Doomsday Machine (1972)

Doomsday Machine (1972)

Released: 1972
Genre: Genre
Starring: Mala Powers, Ruta Lee, Bobby Van, ,
Run time: 83 min
IMDb: 2.5/10
Country: USA
Views: 92328


Spies discover that the Red Chinese have built a “doomsday machine” capable of destroying the surface of the Earth, and that they plan to use it within a matter of days. Meanwhile, Project Astra, a manned U.S. space mission to Venus, is in its final hours before launch when it is taken over by the military and nearly half of its all-male crew is replaced by women. The reason for this becomes apparent when, shortly after Astra leaves orbit, the Earth is completely destroyed in a global cataclysm! Is the human race doomed? What dangers and wonders await the crew of the Astra on their journey to Venus?
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User Reviews: Lots of more or less recognizable faces in this El Cheapo Production, most of them over the hill. Of the half dozen astronauts who travel to Venus, Bobby Van is a baby-faced wisecracker, Daniel Wilcoxin started out in movies in 1931, the ligneous Grant Williams’ best-known role is as an incredible shrinking man, Ruta Lee is a determined doctor of cosmology or cosmetology or something, Mala Powers was Roxanne in the Oscar-winning "Cyrano de Bergerac" twenty-two years earlier. But I kind of liked the line up. Any cast with two dancers among the principals — Bobby Van ("Kiss Me Kate") and Ruta Lee ("Seven Brides For Seven Brothers") — is okay with me.

And with that, the accolades disappear into outer space. The acting is perfunctory. The dialog is formulaic — full of phony technological static. "Don’t change your azimuth because we can only give you two degrees of yaw on the nose." The inside of the space ship is bigger than my living room. Hell, it has more square footage than my entire mobile home. And its only furniture is six chairs for the astronauts, and the chairs are recycled recliners.

I didn’t get past the space ship’s journey to Venus but I know from the diligent research I’ve done that the plot has something to do with a Doomsday Machine that the Chinese Commies have buried two hundred miles deep in the earth. When it blows, it will set all the faults of all the earth’s plates in motion. (Better that, than that they should dump their dollars and start investing in Euros.) To be honest, I knew I’d never be able to handle it shortly after the launch of the space ship. The director must have dozed off. I can understand some tense radio exchanges about technical junk but the scene dragged on and on — and on. And — NOTHING HAPPENS. And so we say good-bye to the six resourceful space travelers as they sail off into the sunset.

The movie is available without cost through Hulu Movies on the internet as part of a package called Elvira’s Movies Macabre. I don’t know if everyone knows who Elvira was but many years ago, in the LA area, people looked forward to seeing her. She was all made up in ludicrous vampire garb but still sexy, what with her cantilevered bosom. Her comments were never scary and sometimes funny. Here, she carries on girlishly about putting a man on Venus. How about putting ARMS on Venus first! (Then she has to explain the joke because otherwise nobody living in Los Angeles is going to get it.)

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