Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Doomsday Machine (1972)

Starring Bobby Van, Ruta Lee, Mala Powers, James Craig, Grant Williams
Directed by Harry Hope & Lee Sholem
(actor & director credits courtesy

After U.S. authorities discover China is in possession of a doomsday weapon, they add women to the crew of a space flight to Venus, so that the human race won't die with the planet Earth.

This film offers a very good sci-fi premise, and it's unfortunate the movie's limited budget and production values can't do it justice.  The special effects are barely serviceable, and although the screenplay and the actors held my interest, this story would have likely been better off in more capable hands.  The movie's not without some fun, as when Williams' character transforms into a loony villain, and it's interesting to see future TV stars Mike Farrell and Casey Kasem pop up in small supporting roles.  However, any positives are completely overwhelmed by a horrible ending, which according to IMDB was filmed years after the rest of the film in order to finish it after production was stalled, but they can't have spent much money.

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