Earle Lyon, Fred Jordan (executive) for United Pictures, Harold Goldman Associates
directed by Franklin Adreon
starring Michael Rennie, Karen Steele, Warren Stevens, Eduard Franz, Wendell Corey, Harry Carey jr, Adam rourke, Chubby Johnson, Tyler MacDuff, Dale Van Sickel, Troy Melton, Jimmy Hibbard, Sherry Alberoni, Betty Jane Royale, John Beck, George Fisher, James Kline, Charles Evans, JoAnne Gaylord, Ted Ryan, Harry Hollins, Ruth Foster, Larry Green, Jo Ann Pflug, Byron Morrow, Richard Travis
written by Arthur C.Pierce, music by Paul Dunlap, special effects by Roger George
In 2087, the USA has become a totalitarian country thanks to Professor
Sigmund Marx' (Eduard Franz) invention of radio-telepathy, which
revolutionized communication but also mind control. so a bunch of rebels
decide to send Garth (Michael Rennie), a cyborg, back to 1966 to convince
Professor Marx to not make his invention public.
Thing is, Garth doesn't find the Professor right away but only his
assistant Sharon (Karen Steele), and to convince her to help him, he has
to use radio telepathy - ironically the very thing he tries to prevent
from coming into being -, plus there are two so-called tracer agents (Dan
Van Sickel, Troy Melton), also cyborgs from the future, hot on his heels,
hell-bent on killing him.
Plenty of chases ensue, and somehow Sharon's colleague Doctor Zellar
(Warren Stevens) also gets sucked into the proceedings, before Garth can
finally get his hands on the Professor and persuade him to take a trip to
the future with him ... but by that time, the tracer agents have taken
Sharon hostage and start to torture her to lure Garth into a trap, as
Garth, though emontionless by conditioning, has fallen in love with Sharon
and she with him as well. Ultimately though, Garth manages to save Sharon
and take the Professor to the future ... upon which time as such takes a
different turn, and Garth as such seizes to exist, thus his mission never
happened in the first place ... and suddenly Sharon and Doctor Zellar find
themselves in Professor Marx' lab with no recollections of what has
happened, along with a few army bigshots, to await Professor Marx'
presentation of radio telepathy.
But Professor Marx has obviously somehow found enlightenment and he
refuses to share his invention with the world after all, even though it is
his lifetime achievement ...
And in the end - well, Doctor Zellar gets the girl - Sharon that is
(who has of course lost all her memories of Garth).
A cyborg going back in time to alter history ... yes, this film
anticipates Terminator by almost two decades, and despite its
obviously low budget and lack of special effects, it isn't a bad film
either, a rather thought through examination of science fiction mainstays
like time travel and mind control that still includes enough action to be
entertaining, and that makes the most of its scarce sets (including a real
Western ghost town).
That said, the film is no masterpiece and on a purely aesthetic level
it doesn't stand the time too well, but it's interesting to say the least.