Thursday, January 15, 2015


Astronaut Robert Clarke is being shot into orbit higher than anyone has ever been, and at one point it appears as if his craft splits into two. He loses contact with ground control but is able to land with no problem. But when he gets out of his plane, the airbase is deserted and indeed looks like it has fallen into ruins. A group of deaf-mutes hustle him away to an underground place called the Citadel where he learns his has traveled in time to the year 2024. A nuclear plague has sent remnants of the human race underground—too many atomic bomb tests tore apart the ozone layer and the earth is ravaged by dangerous cosmic rays. Only a handful of people can still speak, including an old guy called The Supreme (no Motown puns, please), and even fewer are fertile, such as his lovely deaf-mute—and telepathic—daughter (Darlene Tompkins). The speaking elite want Clarke to mate with Tompkins, but a small rebellious band of speakers, led by Arienne Ulmer, want to get Clarke back to his own time to warn everyone and make the world stop the bomb tests. For a B-movie (directed by the king of the Bs, Edgar G. Ulmer), this is fairly ambitious. Some of it works and some doesn't. The sets, all pyramids and triangles (see picture at right), are pretty nifty for a low-budget film; apparently the interiors were shot in Dallas at the Centennial Fair Grounds. The plot is OK, though the acting is about average, no better. There's a subplot about primitive mutants who suffered the full brunt of the "cosmic plague" and are enslaved which feels like an underbaked steal from The Time Machine. For fans of the B-movie SF genre, it's worth seeing. [DVD]

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