Monday, September 30, 2013

I consider 1950s science fiction the best way EVER to escape the frustrations of reality.

In this post: Investing in cheesy 1950s science fiction.

After a mystifying weekend of nonstop sleep — not counting an additional three-hour nap that ended about 30 minutes ago — I’m pleased to report that I feel mostly swell yet slightly hungover at 4:30 on a Monday afternoon. I also would like to add that I’ve posted your next mystery celebrity for the Howdygram’s ongoing Name the Celebrity Contest (see right sidebar) and I recommend that you and all your friends and relatives give this a shot as soon as possible because prizes will be awarded. PRIZES ARE GOOD.

Know what? I just ordered myself an awesome 1950s science fiction four-pack DVD collection from the friendly people at Amazon. For only $10.99 you get an unforgettable movie extravaganza that includes: Them! (1954) starring James Whitmore and Edmund Gwenn; The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms ((1953) starring Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey and Donald Woods; World Without End (1956) starring Hugh Marlowe and Nancy Gates; and Satellite in the Sky (1956) starring nobody you ever heard of.
I consider 1950s science fiction the best way EVER to tune out lots of crap and escape the frustrations of reality. Here at home we’re dealing with Sam’s sister’s illness, his mom’s move into assisted living (the big day is Wednesday) and the useless parasites in Congress. On Saturday we watched World Without End on TCM and it was exactly what the doctor ordered. Glorioski!
The plot is fairly routine. Four American spacemen, pictured below, leave home in 1956 on a mission to orbit Mars and end up in a time warp on the way home that deposits them back on Earth in 2508. The “big names” of the crew here include Hugh Marlow (as John) and Rod Taylor (as Herb). Their rocket ship crash lands in a snow drift somewhere near the north pole, and after a 12-hour hike they apparently walk to Colorado — hey look, everybody! the Rocky Mountains! — equipped with World War II bomber jackets, baseball caps and camera bags, where they’re attacked by a band of violent one-eyed mutants in fur vests and diapers.
Taking refuge in a cave, our intrepid Americans find an open metal door and stroll inside, discovering a society of 2,000 peace-loving humans who live underground and are led by a council of scrawny old men wearing lavender brocade leggings and glitter helmets. There are girls, too, of course, a bunch of mostly-frustrated babes — who can blame them? check out the men! — in short skirts who throw themselves at the Americans and piss off the jealous leader-in-training, a jerk named Mories.
This is all great fun indeed, leading to deception, revenge, pouting, romance, adventure and figuring out how to make a bazooka in a third-rate machine shop. I highly recommend World Without End for high-quality tacky entertainment in Technicolor and some of the best science fiction dialog EVER (the italics are mine). For instance:

Hank, after Eldon figures out they’ve walked to Colorado: “If we’re in Colorado, where’s Denver?” You know, Hank, it’s probably possible to be in Colorado ... and NOT be in Denver.

When the crew first enters the underground colony they encounter a couple of potted plants and a voice that tells them to leave their weapons on the table. John says: “We’d better do as he says. Anyone who could do all this could have killed us long ago.” Do WHAT? Furnish a waiting room?

If you’re not convinced by now to buy this DVD there’s no hope for the human race. Thank you for reading this.

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