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10.24.2017
Time Machine, The (1978)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
07.30.09

Time Machine, The (1978) A Russian missile is going to crash into the middle of Los Angeles so the government decides to send an exprimental guidance missile to intercept it. However, , they need the Mega computer to take the guidance control and this is of course at The Mega Corporation. Neal Perry (John Beck), one of the top scientists working there, reprograms the computer with a pocket calculator. He's been allowed to work on his own projects and has created a time machine. While the bosses believe him right off, that he created a time machine, they aren't all that impressed and are upset he spent 20 million dollars of their budget on this rather than a weapon.

They want him to work on an anti-matter bomb so he decides to tests his machine and travels back in time. When he's in the time stream it's like the 70's Doctor Who Tardis.

First, he encounters pilgrims, though it still looks like dry California. They think his machine is a tool of the devil and condemn him as a witch, set to burning him and the machine together (no one was ever burned at the stake in North America) He escapes and goes to the old West. Finally, he goes to the far future to see if the weapons designed by his company ended the world. First, he appears on a dried up lake bed, the atmosphere low on oxygen and high in radiation. Thousands of years later he ends up in a forest. He almost gets clubbed by the human looking Eloi, but a girl named Weena (Priscilla Barnes) stops this. There are just a handful of humans who are alive and they live in an old stone building that is a museum of weapons

Neal discovers that the Morlocks, who live below, and are depicted by lame latex masks and glowing eyes, are feeding on the Eloi like cattle. He reasons the only way to stop them doing this is to utterly destroy them, which he does with plastic explosive from the museum.

He goes back to the present to warn his war hungry employers of the danger but they only want to use his time machine to get the heads up on new technology. So Neal packs up a bunch of books and belongings and returns to the future, to educate the Eloi and restart mankind....

I've had fond memories of this from when it first aired--but it holds up poorly over time and is very dated. Perhaps the worst film version of H.G. Well's classic novel.

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