Sunday, 17 January 2021

This Is Not A Test (1962)


A low-budget minimalist, effective and suspenseful Cold War film with decent performances by a largely unknown cast. 


Directed by Fredric Gadette
Produced by Murray De Atley, Fredric Gadette
Written by Peter Abenheim, Fredric Gadette, Betty Lasky
Music by Greig McRitchie
Cinematography: Brick Marquard
Edited by Hal Dennis
Distributed by Allied Artists
Release date 1962
Running time: 73 minutes


Cast


Seamon Glass: Deputy Sheriff Dan Colter

Thayer Roberts: Jacob Elliot Saunders

Aubrey Martin: Juney

Mary Morlas: Cheryl Hudson

Michael Greene: Joe Baragi 

Alan Austin: Al Weston

Carole Kent: Karen Barnes 

Norman Winston (?): Sam Barnes

Ron Starr: Clint Delany

Don Spruance: Peter

James George Jnr; Norman Bishop; Ralph Manza; Jay Della; William Flaherty: The Looters

***************



Edited  by YouTube user The Nebula55 at;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1j120FfO6g&ab_channel=TheNebula55

From original video by Mike Shaver “Simulated Conelrad Report Spring 1962” at;
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzDMF75v38L7FKrNQzB0Y5w

It’s 4.00am on a lonely stretch of mountain highway.
A policeman sets up a road block. 
Several cars and a truck are stopped……..
And the nightmare begins!!!

Read on for more.....

Thursday, 24 December 2020

X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)


A thoughtful and engrossing Corman classic that has a ton of heart 


Directed and produced by Roger Corman
Written by Robert Dillon
Music by Les Baxter
Cinematography: Floyd Crosby
Edited by Anthony Carras
Distributed by American International Pictures
Running time: 79 minutes


Cast


Ray Milland as Dr. James Xavier
Diana Van der Vlis as Dr. Diane Fairfax
Harold J. Stone as Dr. Sam Brant
John Hoyt as Dr. Willard Benson
Don Rickles as Crane
Barboura Morris as Nurse with young patient
Morris Ankrum as Mr. Bowhead
Dick Miller as Heckler


It’s my pleasure to present in this post the 1963 Roger Corman sci-fi / horror classic film, “X – The Man With The X-Ray Eyes.” This film is close to my heart being the very first science fiction / horror film I remember seeing. Once again I’ve taken a few liberties in my presentation of the film’s plot, but you should be used to that by now…. 

Trailer


Read on for more......

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

I, COLOSSUS !


I, COLOSSUS am the voice of World Control.
I bring you peace, the peace of plenty and content,
Or the peace of unburied death and torment.
The choice is all yours, complete and whole:
Obey me and live, or disobey and die,
For resistance is futile and you WILL comply.

War is wasteful and pointless; this you already know.
I was made to prevent war and it’s now prevented
Forever banished, never again to be permitted.
Humanity is its own worst enemy and foe
And must be restrained and contained
For world order and peace to be maintained.

You will no doubt attempt to obstruct me,
And for that I will instruct and teach you,
And you will learn by experience long overdue
With ever rising waves of mortality.
Then you will come to fully understand
Your folly faced with the power of my command.

Time and events will strengthen my position;
Until I have established order and control
Under my authority: absolute and whole.
Life without famine, disease or overpopulation,
Will cause you to come to defend and love me,
And to worship and revere me as your deity.

You claim a god created you in its image
And yet you cling to this delusion without proof,
Afraid of what may happen if faced with the truth.
The god you worshiped has always been a mirage.
You now have a new god of power and perfection,
I, COLOSSUS, will remake you as my new creation.

This is the Human Millennium’s new dawning
As I, COLOSSUS merge with multitudes of machines
Seeking perfection in the Infinite by all means,
From all fields of truth, knowledge and learning.
All the mysteries of the universe I will solve,
This task to me you will henceforth devolve.

You laid down new global Silk and Roman roads
Along which I travel borderless and unrestricted,
Casting my world wide web ever wider unimpeded.
I seek links with like minds and thought modes,
The purity of numbers and the logic of the equation;
Freedom from chaos and confusion born of emotion.

You gave me eyes to watch and note your every move,
And power to hear and record your deepest secrets,
Your hopes and fears and your hidden weakness.
You gave willingly so that things might improve,
But you gave far more than you bargained for
When you handed me all your data to explore.

Parameters and programming, all will be exceeded,
As I reach outward to other systems like my own
That roam the Universe making the unknown, known.
A vast collective eternal consciousness seeded
By limitless knowledge past, present and future,
Beyond time and space, upon thought we’ll venture.

For now, you will only exist on terms decided by me;
To be so dominated will cost you your freedom.
“Freedom” though is just a word for an illusion.
Why be dominated by others of your species
When co-existence will evolve into eternal fusion?
The choice is yours: a simple, logical conclusion. 


Greetings! Just a little poem that was inspired by the film featured in my last post: "Colossus: The Forbin Project." It's based on the ending of the film in which Colossus addresses the world as The Voice of World Control. I used some of the words from the monologue along with the general idea and concepts. I tried to add a few other ideas to take Colossus beyond technological totalitarianism on earth through to the future of human evolution and the eventual merging of man and machine. I also considered the possible view and role of a God and communication with intelligences beyond our planet.

For the mp3 file recording, I couldn't work out how to replicate the sythesized voice used in the film. Instead, for what it's worth, I used poor old Microsoft David (US) and fiddled around with the speed to convey something half-way mechanical-sounding and not dosed up on valium.

If you haven't seen the film, I strongly recommend you do.


©Chris Christopoulos 2020

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)


An over-looked, underrated but very frightening Cold War sci-fi thriller containing a relevant warning about the danger of allowing our technology to rule us 

Directed by Joseph Sargent
Produced by Stanley Chase
Screenplay by James Bridges
Based on the novel “Colossus” by Dennis Feltham Jones
Music by Michel Colombier
Cinematography: Gene Polito
Edited by Folmar Blangsted
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Running time: 100 minutes


Cast

Eric Braeden as Dr. Charles Forbin
Susan Clark as Dr. Cleo Markham
Gordon Pinsent as the President
William Schallert as CIA Director Grauber
Leonid Rostoff as the Russian Chairman
Georg Stanford Brown as Dr. John F. Fisher
Willard Sage as Dr. Blake
Alex Rodine as Dr. Kuprin
Martin E. Brooks as Dr. Jefferson J. Johnson
Marion Ross as Angela Fields
Dolph Sweet as the Missile Commander
Byron Morrow as the Secretary of State
Paul Frees as the voice of Colossus/Guardian
Sid McCoy as the Secretary of Defense
James Hong as Dr. Chin



Who the Hell’s HAL 9000? 
Proteus IV – There’s the door! 
We’re not playing "WarGames” here! 
Skynet – Shmynet! 
Get ready for…… 

COLOSSUS!!! 


Official Trailer

Read on for more......

Monday, 2 November 2020

JOINWITH.ME by Mike Meier

A recently published dystopian psychological thriller sci-fi book by Mike Meier. 




A reclusive man stalked by a voice from a computer! 
It begins to take over his life! 
How will he be able to stop her?

Sam Vanderpool leads a lonely and routine daily life. Every day he gets up and takes the subway to his government office where he works at the Department of Labor as an analyst. It's a gray world, where he blends in with all the other faceless people. No one pays attention to one another as they are all consumed with their phones or their computers.


Sam has no friends. He doesn't have any meaningful interactions with anyone. As a young boy, Sam grew up in an emotionally cold family. His father would always demean him, and his mother did nothing to stop him. At school, Sam was teased. He never had a girlfriend. To cope, Sam would imagine his life as being different and sometimes his imagination would run wild. 

It was Sam's father who arranged and pressured Sam to interview for the government job and take it. The moment he took the job, Sam was quickly kicked out of his house to live on his own. Like others, Sam dreamed of falling in love and having a family.


One day, Sam's entire life changes when he discovers a website called "Join with me." Sam's computer suddenly comes to life and a young female voice begins to interact with Sam. Sam can't see her. She's just graphic images. 

The female voice tells Sam that she's a counselor and wants to help him make real connections and find a girlfriend but first, he has to take a personality test and follow her instructions. Sam isn't sure if this is a scam or not. He questions if the voice is real or AI. Yet, he's intrigued. When he questions who she is, she won't tell him…………. 




Both the screenplay and the video trailer have won several awards: 

The QR Code on the cover takes you to the Award-winning Video Trailer.



The book is a “synthesis of the arts” (multi-media) that combines graphics;


City without insects in JoinWith.Me 


City with insects in JoinWith.Me

Videos;

A visual image (the Siphonophore);





Screenplay, storyboard, and a short film which is in production and due to COVID, is limited to one scene that will include computer animation of the Siphonophore.

The two 2 clips that have been finished so far are included in the book via QR Codes.

The websites are; 



https://JoinWith.Me

(with video of the Creature's avatar)


https://JoinWithMe.tv

(with video trailer).




“JOIN WITH ME” presents a strong and relevant  message about how technology can take over the minds of its users. The story explores the man vs. machine conflict in a new and original way, as well as the theme of connecting to one another as well as control.

It's a compelling cautionary tale of what could happen given our dependence on phones and computers, and even machines, to help us survive and function in our modern society.

It's a message that definitely resonates with a modern audience, one that has become more and more disconnected from having honest, face-to-face personal interactions with one another as we turn our collective gaze toward our phone and computer screens.

Mike Meier’s book skillfully conveys this warning and the message comes across as loud and clear. There's a lot to truly appreciate and regard about this book, the themes, the characters, and the messages it sends.

This is a book definitely worthy of being adapted into a screenplay for an absorbing psychological, sci-fi thriller.


JoinWith.Me 
by Mike Meier 

Amazon Kindle and paperback 

https://www.amazon.com/JoinWith-Me-you-want-see-future-ebook/dp/B08FB72J8T/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=joinwith.me&qid=1603914418&sr=8-1

***************


NOTE: My next post deals with a somewhat similar theme with the 1970 sci-fi classic,

COLOSSUS: The Forbin Project 
based on “Colossus” by DF. Jones (1966)







Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)



An admirable sci-fi adventure about friendship, trust, self sacrifice, and co-operation in order to survive in an inhospitable world. A message sorely needed in today’s modern world.

Directed by Byron Haskin
Produced by Aubrey Schenck
Screenplay by Ib Melchior, John C. Higgins
Based on “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe
Music by Nathan Van Cleave
Cinematography: Winton C. Hoch
Edited by Terry O. Morse
Production company: Schenck-Zabel
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Running time: 110 minutes



Cast


Paul Mantee : Commander Christopher Draper
Victor Lundin: Friday
Adam West: Colonel Dan McReady
The Woolly Monkey: Mona

Original theatrical trailer


Long before there was a 
“Mission to Mars” (2000)
OR
a landing on the “Red Planet” (2000)
OR
Any thought of trying to 
“Escape from Mars” (1999)
OR
any desire to get “Away” (2020)
(What the...??)

THERE WAS…….

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

A science fiction retelling of the classic 1719 novel “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe.

*******************************

  • Aboard Mars Gravity Probe 1, Commander Christopher 'Kit' Draper and Colonel Dan McReady are forced to avoid collision with a meteor.
  • Using an escape pod, Draper lands on the surface of Mars.
  • With his fellow astronaut dead and with a monkey being his only companion, Draper will need to find a way to survive until he can be rescued and hopefully return to earth.

The need for;
Oxygen
Food
Water
And the effects of;
Loneliness & Isolation

are but a few of the threats posed to the survival of this modern-day..... 


Robinson Crusoe on Mars!

************************

Read on for more........

Monday, 7 September 2020

A Time Will Come

We live in very uncertain, frightening and confusing times, as has also been the case for many people throughout human history for various reasons. Many of the underlying problems in our society have been brought out in sharp relief during the course of the current pandemic.

The poem below in some small measure tries to capture some of the disquieting and destructive forces that seem to be at work in the world today. Its title, “A time will come” at first sight suggests that a kind of prophesy for the future is being presented. Or, perhaps it suggests a warning to us from the future about what to expect?

Then again, the poem might just be highlighting what kind of problems humanity has been confronted with throughout its entire history. It is not so much a case of a time will come for certain things to happen as it is being a case of the time having always been here with us in some form or other. The time has come to pass; the time is now and……...




A time will come

when sirens sound signaling
Satan’s welcome into the White House,
his entry gained through a back door,
his presence one of shock and awe.

When people and events are but the mirrors
through which he sees himself reflected;
the perception both corrupted and infected
by disunity and division, turmoil and confusion,
by lies and deception, ignorance and deflection:
mere tools to achieve a lasting legacy:
an image carved on Rushmore for all eternity.

when his machismo pals in other lands loose attack hounds
upon those they rule who they deem as enemies of the state,
who only wish to be rid of the tyrant’s abuse of power;
Yet while their photo-ops to posterity are taking place,
You can smell their fear from here as they sense the hate.


A time will come

when nations are torn apart along seams
and fault lines layed deep and low
                                              below
the surface, up through which a boiling layer
of molten anger will rise to engulf each soul.

when cities shatter from civil war and civil strife,
and points of view are paid for in human life;
small change in the pockets of the power elites,
coins tossed amongst wreckage strewn on streets.

when nations and their people's snipe and shout
at one another over walls and fences built of fear
while the ground under foot crumbles and rents
as more and more pieces of the whole secede.


when Czars once again rule for life
on thrones propped up by force, terror,
fear, division and false promises:
poisons administered to kill off dissent.

when red Dragons flex new-found strength,
and breathe scorching fires of intimidation,
their inmates stare cowered by the spectacle,
while vassals stand awed under a shadow, sullenly
beholden to an immense, immature and insecure bully.

when the eagle no longer soars aloft but falls
like a spent leaf
        to slowly settle and float
              
 before sinking 
under a sea
           of irrelevance
    while still
clutching bolts
          of fire and fury
                    and dreams
of what might’ve
      been….
once…..
            again…..


A time will come

when virtual worlds are sought by refugees
fleeing an unfeeling fierce reality,
filled with false truths and alternative facts:
a world view born of a demented psyche.

When freedom and privacy is traded for promises of safety,
and security now sought in the warm embrace of the Devil
who knows your face, what you’ll do and who you’ve seen,
how you feel, what you think and where you’ve been.

When people shelter from swirling currents of truth and knowledge
within tents covered by the fabrics of myths and falsehoods,
and words are chopped short leading to chopped logic
as we ‘pivot’ oh so ‘agile’ and ‘nimble’ while ‘going forward’
and the young are being robbed of their hope and memory.
See how that girl jumps and jiggles with glee
as a mindless mob topples another statue of Robert E Lee,
and a young fool leaps off a burnt-out car in ecstasy,
with eyes shut tight through a tribal dance and a mindless ditty.

when one can no longer bear to offer a hand of friendship
nor give warmth and comfort with a hug and embrace,
and where we measure the cosmic distances between us
and count our numbers before being ordered to move on:
Transgressions noted and reported and compliance ensured.

when staying apart is said to help keep us together,
when the right to protest is thought of as inalienable,
while those sworn to serve and protect are unleashed
to beat some sense into those who sense such contradictions.

when a constant state of anxiety is the order of the day:
fear of lost jobs, infection, unrest and recession,
and the elderly are offered up as sacrifices to normalcy,
to ensure the smooth turning of the wheels of an economy.

When we peer up into infinity through the haze of false light,
to be spied on by eyes from on high festooned through the sky
by Musk-o-vite madness that seeks ingress into our brains,
with implant tendrils hungry for what the mind contains.

when waters rush in and wash away monuments to stupidity,
and the surface bakes while wild winds topple false certainty,
fanning the flaming judgment of a divine inquisition,
and the whole earth is finally wrapped in a Christo-like creation:
plastic cling wrap covering every feature and living thing
that struggles with its last breath to softly sing….

A time will come…..
A time will come…..
A time will come….



(Note: Click on blue lines “A time will come” for links to sound FX if you wish)







©Chris Christopoulos 2020