Packaged by AIP with The Screaming Skull (1958) and The Brain Eaters (1958) upon release, Terror from the Year 5000 (1958) is one of the earliest credits of legendary film editor Dede Allen. She cut on America, America (1963), Bonnie & Clyde (1967), Alice’s Restaurant (1969), Little Big Man (1970), Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Night Moves (1975), Slap Shot (1977), The Wiz (1978), The Breakfast Club (1985), The Addams Family (1991), and Wonder Boys (2000). Thought of as the “film-editing doctor” and among cinema’s most accomplished “autuer film editors”, Allen got her break at American International. Comfort-Rated, Battle To The Death, Pill Cakes, Time Machine, Yodeling Styles, The Terror. “TELEWORLD GO AWAY!!!”, “PRESENT… MOVIE”, “It’s a hyperdermic plane.” “Are you sure this is what you want to present movie?” or “Okay. Let’s get this straight. A vicious woman comes from the Year 5000 and slaps people”?
This might sound like a broken record, but this is yet ANOTHER classic from season 8! Underrated big time. From Ms. Blake dealing with her rage, flattop haircuts, scrawny spinsters, and the movies favorite pervert, Angelo! Great riffing here. It’s a shame my only copy is from cheesyflix, it’s beginning to wear out! This one has rights issues🙁
This movie also features the awesome Salome Jens in her first movie role. She’s an unusual beauty. Star Trek fans will remember her from TNG and DS9. She was memorable in both. She played the future woman here.
This might have been Frederic Downs’ best role in a movie. Msties will remember him from The Hellcats, Red Zone Cuba, and as the sex-for-sundries pharmacist in The Skydivers!
Very nice info here: I had no idea about Dede Allen. And I’d completely forgotten most of the movie prior to the shocking reveal of the “Terror” at the end. I guess I do recall the whole jealous fiancé thing and Angelo skulking around.
Sad to say, I did not remember Frederic Downs from the Coleman Francis movies (at least not by name)!
I’m confident even without a rewatch that he was better here than in the other MST3K experiments!
Note: Dede Allen also edited Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), The Hustler (1961), Rachel, Rachel (1968), Slaughterhouse-Five (1972), The Missouri Breaks (1976), Reds (1981), Let It Ride (1989), and Henry & June (1990).
I get that Hollywood screenwriters have always had at best a shaky grasp of science which continues to this day. I even understand that Carbon-14 dating was still relatively new at the time this film was made, so wouldn’t be fully understood by Joe Average. Still, the writer appears to believe that the process is accomplished by shaking a Magic 8 Ball over the object to be dated and it will display the origin year, which is flawed to say the least. It certainly couldn’t determine that something had come from the future. What’s more, due to how the people of the year 5000 had tossed about their nukular bombs with wild abandon, the artifact in question would likely be too contaminated to date.
That’s one of the many stupidities to be encountered in this movie, which is essentially a time travel variant of It Conquered the World. And as you can imagine, it’s inferior in every way. But the one scene that bothers me here involves a trope which has never made sense to me. A common method used in movies to illustrate that a character is a sleazy creep is to have him go a peep at a woman who is getting undressed in front of her bedroom window (usually in silhouette). Aside from compulsive exhibitionists, I’m skeptical that this sort of thing actually occurs.
It’s titillating, provocative, and par for the course in these productions. Audiences then flocked to the dark to spy on novelty, oddity, and taboos not otherwise experienced. Suspension of disbelief, appetite for the tawdry, and a desire to escape for a spell into greater fantasy spurred staring scenes, women walking around in their underwear, and grotesque plotting intended to keep cheeks firmly planted in seats. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) harnessed this for its own entertainment. Janet Leigh in her slip and Anthony Perkins watching through a peephole in his office.
It’s in the compilation video upthread, but When I Held Your Brain in My Arms deserves to be called out.
Mellifluous singing by Kevin, excellent interjection by Bill, and terrific lip-sync performance by Mike. Perfect homage to the ballads of yesteryear with hilarious sciency lyrics. One of the great MST3k musical performances.