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Thursday, December 15, 2011


The dreams of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and countless sci-fi writers, was realized in July, 1969. The wide-eyed fascination of Destination Moon ('50) became reality. 1969 was not, however, an outstanding year for sci-fi. For the most part, it was populated with old-formula, remakes and foreign imports. The notable exception being Marooned: a bigger budget production about an Apollo mission.

The Illustrated Man -- Based on Ray Bradbury stories, about a man tattooed by a woman of the future, whose tattoos foretell the future.

Blood beast terror -- A rogue scientist has created a were-moth: beautiful woman by day, giant vampire moth by night.

The Green Slime -- An alien life form infests an orbiting space station. They feed on energy and seek to attack earth next.

Body Stealers -- Aliens steal skydivers to help them rebuild their dying civilization, until the leader alien falls in love with an earthling.

The Valley of Gwangi -- Remake of Beast of Hollow Mountain. Dinosaurs in hidden valley ranchers in the old west.

The Bed Sitting Room -- British comedy about post-apocalyptic England. Amid other absurdities, radiation mutates some people into inanimate objects.

The Monitors -- An odd comedy about a bungling resistance movement against aliens who have taken over and manage Earth for the betterment of mankind.

Journey to the Far Side of the Sun -- A space mission discovers that Earth has an exact duplicate in an exact opposite orbit, so never seen.

Marooned -- An Apollo mission is trapped in orbit with no way down. Can an experimental rocket shuttle get to them before their oxygen runs out?

Latitude Zero -- A Toho take on Captain Nemo. An arch villain seeks to destroy the idyllic undersea city of Latitude Zero.

Genocide -- A deranged biologist, sponsored by communists, breeds killer bugs, but a lost H-bomb exposes the scheme.

Hibernatus -- French comedy about a man found alive after frozen in arctic ice for 65 years. To avoid fatal shock, everyone pretends it is still 1905. The charade unravels riotously.

It's Alive -- Low-budget horror hybrid based on Matheson story. A roadside attraction owner keeps a prehistoric creature and feeds it tourists.


Anonymous said...

Hey, the link to "Latitude Zero" doesn't work. The films from this year are predominantly odd.

Nightowl said...

Thanks for the heads-up. The link was missing the .html. All fixed now.

NWProf said...

"The films from this year are predominantly odd."

This year was profoundly odd. The Viet Nam War was raging and I was drafted. Gov. Rhodes in Ohio felt no remorse in murdering 4 students at Kent State. And that seemed to take the wind out of protests around the country, and, I would argue, started the demise of the middle class.

As for the movies, "Marooned" was eerily prescient of the future voyage of Apollo 13. "The Illustrated Man" would have been terrific if it had been anything like Bradbury's book. But my favorite was "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun." It really held my attention as the astronaut tried to figure where he was. It looked like Earth but everything was reversed. It could have been a block buster but the ending looks like they ran out of money and had to slap on a "finis" real quick.