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Monday, September 12, 2016

World Without End (1956)

A group of astronauts are returning to Earth from a mission to Mars when they are caught in a time warp and sent spiraling 550 years into the future. What they find is an Earth desolated by nuclear war and humans living underground while murderous mutants prowl the Earth's surface. Written and directed by Edward Bernds (QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE), this "B" piece of science fiction is modestly entertaining and bears a strong resemblance to THE TIME MACHINE which would come 3 years later and which also starred Rod Taylor who plays one of the astronauts here. But a lawsuit was avoided. For a minor piece of sci-fi, it looks quite nice as shot by Ellsworth Fredericks (he shot INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS the same year) in CinemaScope and Technicolor with a strong production design by Dave Milton (HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL). It's not a serious piece of sci-fi, it's the kind of sci-fi where all the women are gorgeous and wear mini skirts and high heels while the men are soft and weak so our masculine astronauts look even better to the women of the planet. Some of the special effects (like the mutant spiders) are a bit cheesy but it only gives the movie an added bit of charm. In addition to Rod Taylor, the cast includes the dull and stalwart Hugh Marlowe, Nancy Gates, Nelson Leigh, Lisa Montell, Shawn Smith and Christopher Dark.

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