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Project X (1968)

Unrated  |   |  Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  May 1968 (USA)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 251 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 13 critic

A spy is brought back from cryogenic suspension after being almost killed in a plane crash returning from a mission to learn about a deadly new weapon being developed in the East. But the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Hagan Arnold
Greta Baldwin ...
Karen Summers
...
Dr. Crowther
...
Gregory Gallea
...
Col. Holt
Phillip Pine ...
Dr. Lee Craig (as Phillip E. Pine)
...
Dr. Tony Verity
Ivan Bonar ...
Col. Cowen
Robert Cleaves ...
Dr. George Tarvin
Charles Irving ...
Maj. Tolley
Sheila Bartold ...
Sybil Dennis
Patrick Wright ...
Stover
Maryesther Denver ...
Overseer
...
Sen Chiu (as Key Luke)
Ed Prentiss ...
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Storyline

A spy is brought back from cryogenic suspension after being almost killed in a plane crash returning from a mission to learn about a deadly new weapon being developed in the East. But the vital memories are being suppressed, so the authorities use ultra-advanced technologies to try to uncover the secret. Written by Niz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It Happened In This Universe A Long Time Ahead, The Year 2118...

Genres:

Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

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Release Date:

May 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anno 2118: progetto X  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Monte Markham did his own stunts in the film. Markham also performed his first-ever onscreen punch in a scene with Larry Duran (Marlon Brando's stunt double) and accidentally gave Duran a bloody nose. See more »

Quotes

Hagan Arnold: The West will be destroyed in 14 days. Repeat, 14 days.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
PROJECT X (William Castle, 1968) ***
1 May 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Following a couple of lame genre spoofs starring Sid Caesar, producer/director William Castle had hoped to return to his previous successful formula – albeit via a more sober approach – with the screen adaptation of Ira Levin's classic diabolical chiller ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968); however, the powers-that-be at Paramount only allowed him to produce, while placing acclaimed Polish auteur Roman Polanski – in what would prove his U.S. debut – at the helm. The resulting film was a veritable milestone of the genre – but, in compensation, Castle was given the movie under review to direct…after which, as it turned out, he lay down his boots in this capacity for six years running! Incidentally, 1968 also marked a great year for Science-Fiction cinema, under which banner – the former Horror master's first and last – PROJECT X falls, since it saw the release of both 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and PLANET OF THE APES which, needless to say, overshadowed Castle's effort…even if, for what it is worth, along with his subsequent bizarre venture SHANKS (1974), the director's last two pictures emerged as definitely his most original (thus interesting and considerable)!

Anyway, to be sure, the movie is a futuristic tale with ideas far above its' maker's usual station (only THE TINGLER {1959}'s analysis of Fear and HOMICIDAL {1961}'s probing into personality disorder, both dealt within the context of a shocker, had previously attempted anything of substance); indeed, here we have a secret agent struck by amnesia while in possession of the enemy's plan for world domination! While this can be seen on the one hand as the director's take on the current craze for James Bond imitations (thus resembling FANTASTIC VOYAGE {1966} in its mix of sci-fi and espionage), the plot also involves an elaborate scheme to induce a fictional, past and crime-oriented existence into the leading man's psyche in the hope that his subsequent paranoid feeling can unleash – via holograms depicting his unconscious state – the vital information needed to thwart the Orient's nefarious designs on the Western world! In this respect, it anticipates the likes of the two TOTAL RECALL (1990 and 2012) movies and THE TRUMAN SHOW (1998)…while also keeping in mind that the WWII thriller 36 HOURS (1964) had already used a similar ruse!

The film, then, is decidedly fascinating and relatively satisfying in the long run; that said, some elements – owing perhaps to its B-movie origins – do not work. For starters, Christopher George (who had been so striking as John Wayne's black-clad nemesis in Howard Hawks' EL DORADO {1967}) never really gains our sympathy as the perplexed hero (indeed, genial scientist Henry Jones emerges as the true protagonist)! Since the two narrative strands – real (that is, 22nd century) and fabricated (contemporary) – move in fits and starts, one has to constantly tweak his mind-set to the characters' within each particular setting; besides, their own adjustment to the 1960s lifestyle is too smooth despite professing obliviousness to what passed for the norm in that by-gone era – while the would-be technological advancement produces predictably streamlined sets (albeit featuring now-hilariously gargantuan computer systems imparting inevitably archaic feedback) and goofy costumes (notably transparent helmets for the men at the military base and skimpy outfits for the female factory-workers)!

An intriguing yet potentially exasperating notion was the use of solarization, aided by a bit of Hanna-Barbera animation for good measure (a' la FORBIDDEN PLANET {1956}), for the recreated images pertaining to the 'lost' mission – which also see Keye Luke as the 'yellow' mastermind and Monte Markham as a defector (eventually violently dispatched by George's telepathic skill much like the same year's THE POWER!). By the way, I had first acquired this via a washed-out VHS rip but, realizing it had been jointly released on DVD and BluRay by Olive Films, I managed to acquire a copy of this handsome-looking edition in time for my ongoing centenary tribute to Castle!


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