A lot of filmmakers in the late 1970s wanted to get some of that sweet, sweet Star Wars money. That resulted in shitty cinema being overrun with Star Wars ripoffs — some much better than others. At the bottom of the scale is something like Cosmos: War of the Planets, while today’s film, The Shape of Things to Come, is about as compelling a ripoff as shitty cinema managed to produce.
From 1979, The Shape of Things to Come is a loose adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel of the same name. It’s the future. After Earth was devasted by The Robot Wars, mankind settled on the moon and elsewhere. A drug called Radic-Q2 is vital to humanity’s continued survival, but the supply comes from a single planet called Delta 3. After a cargo ship from Delta 3 crashes into the capital city on the moon, New Washington, it is revealed that Delta 3, and all Radic-Q2 production, has been seized by the evil Omus (Jack Palance). We know that Omus is evil, not just because he was responsible for slamming a spaceship into a populated city, or that afterwards he holds an entire civilization hostage, but because he wears a cape. Everyone in this movie wears super-shiny futuristic space clothes, but only Omus accessorizes with a cape. It’s purple, too. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Shape of Things to Come”
I knew nothing about this film when I began watching it. I found it on a YouTube channel that collects old grindhouse and drive-in movies that have fallen into the public domain. That copy was crap, but being in the public domain meant that the film could be found elsewhere. Amazon Prime has a much better quality copy, so should one actually want to seek out and watch this turd, I recommend doing so on Amazon.
Keeping in mind where I first found this film, while I had no clue what it was about, or who made it, or who was in it, I did make assumptions about the type of film it would be. Nestled in a playlist alongside such gems as The Brain Machine, Night of Bloody Horror, and Legacy of Blood, I was expecting violence in this flick. There is some. But, at heart, Best Friends is a character study.
From director Noel Nosseck and screenwriter Arnold Somkin, Best Friends tells the story of two best friends, Jesse and Pat (Richard Hatch and Doug Chapin), who have a falling out during a road trip. They are accompanied on the trip by Jesse’s fiancée, Kathy (Susanne Benton), and Pat’s fiancée, Jo Ella (Ann Noland). The trip is the start of a new life for all of them. Jesse and Susanne are getting married at the end of the trip, while Pat just returned from a tour in Vietnam, where he was wounded. There’s a lot swirling around under the surface with all the characters, and now they’ve been jammed together in an RV for a multi-day journey. That’s a recipe for drama. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Best Friends”