Produced by George Pal and directed by Byron Haskin, The Power (1968) is a low-key sci-fi thriller with a strong cast and a no-nonsense style, which was barely noticed when it was released in the same year as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes.
The late Peter Fonda briefly interrupted his acting career in the 1970s by directing three features, only the first of which is recognized now as a classic: The Hired Hand (1971). But the second, a no-budget science fiction movie called Idaho Transfer (1973), deserves to be rediscovered both for its sparely poetic treatment of time travel and its prescient vision of imminent ecological catastrophe. Unfortunately, it can now only be viewed as a lo-res, open-matte YouTube video.
Guest contributor Howard Curle examines The Net (1953), a little-known film by Anthony Asquith which combines elements of science fiction and Cold War thriller with a drama about a troubled marriage. Howard finds stylistic links which hearken back to Asquith’s brilliant silent films from the late ’20s.
A decidedly mixed bag of recent viewing; a pair of young adult zombie stories — the Maze Runner Trilogy (2014-18) and the small-scale The Girl with All the Gifts (2016); a taut ’50s prison escape noir (Crashout, 1955) and a polished new crime noir (Dragged Across Concrete, 2018); a minor, dull thriller (All the Devil’s Men, 2018); and a bloated, enervatingly pretentious remake of a genre classic (Suspiria, 2018).