Gog – USA, 1954 – reviews and free to watch online

 
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‘ …And then, without warning, the machine became a Frankenstein of steel!’

Gog is a 1954 American science fiction feature film about a supercomputer that is programmed to sabotage a space station.

Directed and edited by Herbert L. Strock (The Crawling Hand; How to Make a Monster; Blood of Dracula; I Was a Teenage Frankenstein) from a screenplay written by Tom Taggart with additional dialogue by Richard G. Taylor, based on a storyline by producer Ivan Tors, the movie stars Richard Egan, Constance Dowling, Herbert Marshall and John Wengraf.

Gog is the third and final feature film in Ivan Tors’ “Office of Scientific Investigation” (OSI) trilogy, following The Magnetic Monster (1953) and Riders to the Stars (1954). Gog was filmed in Natural Vision 3D.

Plot:

In a remote, underground research laboratory two scientists, engaged in space travel research, are frozen to death in a cold chamber when their instruments come under the control of unknown power.

A security agent, Doctor David Sheppard (Richard Egan) arrives at the secret space research base, home of two experimental robots to investigate the possible sabotage. Early in his investigation, Sheppard finds that the underground laboratory under the control of the supercomputer NOVAC and experimental robots GOG and MAGOG…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …most of the characters are either realistically dull, or quietly eccentric (an attribute Tors and company seem to have appropriated from Dragnet), and the movie sometimes seems almost more like a science lesson or a visit to a science exhibit than a science fiction film.” All Movie

“Trying to create a realistic science fiction film is laudable, and having a scientist whose main weapon is his brain (well, that and a flame thrower) is great.  It’s not all dry science either.  The third act is pretty exciting, and some of the earlier scenes are well done too.  The robot designs for Gog and Magog are excellent.” DVD Talk

Gog isn’t a great film by any standard, but it has its moments. The climax is exciting, the attention to scientific detail occasionally inspiring and the big ideas plentiful. Performances are all adequate and Lothrop B. Worth’s photography at least tries to overcome the fact that the budget wasn’t really up to making the base seem realistic.” The EOFFTV Review

“The production moves steadily forward, keeping interest growing at a steady pace, and exciting the imagination without overstraining credulity” Motion Picture Herald, June 12, 1954

“Man is the meat of the machine until Chance plays a hand at the right time, and Gog is effectively unhinged.This is not one for rational observation. The fantastic experiments are fun and the clatter of the “villians” is amusing. But Gog is utter nonsense, on the whole.” The New York Times, August 14, 1954

Gog isn’t quite on the level of the great 50s sci-fi parables since it dwells too much on being a techie-demo before getting on with things, but it’s good, low-rent fun that reminds us of how silly the Cold War could be despite its very real terror.” Oh, the Horror!

“Thankfully the ending is good enough to make this worth sitting through and even in those slower stretches the film has got more intelligence to it than your average low budget sci-fi picture, but yeah, there are definitely some pacing issues here even if ultimately the good outweighs the bad.” Rock! Shock! Pop!

“The movie takes a while to kick-off as we are made to sit through some fanciful 1950s notions of future technology. While overlong, these scenes do adhere to the rule of screenplay economics (they are functional in that they foreshadow events later on in the movie).  Besides, you just gotta love those space mirrors in outer space that will one day vaporize entire cities!” Sci-Fi Movie Page

“Once the robots get loose, the movie picks up in a hurry and becomes a lot of fun.  There’s also a great sequence that plays like a precursor to Moonraker’s G-Force simulator scene.  What makes the scene a blast is that the “high-tech” machine looks like a piece of kid’s playground equipment.” The Video Vacuum

Release:

Kino Lorber Classics released Gog on Blu-ray in the USA on March 1, 2016. Buy via Amazon.com

Special features:

  • Audio Commentary by Film Historians Tom Weaver, Bob Furmanek and David Schecter
  • Trailers

Cast and characters:

  • Richard Egan … Doctor David Sheppard
  • Constance Dowling … Joanna Merritt
  • Herbert Marshall … Doctor Van Ness
  • John Wengraf … Doctor Zeitman
  • Philip Van Zandt … Doctor Pierre Elzevir
  • Valerie Vernon … Mme. Elzevir
  • Stephen Roberts … Major Howard (as Steve Roberts)
  • Byron Kane … Doctor Carter
  • David Alpert … Doctor Peter Burden
  • Michael Fox … Doctor Hubertus
  • William Schallert … Engle
  • Marian Richman … Helen
  • Jean Dean … Marna Roberts (as Jeanne Dean)
  • Tom Daly … Senator
  • Andy Andrews … Andy, a security guard (uncredited)
  • Al Bayer … Helicopter Pilot (uncredited)
  • Billy Curtis … Gog / Magog operator (uncredited)
  • Alex Jackson … Vince (uncredited)
  • Beverly Jocher … Acrobat (uncredited)
  • Julian Ludwig … Julie, a security guard (uncredited)
  • Patty Taylor … Acrobat (uncredited)
  • Aline Towne … Doctor Kirby (uncredited)

Filming locations:

  • George Air Force Base, near Victorville, California
  • Hal Roach Studios – 8822 Washington Blvd., Culver City, California
    (studio – two sets)
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Technical details:

  • 83 minutes
  • Color Corp. of America) | Eastmancolor | 3D
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66: 1
  • Audio: Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Budget:

$250,000

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