Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Shape of Things to Come

Director - George McCowan (Affair with a Killer)
Starring - Jack Palance (Horror of the Hungry Humongous Hungan), Carol Lynley (Howling IV: The Freaks), and Barry Morse (Dracula: The Series)
Release Date - 1979
Genre - Adventure/Sci-Fi
Tagline - "Beyond the Earth...beyond the moon.  beyond your wildest imagination"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     Growing up I was into some sci-fi but once I found horror I would often disrespect the genre I once enjoyed.  I grew up watching Star Trek, Star Wars, Lexxx, Farscape, Stargate, Sliders, and so many more with my grandmother.  She absolutely loved the Sci-Fi channel way before they changed their name to Sy-Fy.  As I got older and my mind became horror obsessed I found myself shit talking and degrading sci-fi and I honestly have no idea why I did it.  Now I realize that I was a fucking idiot and often revisit some of those shows and films I grew up living.  Sometime ago Blue Underground announced that they would be releasing the 1979 sci-fi classic The Shape of Things to Come on blu.  I had never seen it but heard great things so I reached out to them and they were kind enough to hook me up with a copy.  Thanks guys!
     The film follows the human race who no longer live on Earth due to the devastation from the robot wars.  They have colonized the moon and we meet the people of New Washington but it is starting to look bleak for the survivors as they need a radiation drug to survive.  Their ship carrying the drug is hijacked and crashed by the self proclaimed emperor of Earth who wants the colonies of the moon to recognize his rule.  This forces the hand of some of the crew member of New Washington to step up and stop the evil emperor and get the much needed radiation medication or suffer utter annihilation.

     I had a lot of my movie friends, not my typical horror pals but my friends that love movies of all genres, tell me that this one was a fun watch.  I was warned by a few that it was very campy and dated but still offered up some fun.  The acting in this one is laughable.  Not in a bad way but it did not fit the era the film was made.  The cast was always upbeat and optimistic regardless of the situation.  It reminded me a lot of how the cast acted in the original Lost in Space series and the Adam West Batman series both of which originally aired in the early 60s.  This made me laugh considering we saw a more serious sci-fi film released that showed real terror in Alien.  The cast is not bad it just doesn't fit a sci-fi film that is closing out the 70s.  The story for this one is solid but very played out by this point.  Not only was it unoriginal for 1979 it has been done to death by 2016.  For a first time watch in 2016 it is very predictable and not very eventful.  It moves very slowly and you can see what is coming from a mile away.  Watching it for the first time in 1979 it can still be predictable but may not be as common as it is now.  Finally, those of you looking for a space adventure in the lines of Star Wars and Alien may be disappointed but if you want something campy and clichĂ©d as the original Star Trek series then you are in the right place.  The film uses several cheap gags to pull off the space effects similar to what Star Trek did in the show which aired well over a decade before this film was released.  Some of the sets and props are laughable like the clear cookie jar on the emperor's head that prevented him from dying.  This stuff is silly and could have been handled better.  Overall, The Shape of Things to Come is a cheap sci-fi film with a modest budget.  The crew didn't seem to care how the film turned out but for those of you that like campy sci-fi and horror flicks this one is well worth your time.  Check it out.

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