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Double Feature #18: Stranded!



Beyond the Time Barrier (1960) and Massacre in Dinosaur Valley (1985)

In the first feature, a studly astronaut flies a jet and gets stranded in a future world populated by savage mutants. He must find a way to get back home, and finds love along the way.

In the second feature, a studly paleontologist flies a plane and gets stranded in the jungle populated by savage cannibals.  He must find a way to get back home, and finds love along the way.

Enjoy!



Beyond the Time Barrier (1960)


Robert Clarke plays Major Allison, whose being briefed on his mission: travel at high speed into the upper limits of the atmosphere; basically venturing into space in only a fighter jet.

Clarke may be the most stoic, stone faced, expressionless actor to ever grace the big screen.  And, yes, I am including Ben Stein.

Clarke was also the producer of this film; however, he made little money from it when the production company went belly-up before its release (and the film was gobbled up by AIP).


No B&W sci-fi movie is complete without a chalkboard explanation.  Here we learn that Maj. Allison will be reaching a speed of 5,000 mph.  But, as we'll learn much later in the film (from yet another chalkboard lecture), there are other factors to consider which these fools from 1960 haven't taken into account... such as the fact that the earth, solar system, and galaxy are also moving at a high velocities... so, when you combine their speeds, he's actually going at approximately THE SPEED OF LIGHT!


This extreme speed causes Allison to break the time barrier and land in the year 2024.  He finds his air force base deserted and in ruins.  The filming location is an old Marine base, and the scene is pretty effective at capturing the post-apocalyptic wasteland vibe.


Allison is captured by the inhabitants of a nearby underground city and questioned by the ruler, The Supreme (Vladimir Sokoloff) and his grumpy henchman,   Also present is The Supreme's comely daughter, Princess Trirene, who we'll get to later.

Here, Allison learns that he's in the future, and earth has been ravaged by a plague (which started in 1971) caused by cosmic radiation...caused by the thinning of our atmosphere.... caused by nuclear testing.

The plague left the world's population as slobbering mutants.  Only this colony preserves some hint of civilization.  Unfortunately, only The Supreme and his grouchy henchman are able to speak - the plague has left everyone else mute.... and STERILE.


The Supreme's daughter, Trirene, may be mute, but she's the only one that's fertile.  Her ovaries are mankind's last hope... and she's taken a shine to the major.

Take note of their colony's complex logo.


 Also take note that Trirene wears an short miniskirt that Gene Roddenberry would have been proud of. Indeed, all the gals of this city wear the Star Trek mini and high heels.  As good a look as this is, the annoying clickety-clack of heels on this hard floor can be heard throughout the film.  Since freaking everyone is mute, scenes where they're walking down hallways are silent except for CLICK, CLACK, CLICK, CLACK, CLICK, CLACK.... MAKE IT STOP!


Allison is introduced to a trio of fellow time travelers.  The two guys are from the 1990s and the chick, Captain Markova, is from the early 1970s.  All lived during plague ravaged times, and hit near light speeds like Allison, landing them here in the future.

Note that Markova is played by Arianne Ulmer, daughter of director, Edgar G. Ulmer.  The Black Cat (1934), Detour (1945), and The Naked Venus (1959) are among his works - including this film and The Amazing Transparent Man which he filmed back-to-back in a total of two weeks!

Anyway, they have a plan to escape this wretched situation.  Allison is to escape, fly back in time, and prevent the plague. Easy!


Allison and Trirene start to fall in love.  You'll note she has a round bed, a la Dean Martin in The Ambushers (and Austin Powers for that matter) - perfect for sweet, sweet lovemaking.  But alas, this film is from 1960, so no hanky panky allowed.


As promised, another chalkboard science lecture ensues.  Here is where Allison learns that the velocities of the earth's rotation round the sun and the solar system's rotation should be added to to the speed of his plane.  Once his jet reached escape velocity, 25,000 mph, the time barrier is broken.


The moment of truth has arrived.  Allison is going to escape and bring his mute girlfriend with him (can you blame him?).  Meanwhile, Markov makes the incomprehensibly terrible decision to open the triangle doors which keep out the mutants.


Chaos ensues, and the mutants immediately commence to raping the women.  Thankfully, you don't actually see it take place, but there's no question what's going on - it's a pretty disturbing scene actually, with maniacal laughter and horrific mutants chasing down girls in high heels.

The mutants are obviously just guys in bald caps, but it reminded me of The Hills Have Eyes. 


During the escape, Allison is betrayed by his brethren from the 90s. Why should Allison be the one who gets to go back in time?  During the skirmish, Trirene accidentally is shot and killed.

Trirene is played by Darlene Tompkins who had a promising acting career, appearing in Elvis' Blue Hawaii, until she took a break to have children.  Interestingly enough, she returned in the 1970s as a stunt double on Charlie's Angels and Starsky & Hutch!


Allison brings the dead Trirene to her father, The Supreme,
The Supreme: "The shadow of death has darkened our Citadel.  Our bright ray of hope is gone. It is the end of us"
Maj. Allison: "No it's not the end.  As long as we believe, there is always hope."


Allison promises to go back in time and make everything right.  Far from being an evil dictator, The Supreme gives Allison his daughter's ring and wishes him well.

So, Allison gets aboard his jet, puts the pedal to the medal and goes back to 1960.


But there's a somewhat dark and Twilight Zone-esque twist.  When Allison returns, he's a shriveled old man (the nurse to scream at the sight of his hideous face).  The military is interested in what he has to say, but he seems like a babbling madman.  Will they heed his warning to stop nuclear testing, and thereby prevent the plague that awaits?

The last words of the film come from one of the military commanders: "Gentlemen, we have got a lot to think about.



Massacre in Dinosaur Valley (1985)


Kevin (Michael Sopkiw) is an Indiana Jones of sorts, a paleontologist who's hitched a ride with a professor on a plane bound for Dinosaur Valley. Among the other passengers: a couple smoking hot models, a rich bitch, the professor's daughter, and a Vietnam vet.

In a couple minutes two of the three people pictured above will be dead...


Predictably, the plane crashes over Dinosaur Valley.  Sadly, the smoking hot dark-skinned gal, Monica (Maria Reis) doesn't make it, and neither does the professor.


Before we go further, let me just say Michael Sopkiw kicks ass.  It's amazing that he quit cinema and started up his own business (in specialized glass of all things) because he plays the hell out of dashing, rugged stud.  He could've been big I tell you.  Big.

To his left are Belinda (Susan Hahn) the model and Eva (Suzane Carvalho) the professor's daughter. To his right is a guy that will soon be dead, so don't worry about him.


The gang trudges through the jungle, encountering quicksand and a boa constrictor, and now they're being pursued by cannibals.  The stop to rest and the Vietnam vet gets an eyeful of Eva and Belinda.


Captain John Heinz (Milton Rodríguez) likes what he sees.  Tension erupts in the group, a battle between Kevin and Heinz ensues, and the cannibals attack!


Captain John is killed and Belinda and Eva are taken by the natives.  They're drugged, stripped naked, and dressed in traditional cannibal garments.  Meanwhile, awesome Kevin bides his time (possibly enjoying the show)...


Kevin is a one man army.  With shotgun and grenades he murders the entire tribe before they have a chance to sacrifice Belinda and Eva.

I know the movie is called Massacre in Dinosaur Valley; I didn't expect the massacre to be by the hero.


Kevin takes the girls in a canoe and paddles the hell outta Dodge.  Once they're safely away from the natives, they stop for the night.


Tell me Kevin isn't an epic badass.  Both girls are forever in his debt, and soon he'll be making sweet, sweet love to Eva.


But it's out of the frying pan and into the fire as the three are captured by criminal miners.  Belinda ends up getting shot and killed, while Eva is raped by the group's leader China (it's a guy - pronounced Chee-nah).


In the end, Kevin wins (would you expect anything else?).  He throws a massive spear through China's stomach, drives away the rest of the criminal miners, grabs the treasure, grabs the girl, and flies off in a helicopter.  Now that is what I call a hero's ending.

Sure, the movie is insanely stupid, but it delivers constant action, and constant T&A - a recipe for a damn fine adventure movie.  Michael Sopkiw is a likeable charismatic hero, and the girls are uninhibited and easy on the eyes - as far as I'm concerned, this is a win.  Gilligan recommends.

2 comments:

  1. We tried watching Beyond many times via Netflix streaming, but whoever converted it to their digital format had no idea what they were doing and ended up with an incredibly jittery and unwatchable playback. At some point, they either fixed it or we found it elsewhere. Fun flick, although I seem to remember The Supreme annoying the hell outa me. Maybe it was his hairdo.

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  2. I've this thing about movies.If you have "dinosaur" in the title,you had better show some f@$#n dinosaurs.I think this stems from seeing Disney's"one of our dinosaurs is missing" and only getting to see a crappy skeleton in a museum.I was originally afraid that the book "Jurassic Park" was going to be a story about scientists fighting over rights to excavate a fossil.How wrong(and delighted) I was!

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