The Bubble (1966)

aka Fantastic Invasion of the Planet Earth
Article 2911 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-27-2009
Posting Date: 8-2-2009
Directed by Arch Oboler
Featuring Michael Cole, Deborah Walley, Johnny Desmond
Country: USA

A plane makes an emergency landing in order to get a pregnant woman to a hospital. The passengers of the plane discover that the residents of the town they are in are acting strangely, and they soon discover that the whole area is surrounded by a sphere so that no one can leave.

Arch Oboler had a hit with the first full-length movie in 3-D, BWANA DEVIL. Here he is, returning to the process 14 years later (though it’s redubbed “space vision” here), long after the 3-D craze had passed. One of the main attractions here is that the movie really works the 3-D angle; one almost expects Dr. Tongue to appear. Unfortunately, the story is an exercise in frustration. It starts out well enough due to the mysterious premise, but it’s another one of those movies which is cluttered with character-developing moments. Now, there really is nothing wrong with character development if the characters are essential to the movie or help drive the plot in some way, but here, it feels more like an attempt to pad the film than anything else. It also doesn’t help that we’re given nothing in the way of concrete answers; we get endless speculation on insufficient evidence, and even when a new wrinkle to the mystery shows up, it’s just another thing that will fail to be resolved or explained. Those who get off on existentialism might like this one, though I most recommend it for those who like to see things like brooms come right out of the screen at them.


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