Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
I was surprised to learn that David Gerrold was the author of this
episode and question why he wrote under a pseudonym. It could be that
his original script was so altered to be not up to his standards. This
is typical of writers who see their work altered to fit producer's or
studio's standards. Gerrold is a better author than this story
indicates. Just watch Star Trek's "The Trouble with Tribbles."
The idea, can you change history, was hardly a new idea when this episode was shown. The Twilight Zone, Start Trek, One Step Beyond, all featured stories with the idea that time travel would not solve all of humanity's ills. Later, Dean Gregorais would use a Philip K. Dick story with this theme to write "Paycheck" staring Ben Affleck.
While the basic story is good, and the actors do the best with what they are given, the plot stereotypes are legion. It is cheaper to produce a science fiction show this way, but not necessary.
By this time in the series, if you are binge viewing like I did, you
notice the frequent borrowing of other plots and ideas from other
sources. This was so common in 1970s sci-fi as to actually tarnish the
reputation of some, otherwise worthy, shows. It was probably done to
keep costs down, but also because most studios simply saw science
fiction as a money generator, and not a literary genera unto itself.
This story was borrowed from, most recently, the original Star Trek Season 1 episode "The Enemy Within," written by Richard Matheson. The idea of dividing a person into good and evil is not as well explored in this show, but it is interesting nevertheless.
The other thing I am noticing is the use of Star Trek sound effects. machine sounds, computer sounds, even the "swoosh" of the doors as they open and close. Again, a cost saving tactic often used in expensive science fiction shows of the 1970s and 80s.
The problem with having a legitimate name, like H.G. Wells, is that some
people use it to make their work seem legitimate. That is the case with
this film. It has nothing to do with the Wells story, and has little
of its own to recommend it.
It does have legitimate actors in it and that is what is confusing. Why Oscar winner Jack Palance, and Carol Lynley, of Poseidon Adventure fame, would agree to even read for this movie is beyond understanding. It must have been a lost bet or a tax write off of some sort.
Now please understand, I like bad Sfi-Fi movies. I will even recommend "The Giant Claw" just for the silly puppet bird monster. I saw this film, in a theater, on Christmas Eve, when the doorman was feeling in the spirit and let us in for free. It still was not worth the money.
Remember, you do not get time wasted back at the end of your life. Do not waste the time seeing this "film."
I am a Roger Corman fan from way back. He has hit a lot of balls out of
ball park, but this one grounded out on third.
It comes across as a mini-series that was edited down to one film. Major plot points, and the ending, were left on the cutting room floor. The superior cast, especially for a Corman film, seems left standing around waiting for the next page of the script to be delivered. The ending was filmed on a day when the script never showed up at all, leaving the actors to "wing it."
It is too bad really because the idea seems original enough. A new spin on a story that has been done to death (so to speak). Maybe the rest of the film will be restored someday and Corman will have another classic on his hands. Until then, skip this one and rent "Tomb of Ligiea."
The main problem with this film is that it is hard to fined. With over 100
cable channels, each showing only the top 25 movies, again and again, (look,
I like Starship Troopers as much as the next guy, but five times in four
days????) what will happen to the small gems of the silver screen? Is there
no room for films like this one?
Anyway, this is a good movie, on many levels. If you are a 50's (not 60's as has been stated in other reviews) movie fan you will recognize the films this one is paying tribute to. It also is looking at the last days of 50's innocence, with the wild 60's already creeping in. John Goodman, long overlooked by Hollywood, does a fine job of playing the last of the movie showman. In the decades before video, before "independent film" became classy, these guys had to sell their movies town by town. With T.V. breathing down their necks they had to re-invent the movie experience, most often on a shoe-string budget. AMC's "Ballyhoo" covered this era quite well and would be a nice companion piece.
The problem with this film, is that it is a lost gem. Seldom shown, seldom seen, and only a few video stores will carry it (saving the shelf space for "Starship Troopers"). But if you do find it, watch it. Show it to your parents (it was their era), and remember the next time you plunk $8.00 down for a summer blockbuster, there was a time when movie houses gave you a real show for your money.