Sunday, March 22, 2015

Doomsday Machine - 1972

I must preface this by saying I know I did not want to review any more films skewered by MST3K or Cinematic Titanic.  I watched this because it is the last film on my Grindhouse Sci Fi boxset, and I've been neglecting it too long.  So for the purpose of completing my review of all the films on that set, I watched this, without riffing by hilarious Joel, Trace, Mary Jo, Frank and J. Elvis.  I've also decided "fuck it".  I will watch movies skewered by riffing peoples.  Because that's excluding some of the wackiest films out there.  And since I don't follow Rifftrax that much it's entirely possible that I've reviewed films they've made fun of.  So, fuck it, rule lifted.

I do see why they riffed this movie though.  In trying to be progressive, in trying to be sciency and cool, this movie failed big time.  It hurts, honestly.  It's not entertaining, good, fun, or even interesting.

The film begins with the imminent launching of a rocket.  The astronauts, a crew of 7 are wandering around, acting cool, and everyone at the launch pad is also wandering around, saying things.  Then the executive order comes in, shortly before takeoff.  The crew has changed at the last minute, and rather than 7 men on the ship, it will now be 4 men and 3 women.  Oh and have I mentioned that they'll be going to the planet Venus, which is going to take the 2 years?

Knowing that they won't be able to keep it in their pants that long seems to be the main plot point of this movie, as everyone talks about it endlessly.  But nothing is to be done, and the ship goes ahead and takes off.  Then in space everything is going averagely.  I don't really remember anyone's name even though I just finished it, but there's:
1) the asshole (man) immediately starts hitting on the most expendable forgettable girl
2) the expendable forgettable girl, who gets hit on by above dude, but also leads him on 
3) the old guy with heart problems who probably shouldn't have been on the trip to begin with
4) the nice guy who immediately falls in love with the innocent girl
5) the innocent girl who immediately falls in love with the nice guy
6) the expendable forgettable nice guy who is obviously going to try and sacrifice himself
7) the "ethnic" in this case Russian girl who is sweet on the above sacrificial dude

The asshole causes problems, the Russian and the sacrificial guy are sweet on each other, and everything moves along at a snails pace.  One cool thing, is that the "Doomsday Machine" is why there are girls on the ship.  You see, America learned the evil Chinese have this nuke that will essentially destroy the world, and by putting women on the ship they could potentially have some kids in the new world of Venus once they land there, should America (and the world) blow up.

Once this is explained, the world promptly does blow up.  So this movie gets to be one of those with the highest death toll, as 6 billion or so people die in it.  Nice.

The ending was also kind of cool, where (spoilers) at the last possible minute before they reach Venus, they get a phantom call, from people already living on Venus.  The Venusians know of man's destructive tendencies and don't want them to land there.  However, they do open a portal and send the ship to another place where they can land.  Although the movie ends before we know if they land or not, it's an implied happy ending and it's at least kind of original.

It wasn't anything special, and deserved to be riffed on.  And I find the asshole/love interest to him interactions to be insulting and degrading.  Especially cause she does lead him on.  Which I am just going to write off to a bad original script.

I dunno.  1.5 stars sounds about right.

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