THE TIME TRAV­EL­ERS You’ll like it (not a lot)

SFX - - Reviews - Ian Ber­ri­man

re­leased OUT NOW! 1964 | PG | DVD Di­rec­tor Ib Mel­chior Cast Pre­ston Foster, Philip Carey, Merry an­ders, John Hoyt

Peo­ple of­ten talk about the magic of cinema, but this colour­ful, un­de­mand­ing sci-fi ad­ven­ture is one of the few films that de­liv­ers it in spades – and in the most lit­eral terms.

Pulpily Well­sian, it sees four sci­en­tists trans­ported to a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic 2071 af­ter their ex­per­i­men­tal “time-viewer” short-cir­cuits, turn­ing a win­dow on the fu­ture into a door­way. There they find the last few hu­mans liv­ing un­der­ground, be­sieged by ag­gres­sive mu­tants.

It’s a film low on plot and high on ex­po­si­tion, with much of the screen time spent show­ing us this fu­ture world. For­tu­nately, with its bald, grid-mouthed an­droid ser­vants, out­landish cos­tumes and, er, tan­ning room for half-naked ladies, it’s an en­dear­ingly quirky one. Writer/di­rec­tor Ib Mel­chior’s script also ticks off count­less SF con­cepts: pho­ton propul­sion, sus­pended an­i­ma­tion, tele­por­ta­tion, gen­er­a­tion ships – you name it.

But the chief de­light is the sub­sti­tu­tion of stage magic for spe­cial ef­fects. An edit-free se­quence in which an an­droid lies down, has its head re­moved and re­placed, then gets up and walks away will have you rewind­ing in baf­fled amaze­ment.

Ex­tras None.

Be­cause of their height, some of the mu­tants were played by mem­bers of the LA Lak­ers bas­ket­ball team.

The lemon eat­ing con­test was tough.

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