Friday, May 20, 2016

Doomsday Machine (1972)

Rare is the film lacking any redeeming values, but Doomsday Machine fits the bill—only those determined to see all of the worst movies ever made need to experience this space junk. A sci-fi saga about the crew of an interstellar mission tasked with restarting the human race after Red China inexplicably triggers a nuclear apocalypse, Doomsday Machine was mostly filmed in 1967, and then haphazardly completed five years later with a replacement cast. The 1967 footage, which comprises the bulk of the picture, is brainless and cheap and dull, so leaving the project unfinished would have been the better move. Spaceship interiors from the 1967 footage look ridiculous, as if a few handmade gadgets and some brightly colored lighting gels are sufficient for creating otherworldly atmosphere; even the folks behind the worst episodes of the original Star Trek series put more effort into creating illusions. As for the spaceship exteriors, they’re even worse. The only reason the ignominious fate of Doomsday Machine might seem disappointing is if the acting was interesting, with actors striving to elevate terrible material. Not so. Despite the fleeting presence of Mike Farrell and Casey Kasem in tiny roles, the folks responsible for the heavy dramatic lifting in Doomsday Voyage are D-listers rendering indifferent work. By the time this dud reaches its idiotic climax, which involves a conversation between astronauts and a telepathic voice representing the total population of the planet Venus, Doomsday Voyage has managed to make things like the apocalypse, attempted space rape, bleeding eyeballs, and even international espionage boring.

Doomsday Machine: SQUARE

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