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Yesterday Machine, The

Entry updated 9 July 2018. Tagged: Film.

Film (1963). Carter Film Productions. Directed, produced and written by Russ Marker. Cast includes James Britton, Carol Gilley, Jack Herman, Tim Holt, Linda Jenkins, Robert Bob Kelly, Ann Pellegrino, Olga Powell, Jay Ramsey, Bill Thurman and Charles Young. 85 minutes. Black and white.

Ex-Nazi Scientist Professor Ernst Von Hauser (Herman), based with his henchmen near a small town in Texas, has perfected Time Travel and intends to alter history so that Nazi Germany is victorious (see Hitler Wins). His exact plans are unclear owing to a muddled screenplay; the Time Machine is chiefly used to bring people from the past into the present. Some Confederate soldiers from the US Civil War are brought to 1963, where they promptly kidnap high school cheerleader Margie De Mar (Jenkins) for reasons unknown. This leads Police Lieutenant Partane (Holt) to jump to the conclusion that rogue Nazi agents are responsible. He is joined in his search for these evil-doers by Detective Lasky (Kelly), reporter Jim Crandall (Britton) and Margie's older sister Sandy (Pellegrino), who is Crandall's girlfriend. They locate the farmhouse and finally stop the plot by destroying the laboratory, and rescuing Margie. A female Nubian slave (Powell) whom Von Hauser has snatched from ancient Egypt helps them, but is strangled to death for her trouble while Sandy simply looks on.

Filmed in Texas by Russ Marker (1926-2010), an associate of the infamous Larry Buchanan, The Yesterday Machine ranks as one of the worst sf films ever made. Marker had an intriguing idea, but lacked the talent to develop it even if he had been given a reasonable budget; he was a considerably worse director than either Phil Tucker of Robot Monster (1953) or the legendary Edward D Wood, Jr. [GSt/DRL]


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