Preparing for a potential nuclear winter, a team of scientists test the theory that the Earth is hollow, in this 1951 cheapo from visual effects wizards Jack Rabin and Irving Block. Loosely based on Verne and Burroughs, Unknown World has the makings of a good film, but stumbles in all departments. 4/10.
The most accurate adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel Mysterious Island that has ever been put on screen was made in Soviet Ukraine in 1941. This doesn’t necessarily work in the film’s favour, as it is rather talky and static. Look out for Robert Ross, long-time leader of the African American community in Moscow. 5/10
Borrowing the name of Jules Verne’s bestseller, this problem-ridden 1926-1929 production features good acting, some remarkable special effects and a solid-ish script, but alas, the schizophrenic semi-talkie-semi-silent film is just as equally horrible in many ways, with toy submarines and crocodiles substituting for dinos. (4/10)
∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ (5/10) The first actual adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic novel is in fact two novels in one. This American 1916 film has impressive early underwater photography and great props […]
∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ (6/10) Georges Méliès’ last science fiction film, released in 1912, was a magnificent swansong for an era of filmmaking. Perhaps his most accomplished film technically, but the polar adventure […]
∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ (7/10) Pirates of the air get more than they bargained for when they kidnap a resourceful damsel in this well-made British short feature film from 1911. And there’s an […]
∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ (6/10) In 1908 Spanish master filmmaker Segundo de Chomon directed a carbon copy of Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon. The result is professional, but uninspired. An Excursion […]
∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ (4/10) Gaston Velle’s 1907 film is a fairly entertaining underwater fantasy short, made hastily to cash in on Georges Méliès epic Under the Seas. Velle directs the imitation professionally, […]
NO RATING; FILM INCOMPLETE Georges Méliès third science fiction epic (1907) is the first film based on Jules Verne’s novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, even if it is rather […]
In search of a lost epic – whatever happened to Wallace McCutcheon’s ambitious first ever adaptation of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? The American 1905 answer to Georges […]
∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ (7/10) Pioneering film maker Georges Méliès’ 1904 follow-up to the groundbreaking A Trip to the Moon is perhaps his most beautiful film, but the master is starting to repeat himself. The […]
Early cinema was the pulp fiction of its time: a crude and undistinguished novelty, and just as with other lower-tier entertainment, there were surefire moneymakers: nudity, shock, thrills and escapism. […]
This blog concerns science fiction films, not literature. But it would be unwise not to pay some homage to the roots of the genre. Here then, is a small essay […]
This 1902 film about a trip to the moon and an encounter with aliens is in many senses the first of its kind, notable for its large budget, entertaining and fantastical story, state of the art special effects and lavish, moving sets. A true benchmark not only for sci-fi films, but for the medium of film as a whole.