Beyond the Universe (1981)

Article 3868 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-8-2012
Posting Date: 3-17-2012
Directed by Robert Emenegger
Featuring David Ladd, Jacqueline Ray, Christopher Cary
Country: USA
What it is: Science fiction drama

In the twentieth century, mankind is on the verge of dying off after two nuclear wars, and martial law is put into place. A scientist with a plan for saving humanity finds himself forced to work on a project to which he objects, but he has the help of a group of rebels who plan to help him carry out his own plan…

I recognized the names of director Robert Emenegger and producer Allan Sandler in the credits at once, and I discovered that I had already encountered them a few times in my cinematic journeys. I have yet to see a good movie from them, but I also have yet to see a worthless movie from them, either; as bad as they can be at times, they also make movies that are not obvious rehashes of better known movies and there are occasionally interesting ideas in them. This one starts out like a typical dystopian movie before subtly adding some elements that remind me of STAR WARS, but it ends like something from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, and even if that makes the movie sound like a real hodgepodge, it nonetheless feels organically whole, if not competently acted or directed. So maybe it was no surprise I kept thinking of Kilgore Trout while watching this movie; he’s the fictional science fiction writer from the works of Kurt Vonnegut who, despite being a bad writer, has fans because he has such interesting ideas. Maybe that’s why there are certain bad directors we love; they sometimes give us something that nobody else really gives us, which may explain why people like Andy Milligan have staunch defenders. No, I can’t recommend this movie, but if you do watch it, I don’t think it will be a total waste of time.


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