Gog (1954)

I originally put this film in my queue for a few reasons. First, because I love science fiction. Second, because in some previous research into cartography, I had learned of the mythical creatures, Gog and Magog, who live on the edges of the flat earth where the oceans fall over the edges!  On both counts (in terms of my piqued interest due to those things), this film certainly delivers.

I prefer real effects, not CGI. I’m not a fan of CGI. Certainly this film predates any of that, but that’s exactly why I like it. The robots and the laser beams and mirrors and the acrobats who are playing the astronauts who are doing tumbling and slow-motion movements to simulate being in Zero-G are pretty adorable, and for me are some of the highlights of this film.

In terms of the trope of the runaway robot, this one has a little twist in terms of the control of the robot being manipulated by a low-flying plane! Woooo! Many things are being messed up by this deliberate, outside interference like the lab that measures sound; the one with the laser beams; and the one that simulates Zero-G.  In all cases, the technology in the room goes haywire (due to radio signals transmitted to covertly planted receivers) and begins killing or seriously injuring anyone who was involved in the lab test or even in the lab itself. I mean, it would be an obvious observation to say that the fear of technology was a major idea to convey, along with fear of technology out of control (i.e. unstoppable) and fear of technology controlled by someone you didn’t want to have it.

Espionage. Sabotage. Murder. Even love interests were all in here. Robots and scientists defending them. Deep, cavernous government bunkers. Fear. Investigators. Explosions. Models (the plastic kind). It’s all there. And it’s quite enjoyable. I’ll take this type of film over a CGI fest any day. Don’t get me wrong: I am impressed that computers can do what they can; it’s amazing in its own right. But old fashioned effects are preferred–I have a robust ability to suspend my disbelief and it’s just better when it’s a real object versus a computer generated one.

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