H.G. WELLS’ THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME (1979)
Article 2770 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-7-2008
Posting Date: 3-14-2009
Directed by George McCowan
Featuring Jack Palance, Carol Lynley, Barry Morse
Delta Three is the only planet that can supply the Earth with a drug that can combat radiation poisoning. When Delta Three is taken over by a tyrant who plans to cut off supplies of the drug unless he is acknowledged as supreme ruler, a group of heroes leaves the moon to defeat him.
It’s my own personal belief that if you stick the name of a well-known author in the title of a movie you’re making, you should make sure the movie has something to do with the author in question. Still, Mr. Wells need not worry about one thing; I’m positive that he had no hand whatsoever in this idiotic STAR WARS clone. Granted, I didn’t expect much of this one from the beginning; there’s nothing like seeing the name of Harry Alan Towers that makes me pull out my cheese detector, and believe me, there’s a lot of cheese here to get through. Jack Palance does nothing interesting with his role here, but then, the script doesn’t give him anything to work with; he was obviously cast on the strength of his menacing presence alone. At least he was appropriately cast; Carol Lynley (an actress who seems to me to be much more appropriate in roles where she is required to freeze up and become totally useless in times of crisis) is horribly miscast as the leader of a group of rebels (the type of role in which your character should never freeze up and become useless in times of crisis). Throw in some lame robots that look like shorter versions of the ones in TARGET EARTH, a comic relief robot that remains utterly lame, horrible dialogue, and a cliched plot, and you have a thoroughly unsatisfying piece of product.