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JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF TIME
All this and LYLE WAGGONER too! (not to mention Teddy Roosevelt).
Perhaps the greatest time travel sci-fi film ever - building on the concepts of THE TIME MACHINE (1960) and expanding on them... no?
Did I have you going there...? OK, in truth, this is probably the worst movie about time travel and on my crap list for a long time because it's such a blatant redo / rip-off of THE TIME TRAVELERS (1964), which itself was quite low budget. It's as if some producer in the mid-sixties thought 'hm, we need an even lower-budgeted, slower version of that cheap sci-fi pic about time travel.' However, it's not as bad as I remembered... before the 'action' there's a lot of theorizing (by Sofaer as Doc Gordon) about time travel being the 4th dimension; fans of such sci-fi discussions will no doubt be at least mildly entertained.
There is one near-brilliant moment which I forgot about until I watched this again, at the 8 minute-45 second point of the DVD version I have: as the scientists are busy fiddling with their controls, the spider-rat monster from ANGRY RED PLANET (1960) pops up on the viewscreen for one second; the scientists don't see it, but the audience does (see above picture, right). But, this is one second out of an eighty-minute film, realize. Most of the movie crawls at a very deadly pace.
Scott Brady as Stanton is the rich, obnoxious businessman on this journey who makes a mess of things every 15 minutes or so. His final fate is what elevates this above the bottom of the dung-heap of the truly worst sci-fi, but it ain't much. A lot of people are credited for this (in the very long, slow credits) but I'm thinking none of them did very much - especially the production designer; we're talking very minimalist sets, to put it kindly. There might be some charm in detecting the various steals/homages to better time travel films - at one point, a character states "I have all the time in the world." BoG's Score: 2 out of 10
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