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The Shape of Things to Come
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Shape of Things to Come More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Total dud

Author: DavidParis from Sydney, Australia
18 August 2005

With the names Jack Palance and Carol Lynley above the title, you would think that The Shape of Things to Come (purportedly from the book by HG Wells, although I see little similarity) would be a sci-fi adventure to die for.

Well, it is...after watching this for half an hour you realise that yes, you have actually died and gone to hell. The special effects are below average for their time and the cast performs VERY badly. Palance has some interesting moments playing one of his typical evil characters but on the whole is fairly bland. As for Carol Lynley, who I usually adore, Niki is by far her worst performance, mainly due to her monosyllabic delivery.

However there are some laugh-out loud moments (unintentional), mainly caused by the cast's feigned fear of the "robots" which are obviously stunt men in cardboard looking costumes who look about as fearsome as a newborn.

Don't waste your time with this tripe, watch Star Wars instead.

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You do have to be pretty forgiving with this one.

Author: Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) from Canada
11 September 2016

"The Shape of Things to Come" is the second screen adaptation of the H.G. Welles story, after the 1936 film "Things to Come". It stars a few veterans (Jack Palance, John Ireland, Barry Morse, Carol Lynley) and two Canadians who were then up-and-comers: Nicholas Campbell ('Da Vinci's Inquest') and Anne-Marie Martin ("Prom Night" 1980). Bright young Jason (Campbell) and his scientist father (Morse) venture into space with Kim (Martin), the daughter of a senator (Ireland), in a future setting where robot wars have decimated Planet Earth and humans live in colonies on the moon. Their self-appointed mission is to throw a monkey wrench into the plans of nefarious villain Omus (Palance), a power hungry would-be dictator who once studied under Morse.

This one does seem to be mostly disliked, and the reason why is clear early on. This was obviously done on a limited budget, and the filmmaking (direction by Canadian born George McCowan, "Frogs") definitely lacks distinction. This is admittedly minor league fare with low grade effects, and is an unmemorable adaptation of the story, but this viewer found it impossible to actively hate it. It's all appealing enough, ultra cheap effects and all. Even the robot characters, as extremely clunky looking as they are, are endearing in a hearkening- back-to-sci fi-B-pictures-of-the-50s sort of way. The main robot character "Sparks", voiced by Greg Swanson and performed by Mark Parr, is endearing.

Palance and Ireland are just picking up paychecks here. Both Lynley and Martin are simply gorgeous. Martin and Campbell are very sincere and likable. Morse has more to work with than his other veteran co-stars and gives the best performance in the movie.

If you're a die hard science fiction buff, you may want to see it for completions' sake.

Five out of 10.

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Spread That Cheese Like You Owe Me Some Money

Author: gavin6942 from United States
7 June 2016

In the future, human race sets up colonies on the Moon, when Earth becomes uninhabitable. A madman decides to destroy the Moon colonies with his robots and automated ships and only three people and their robot dog can stop him.

Wow. In the future, the world will be threatened by a cheesy-dialogue Jack Palance in a stupid cape! Who can save us? Awful robots so dumb they couldn't even get a job on "Battlestar Galactica"? It sure seems that way, doesn't it? Thanks to Blue Underground, you can see this film in the finest quality possible. Now, there is nothing they can do to make the movie any better, but at least it will look and sound good while you make fun of it.

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I enjoy this movie raw, even with its shortcomings

Author: Viljami Louhio from Finland
1 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The most obvious shortcoming is the silly "Hyperspeed dance"-scene, where the crew twirls around the ship like in a ballet. At the same time there is this failed visual effect where ship is hovering with bubble that I always have failed to realize what it stands for. But don't get me wrong, you will be just as happy as the crew when you have survived the scene.

Other minor nuances are the children of earth and the "Robot teleporting" which is randomly seeded throughout the movie. While the robots are quite low-tech visual effects I still find them quite interesting part of the movie. The Sparks has few good observations and doesn't nag stupidly like many of the other machines from the same era of movies. Also I still find the robots of Delta Three very intimidating with their heavy-duty crushing arms with electrocuting fingers.

The main cast performs well mostly but I think the villain Omus (Jack Palance) really has all the characteristics to carry such an important role with dignity. Although that dignity will suffer a dent in a hilarious effect fumble at the end of the movie.

I would recommend this movie to everyone who doesn't have high prejudice or expectations for visual effects from this era (and can disregard the "hyperspace-ballet")

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Ah, such awful crap! How can you NOT love it!

Author: hetoreyn from Canada
3 April 2015

Yeah I know .. this film hits the fan pretty hard an spray's its cinematic excrement all around as it starts with what looks like a promising beginning (it's what it's promising i didn't like :P).

The opening theme is ballsy enough and all to the visual of a big explosion. Should be good right?

The start of the film actually looks like it'll be pretty sweet but very quickly you get to understand that this film is going to hurt. DEEEEEP HURTING!!

Lazy script writing, bone headed plot devices, boring performances. It's pretty clear that the biggest problem here is that no one .. not the actors, not the crew .. and certainly not he script writer .. knew what film they were trying to make. Everyone's trying pretty hard to look sincere but this was a story that needed about $40,000,000 to tell, and not $3,000,000.

Lets look at the good points:

Cinematography and editing is pretty solid. At least the camera crew knew what they were doing, and the editor definitely did his best with the material provided.

At least there's some familiar faces even if they're not utilized any where near their potential.

Ermm ... I guess that's it :P I gotta admit personally I LOVED the music score. It's hard to discern why, it's just got something that I like. I've seen a lot of B movies and most suffer from mediocre music score .. whereas this one I just enjoy listening to that crazy title theme.

Bottom Line .. this movie is f***ing awful, but it's one of those kinds of movies you'll love if you're a nut for B movies. It's soon bad that it's positively good. As someone else suggested .. it should be a cult classic for being bad. It's still not as bad as anything that Bert I. Gordon .. or Colman Francis made. And this film totally should have been riffed by MST3K .. I guess the only reason it wasn't was because of licensing rights.

You won't be missing anything if you skip this title. But it's awesome for a crap-fest.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

The worst sci-fi film I have seen in a movie-theatre

Author: pvd007 from Zurich, Switzerland
15 September 1999

This film was released in Swiss theatres in 1979. It is probably the worst film I have ever seen in a movie theatre. Terrible story, bad acting, even worse special effects. I have voted on 1718 films in the IMDb and I have given TSoTtC a 2 out of 10 (there are worse films that have been released to video only, like OCTAMAN for example for which I voted with a straight 1 out of 10)

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Some things remains in memory

Author: Hansom from Turkey
19 December 2003

As a film, is forgettable. But even the worst films leave in your memory some images. On this, is memorable the scene of Omus (Jack Palance) appearing as an giant hologram, looking at the void and turning round. The beauty of Anne Marie Martin is vanished by his awful role and same happens with Barry Morse. A tip of advice: look just only one time.

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