Saturday, 9 August 2008

No.10 : World Without End

IMDb Link

World Without End is an 1956 sci-fi shocker that influenced such films as ‘The Time Machine’ and ‘Planet of the Apes’. The film opens in the present day, with some families awaiting news of a lost crew of astronauts who are on a reconnaissance mission to Mars. After a seemingly short mission of two orbits the crew head for home but are pulled into an anomaly that speeds up their acceleration and knocks them cold.

The ship crash lands on snow and our men have no idea of their location despite everything looking a bit Earthy. Luckily, despite it being a reconnaissance mission, our men are equipped with winter clothing and guns and they set off in search of some answers. Pretty soon they are below the snow line and in an area that looks suspiciously like California on a Summer’s day. Things hot up as they are attacked by a rubber spider and then some Cyclops cave men.

Seeking sanctuary in a cave the men find a metal door and are soon summoned inside by a fruity dude in futuristic garb. We learn that they are still on Earth (!) and that the year is 2508. Furthermore the world is post apocalyptic and resources are so low that skirts can only be one inch and the men have to wear tights. Years underground have made the men weak and bitchy and all the sexy women are over our guys like flies ‘round a honey pot. This leads to discord as a wimpy bloke plots their downfall for stealing his hot babe. Framed for a murder our men have to clear their names, defeat the Cyclops people and rebuild society, all in 80 minutes - good luck!

This film is a good old laugh if you don’t take it too seriously. It’s basically a stretched ‘Twilight Zone’ episode with cheap special effects and a muddled plot. The first encounter with the giant spider sets a low bench mark as you can clearly see the shadow of the stagehand who shoves it out its hole. The costumes are a lot of fun, as are all the uniformly sexy women who make endless suggestive comments. The wimpy men with tights and helmets are little threat, with the main baddie looking like Dick Emery in space.

The moral issues of hiding in holes and choosing a cushy life over hard graft are quickly resolved and the fate of mankind is never really in danger. I did enjoy the final confrontation with the Cyclops leader and the revelation that it’s only the ugly ones that need killing. It was also funny to see dozens of mutants killed with a bazooka only for them to be called ‘murderers’ when they have the audacity to chuck a spear back in defence.

I enjoyed this quick slab of sci-fi and if you leave your critical hat at home you will too.

Best Bit : “It’s like a big web -whoa!”

‘W’ Score : 17/23

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