Yet another classic sci-fi movie for me to watch. I will be honest with you folks, I have never even heard of this movie before I bought it. That may seem shocking given my love for these movies but it is true. The only reason I have this movie is because it was part of a 4 movie pack that I bought so I could have The Angry Red Planet. Still, getting 4 movies for the price of 1 is usually a good deal in my book. So let’s just see what some of the other movies have in store for me starting with today’s movie, Beyond The Time Barrier.
The plot: Mjor William “Bill” Allison, a test pilot for the U.S. Air Force, is attending a mission briefing for the X-80, an experimental aircraft that he is testing. His mission is to fly up to 100 miles above the Earth’s surface, test the max speed of the plane by flying through a series of 20 set positions, then return back to base. During the test flight, Bill reaches the max. altitude just fine but during the high speed test, ground control looses contact with him around position 10, as he was traveling over 7000 miles an hour. Bill makes his reentry and lands the plane back at the base, but the base is abandoned and appears old and in disrepair, as do all the nearby buildings. Bill continues to look around for any sign of life and, spying a futuristic looking city in the distance, he starts heading towards it. As he approaches the city, he is rendered unconscious and taken prisoner by the city’s inhabitants. When Bill comes too, he finds himself in a glass tube and demands to know what is going on. When he is freed from the tube, he briefly struggles with two guards when nobody answers him but a woman that is there calms him down and has him follow her as she leads him to the city’s leader, the Supreme, and his security chief, the Captain. Bill wants to know what is going on and the Supreme explains that he is in the underground city called the Citadel and that aside from the Captain and himself, everyone else in the city is a deaf mute, including his granddaughter Trirene. The Captain believes that Bill is a spy and questions why he is there but when Bill says that he doesn’t know what is going on, the Captain doesn’t believe him and wishes to use other means to get some answers. Trirene, having some sort of telepathy, indicates that she believes Bill’s story, but the Captain insists it is a trick and the Supreme tells the Captain to go ahead with his plan. As Bill is taken away by the guards, the Supreme speaks with Trirene, believing she has more than the usual interest in Bill, and he warns her that he is an enemy but she smiles and shakes her head no. The Captain places Bill in a cell, where he is attacked by a group of bald mutants. Bill is able to fend them off and then grabbing one in an arm lock, he demands that they tell him what is going on. The mutants say they wish to kill everyone in the Citadel because they won’t help the mutants. The mutants believe Bill is a “Scape” like Kruse and says the plague was their fault and the escaped from it. The mutants want to find the Scapes hiding place and kill them too. Suddenly, two guards appear and escort Bill back to the Supreme, who tells Bill that he has been placed under Trirene’s protection and that she believes his story to be true, explaining Trirene’s gift of telepathy. Using a series of pictures, Trirene explains what happened to her parents and that they live underground due to the plague the mutants mentioned. Bill asks Trirene about Kruse and if he is in the Citadel and she nods yes and agrees to take Bill to him. When they get to where Kruse is, Bill is introduced to General Karl Kruse, Doctor Bourman, and a Russian female officer named Captain Markova. When they learn that Bill came from 1960, they are shocked to learn that he left before the plague and Markova makes some comments towards Trirene that causes the girl to run off. When she leaves, Kruse and Bourman disable the surveillance and begin to speak freely with Bill. The explain that the year is 2024 and a plague, caused by cosmic radiation, began in 1971 and rendered everyone either a mutant, or sterile. In 1973, some people managed to escape the Earth and leave for other colonies on Mars, Venus, or the moon. They believe that Tririene is they only one able to bear children which is why she saved Bill. Receiving a signal that the Captain is approaching, they warn Bill not to trust the Citadel. As the Captain escorts Bill back to his chambers, he warns him not to trust the “Scapes” as they will use him to serve their own ends. He also admits that his people are dying and asks Bill not to harm Trirene as she is their last hope. Bill goes to see Trirene and apologize for what Markova said and the two share a kiss before Trirene has Bill leave. Bill finds Markova spying on him and she says that Kruse has an idea how to return to his own time, where she hopes that he might be able to prevent the plague. Returning to the scientists, they explain how Bill got here and figure that he might be able to get back, but the only way out of the Citadel would be to get some maps from the Supreme’s office. Bill talks with Trirene, who helps him get the maps and they work out a plan with the scientists to get Bill back to his time. Meanwhile, the Captain and the Supreme believe the Scapes are planning an escape and the Supreme wants to try and talk to Bill and convince him to stay and help them instead. Having followed the Captain when they took Bill, Markova decides to release the mutants and have them attack the residents of the Citadel. As the Captain is leading Bill back to the pit, the mutants attack him and Markova takes Bill back to his room to get his flight suit. As Bill is getting ready, Markova says that she is going with Bill so she can travel back to her time, but Kruse shows up and shoots her for trying to betray them. After hiding from some guards, Kruse prepares to lead them out of the Citadel but Bourman knocks him unconscious, claiming Kruse intended to steal the plane for himself. When Trirene indicates that Bourman plans to betray them, Bill struggles with Bourman but Trirene is shot before he can stop Bourman. Apologizing to Trirene for what happened, he carries her body to the Supreme’s office. When they get there, the Supreme is saddened to see her body as it means the last hope for his people is gone. Bill says that if he can return to his own time, then none of this will happen and the Supreme shows him the way out of the Citadel. Returning to his plane, Bill tries his best to retrace his steps that led him there and succeeds in returning to his own time. When he gets back to base, he is immediately taken to a hospital, where it is discovered that he has aged drastically. Bill explains his story to a group of high ranking officials, urging them to try and prevent the plague before it happens and one of the men tells the generals that they have a lot to think about.
It’s always interesting to see a little Cold War attitude in a science fiction movie. While this was low budget, it was a pretty well thought out movie. The acting was decent though Boyd Morgan (Captain) looked and sounded more devious than either Stephen Bekassy (Kruse) or John Van Dreelan (Bourman). The story was really good, playing on peoples fears about nuclear war and possible side effects to radiation to depict a possible future for mankind. The low budget did hurt this movie in regards to special effects as they were definitely on the cheap side. It also showed in the mutants as they were all supposed to be bald but with several of them, you could see their hairline due to the bald skullcaps not being fixed properly. Disregarding that issue, this is a good classic movie that is worth giving a chance.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5