Stars: Raymond Massey, Margaretta Scott, Ralph Richardson, Sir Cedric Hardwicke
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 100 minutes
H.G. Wells' The Shape of Things to Come is so deliriously bad that it begs inclusion in any collection of 1970s kitsch. It's a disco-flavored variant of TV's Buck Rogers in the 25th Century--just another no-budget rider on the coattails of Star Wars. Only a fool would perceive even a slight connection to Wells's classic novel, to which this misleadingly titled cheese-fest is ostensibly a sequel. Their careers in sorry decline, Jack Palance, Carol Lynley, Barry Morse (late of TV's Space: 1999), and John Ireland look embarrassed as they wrestle with a wearisome post-apocalyptic plot that pitches Morse, a pair of Ken-and-Barbie heroes, and their quirky robot (of course) against megalomaniac emperor Palance, who controls a drug needed for survival of moon-based colonists. Prior to directing this laughable mess, George McCowan had helmed episodes of several prominent TV action series of the '70s, but here he devolves into moribund hackwork. This is a ham sandwich sans bread, from a time when stale sci-fi was spreading like mold on George Lucas's leftovers. --Jeff Shannon
Oh, God, is there ever to be any age of happiness? Is there never to be any rest?
Rest enough for the individual man -- too much, and too soon -- and we call it death. But for Man, no rest and no ending. He must go on, conquest beyond conquest. First this little planet with its winds and ways, and then all the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets about him and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when he has conquered all the deeps of space and all the mysteries of time, still he will be beginning.
But... we're such little creatures. Poor humanity's so fragile, so weak. Little... little animals.
Little animals. If we're no more than animals, we must snatch each little scrap of happiness and live and suffer and pass, mattering no more than all the other animals do or have done. Is it this? Or that? All the universe? Or nothingness? Which shall it be, Passworthy? Which shall it be?