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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Watergate & Westworld -- 1973 was a busy year for news and sci-fi. President Nixon's troubles began when the Watergate Scandal broke. American troops were being withdrawn from Vietnam. The Apes franchise wraps up and there were a couple of memorable landmark films produced. Soylent Green and Westworld made lasting impressions. Amid a fairly normal volume of independent and formulaic B films showing the influence of television style.

The Asphyx -- An 1800s photographer accidentally discovers the spirit of death and his own immortality.

The Crazies -- George Romero's variation on The Andromeda Strain. A secret government germ makes a small town go crazy.

Genesis II -- Gene Rodenberry's update on Buck Rogers. 20th century scientist is awakened in post-apocalyptic 24th century new Earth.

The Big Game -- Shadowy spies brainwash an inventor's son to try and steal his mind-control-radar device.

Soylent Green -- Charlton Heston stars in future dystopia tale of food shortages, population controls and a grim solution.

Invasion of the Bee Girls -- Young women given "bee" powers, can kill men by "overstimulation." Will the Queen make a whole deadly hive?

Idaho Transfer -- Obscure scientist makes time travel machine to study post-apocalyptic earth, but his students must trap themselves in that future.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes -- Roddy McDowall returns for 5th and final installment, which tries to wrap up the saga.

The Neptune Factor -- Disaster film about a seabed station lost in a earthquake, and subsequent search for survivors.

Westworld -- Future amusement park runs amok from computer virus. Robot gunslinger (Yul Bryner) goes rogue, chasing/killing guests.

Fantastic Planet -- French animated film about humans as feral vermin on planet of giant blue beings.

Sleeper -- Woody Allen's variation on Rip Van Winkle, chock full of satire for 20th century urbane culture.

Day of the Dolphin -- George C. Scott as scientist who teaches dolphins to speak english. Assassination conspirators steal them.


Randall Landers said...

My favorite of this bunch has to be GENESIS II, sad as that may be.

thingmaker said...

I can see the problem with 1973... It's a weak enough bunch that "Genesis II" rather stands out. Still, I would have to say that "Soylent Green" edges it out for me.
Just grabbing from my collection:
"A Cold Nights Death" - 1973 (arguably supernatural, but lacking an actual explanation of events, I consider it, broadly, SF.)
"World on a Wire" (German telefilm from 1973 in 3 parts - so, like the Quatermass serials, I suppose you won't cover it... Pity.)
"Submersion of Japan" - Nippon Chinbotsu - 1973 (This is actually a VERY good movie. I just saw the intact version and it is amazing.)