Wonderful 1964 movie which really gave me the creeps as a child. Sure it has some cheesy moments, the special effects are generally poor and there are some loooong sequences of running, laying about, fighting, more running, and factory tours that could really do with an edit. But to quibble would be churlish. This is far more a sci-fi movie than many modern efforts that claim the genre. And how about the spooky soundtrack at the start – perfect!
** SPOILER ALERT **
The screengrab is from my favourite scene in the movie, the moment when the time portal to the lab collapses and the three scientists suddenly realize they’re trapped in the future. I love how the camera lingers on the face of each in turn.
Some of the other highlights include the planetary remote viewer, the android lab and memory reel, and the reasonably realistic discussion about interplanetary flight.
The ending is upbeat, yet you’d have to wonder about the size of the gene pool, it seems a bit low to restart the human race.
Here’s my alternative ending: The mutants attack the base forcing the starship to blast-off early. It leaves successfully, but has had to leave many of the group behind. They then join the three original scientists in the lab and go through the portal. They discover the lab in the same state as the original ending, but the final scene is simply them stepping into total darkness – nothing more – no Garden of Eden! That way you have the positive spin of the starship being on its way balanced by the question of exactly what or where the portal has led the other group: both headed into blackness.
Please tell me what you think in the comments!
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