I won't give away here, actually puts some pressure on the viewers to wrap their minds around. Watch for famous sci-fi fan & publisher Forrest J.Ackerman in a cameo. Whatta trip!
There are a zillion B&W sci-fi cheapies out there, and every one is
somebody's favorite. This is one of mine.
Scientists working on a time-camera experiment discover that it's actually a portal. They step through it into the far future, where remnants of a high-tech civilization battle troglodytes for survival. The cave-dwelling good guys and their androgynous androids are engaged in a desperate race against time to build a rocket to take them away from the ruined Earth. Our time travelers fall in with them, fall afoul of them, fall in love with them... well, you know.
This movie is one of those irresistible gems where the real battle is between energetic actors, imaginative directors, and talented technical people who toil fearlessly against a low budget and cheap sets. But if you're a fan of the genre, give this a watch. You'll thank me.
First saw this one when I was 12 and loved it ever since(I'm now 44-a geezer,I suppose}Probably the best low-budget sci-fi ever made,as far as I'm concerned,and one of the best endings of a movie ever(thanks to Ib Melchior and Dave Hewitt).Cast is quite good,especially Steve Franken and the always-excellent Preston Foster.And Merry Anders is,as always, a real babe.Watch it if you get the chance!!!
This is one of my favorites,great camp,lots of inside jokes,a good plot,and if you used to read Famous Monsters of Filmland like I did,there is a special guest shot of Forest j Akerman in it also. This film was also shown in the Air and Space Museum during their sci fi film series. The cast does a good job and some pretty good special effects. For a low budget sci fi flick it covers a lot of ground,post nuclear war,mutants,space travel,love affairs,some wild futuristic music,and of course time travel.I think the ending will leave you thinking,and wanting to see this movie again and again.
Whew! Had someone remind me of this movie just recently and I
did a "Boy, did that take me back". A time travel in & of itself.
Here is one that should get released on DVD, or at least get some
TV play on a late-night show. I remember this being great fun
when I was a kid, new to the movie experience.
Yes, saw it in an actual theatre, probably the same one where I
saw "Crack in the World" (1965) with Dana Andrews. Both high in
"cheese" content, but no less fun.
Not really giving anything away, plotwise, this movie deals with our
fearless scientists who because of having the ability to time travel
into the future, try to go about changing it. Something that has been
dealt with over & over again in the ensuing years. Just remember
they are in fairly new territory here. Can one change what
"happened" in the future?
I also remember being scared witless by the mutants they run
across in the future. One guy who has legs, but no feet. You don't
have to be a rocket scientist to figure out they had an actor with
birth defects or an amputation, but to a kid in a dark theatre it
was really frightening!
Let's see if someone can get this out as a "late night" DVD, eh?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film has a lot of imagination, an intelligent script, some fine acting and special effects that combine to make an excellent sci-fi film. Those of you who have seen it have probably never forgotten it. The plot concerns a team of scientists working on a viewing screen designed to show images of the past, present, and hopefully the future. Faced with an imminent cut-off of funding, they push the equipment to the limit and a short-circuit results. Accidentally, the view screen produced an image of a devastated earth only 107 years in the future. Even more shocking is the discovery that a portal has been opened, and the scientists are able to step through the screen just as the portal implodes behind them leaving them trapped in the future.....Without revealing any more of the plot, I will just say that the shock ending is one of the best in science fiction. Trivia: the University Campus used in the film was the University of Southern California, and the tall mutants in the film were played by the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team for their exceptional height.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
American International Pictures had a reputation for turning out cheap sensational movies. But every once in a while they would spend money on a project to make a respectable movie and this is one of them. Ah, the days when independent stations would show movies like this Saturday afternoon or late Saturday nights. Many a rainy day was spent with a local host watching screen gems like this. An excellent and provocative movie from the 60's! One of the overlooked gems of sci-fi. It explored some real paradoxes and took some real risks--including an actual physically-challenged actor to play an atomic-scarred mutant. Watch for the scene where "Famous Monsters" editor Forrest Ackermann has a cameo. The screenplay was by Ib Melchior, who also did the excellent "Robinson Crusoe on Mars". This film concept, storyline and even direct dialog were later used to create the 1967 low budget film "Journey Through The Center of Time." While I have just rediscovered "Journey..." I had absolutely no idea that "TTT" existed, with "Journey..." even getting more theater exposure and later television airplay. I am a big fan of "Journey..." but I am also a HUGE fan of AIP, Sam Arkoff is my hero. It is rumored that this film was the basic idea for the Irwin Allen's TV show, "The Time Tunnel". I saw this film as a matinée item sometime in the mid-sixties, and of course never forgot it. Later at the Hollywood Egyptian theater around 2003, Steve Franken and director Ib Melchior hosted a screening and Q&A afterward. I should have been there to honor both of them. The film gave me a lot of entertainment. I recall the mutant attack on the androids, and one of them being beaten to a pulp. I'll look forward to getting the original length movie on DVD one day...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This flick, like: World Without End, Rocket Ship X-M, and other, are
what sci-fi is all about at least to me. I watched this every time it
was on TV as a kid(I'm a 45yr old sci-fi writer now, former screen
scenarist) and truly loved it. It was about themes, then--SF had
sociological themes, cultural themes, somewhat educational themes.
writers wrote cool stuff that often could not be expressed with the low
tech of the era. Time Travelers shows how to destroy the world through
the unconscienced use of science. When you have the technology but not
the morality or fundamental spiritual decency, you get twisted by the
glitz, glamor, and wonderment of your own technological prowess.
Flicks like this one are cool because in today's era of accidents on the roads caused by drivers on cell phones, and the de-personalization of families because everyone is "doing their own thing" and only in "touch" via text messages or cell calls, sci-fi flicks show the human tragedy of overdependance on technology! If the power grid fails cause a flock of birds or a hoard of bugs enters a vent, or lightning strikes a tower, if the cell towers or network go down, would humanity survive? This flick shows the deterioration of man as he relies too much on his gadgets, toys, and "stuff"--(SPOILER HERE):The mutants who are primitives are winning their war, BECAUSE they are Primitive!
So, all you 20 somethings out there, and teens out there, watch out, lest you fall prey to the "gods in the machines!" When there ain't any more electricity, where ya gonna be?????
I saw this movie many times when I was growing up and was fascinated by the concept. I must have seen this movie at least a dozen times and I am now in the process of purchasing this DVD through EBay. I just noticed some very close similarities between parts of this movie and Director George Pals, "When Worlds Collide". The parts that look to be similar are when they are building the spaceship. My best guess is that the Director of "The Time Travelers" copied this part from "When Worlds Collide". Nonetheless, this movie in my humble opinion is a classic for SciFi. I just wish that they considered a sequel. Are there any Directors out there would would consider a remake?
Three scientists and the inevitable everyday Joe are catapulted over a
hundred years into the future by a lab accident, into a
post-apocalyptic nightmare in which atomic war has devastated the
planet. Pursued by a band of savage mutants, they're rescued by the
last few humans, a small group of scientists and technicians engaged in
a race against time to construct a starship and get away before the
more numerous mutants can break through their defenses.
None of these elements is particularly new to the genre, but writer/director Ib Melchior manages to combine them into a fairly entertaining and occasionally original piece of "upper low-budget" sf cinema. This isn't to say that the pace doesn't occasionally lag a bit toward the middle, with some sequences feeling like they were inserted just to pad out the running time. (Like a totally unnecessary scene devoted to what's supposed to be a demonstration of their futuristic "matter transmitter", which is clearly just a stage magician's prop.)
Mostly, though, there's scarcely a moment wasted in exposition or character development, as the story barrels along to its truly unique conclusion.
Set design, miniatures, costuming and makeup -- particularly the androids -- are surprisingly good, for its budget. The optical effects are sparse but imaginative. Though it's early in his distinguished career, having Vilmos Zsigmond behind the camera also contributes considerably to making this a much more polished and expensive-looking production than you'd normally expect to see from American International.
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