THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME
- RELEASE DATE: Available Now on Blu-ray (Click Here to Purchase a Copy)
- WRITTEN BY: Mike Cheda, Joseph Glazner, Martin Lager
- DIRECTED BY: George McCowan
- STARRING: Jack Palance, Carol Lynley, Barry Morse
Usually I start a review by telling you a little about what a film is; well, with this one we are going to start with what the film isn’t. 1979’s THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME is NOT THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME…not even close. Now what do I mean by that? Simply that this film has absolutely not one fucking iota to do with its namesake. The classic novel (written by H.G. Wells) is about a century of warfare resulting in a utopian society, while the film is about groovy outfits, robots, and pew-pew laser sounds (yet surprisingly no lasers themselves). I prefer the film.
Now while the rad shit listed above does indeed appear in the film, there is a bit more to H.G. WELL’S THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME. After F’n up the Earth six ways to Sunday; mankind (comprised seemingly entirely of curmudgeons and ridiculously good looking people) has colonized the moon and takes up residence in doomed cities. But all isn’t domes and roses, you see humanity depends on an anti-radiation drug for its survival located on the planet Delta Three; the only problem being that ol’ D3 is controlled by a prize winning space dick by the name of Omus (a supremely hammy and scene chewing Jack Palance). Omus is a reasonable man however, so he cuts a great deal for mankind; let him rule the Moon and he’ll give mankind the drug, or he’ll ram his robot controlled ships into the dome…what a bargain. It’s up to a small band of brave humans and their horny teleporting robot to save the day. We’re doomed.
THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME is one of a plethora of STAR WARS clones that was released in the wake of George Lucas space fantasy masterpiece. You get your evil warlord, your robots, and your space dogfights et.al. Now while some folks view these things as cheap knock offs designed solely to wring a few bucks from a crowd eager for more space fantasies…and they so are; what this film and its ilk also are is a great big bucket of pure fun!
I love this genre; and THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME is a perfect example of why; it’s packed fat with comic book style theatrics, dudes in robot suits stumbling around the autumnal Canadian countryside, beautiful miniature space ship effects, and real sense that the future, while dangerous, would be a disco wonderland filled with hot babes (and dudes if that’s your bag) and hope. Additionally, Palance gets bonked with a (Styrofoam) board and makes a face that’s worth the price of admission for this thing alone (as is the dead pan reaction/comment of one of our heroes after exiting a wormhole).
Along with the a beautiful new transfer of the film (taken from original film elements) this release from our fiends at Blue Underground also contains some cool extras such as: new interviews with actor Nicholas Campbell and composer Paul Hoffert, a trailer and TV spot, and galleries of posters and stills as well as the film’s pressbook.
If you’re a fan of STAR WARS, or more precisely of the films that appeared due to its influence on the pop culture landscape, then THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME most assuredly belongs in your collection; especially if you like things on the more tacky Gil Gerard Buck Rogers side of the equation. It’s a fun lil’ slice of space opera cheese served up with a heaping side of corny comic book theatrics…an irresistible combination in my book!