- X 2019
Gog - Space Station USA
Ivan Tors for United Artists
directed by Herbert L. Strock
starring Richard Egan, Constance Dowling, Herbert Marshall, John Wengraf, Philip Van Zandt, Valerie Vernon, Stephen Roberts, Byron Kane, David Alpert, Michael Fox, William Schallert, Marian Richman, Jean Dean, Tom Daly, Alex Jackson, Patty Taylor, Beverly Jocher, Aline Tower
story by Ivan Tors, screenplay by Tom Taggart, additional dialogue by Richard G.Taylor, music by Harry Sukman, special effects by Harry Redmond jr
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Gouvernment agent Sheppard (Richard Egan) is called to a top secret,
computer controlled giant research facility in the middle of the desert
that's supposed to develop a space station. Lately though, several bugs
have been found at the place, and cases of minor sabotage have occured.
Sheppard, who finds his girlfriend Joanna (Constance Dowling) working in
security here, soon finds himself confronted with a virtual army of
eccentric scientists, all of whom could qualify as suspects, from the
womanizing solar energy researcher (Philip Van Zandt) to the arrogant
robotics specialist (John Wengraf). And then there's the facility's
supercomputer NOVAC that nogody really seems to understand. Things start
to get out of hands when people start dying in the exact way their
research would suggest, like a sonar scientist being killed by killer
soundwaves and two subjects testing a new pessure suit being killed on the
spinning table. And then the place's robots Gog and Magog run amok, and
it's up to Sheppard to fight and defeat them using flamethrowers, heavy
objects and whatever else he gets into his hands. The real threat though
is an enemy airplane undetectable by radar hovering over the facility that
has secretly taken over NOVAC using signals on the computer's wavelength -
a result not of inside sabotage but having the computer built in
Switzerland, apparently. A few American fighterjets soon put an end to the
enemy plane, and everything's back to a-ok again. And a miniature space
station is launched to outer space within the week ...
the space race between the USA and the USSR was still in its infancy, and
the Americans still believed they could beat their Eastern counterparts -
which is perfectly mirrored in the very patriotic tone of this film, which
is less of a sci-fi-espionage-mystery and more of a demonstration of
technological achievements - though many of these achievements were
actually some time in the future, and quite a bit of the underlying
science has long since this movie proven wrong.
Anyways, all of this
says little about Gog, the film, which is basically a fun time
capsule that more than anything else gives its viewer a feel of cold war
scentiments but also the optimism concerning outer space travel - all
packaged into a silly little narrative full of scientific absurdities and
silly looking robots doing silly things. Fun, really ... and in its overly
serious tone and its ambition to make something worthwhile much campier
than many cheap pieces of drive-in schlock.