Saturday, February 25, 2012

PROJECT X - Van Cleave - "Organ By Lowrey" (1968)

So here's the final installment of our quasi-tribute to Bill Castle, and would you be able to guess? Yes, it's an odd one, and just to prove, that just like William Castle, we can never be trusted, here's just a touch of what you will find inside this box of eye candy! I had this already done, and it was too cool to leave behind, here's "PROJECT X"!

Here's some information I find particularly interesting, The first film made with the title "Project X" was in 1949, and it was about a guy getting blackmailed into stealing a secret atomic energy plan, then there is William Castle's title in 1968, a film about the future, and keeping secrets from The Chinese, next, there was a film called "Project X" that was released in 1987 about Matthew Broderick and some monkeys, and finally there was a "Project X" released this year that is about an out of control high school party! My how things degrade over time!

The year is 2018, but I swear I heard them say it was 150 years in the future! The guy in the tube is THE Hagen Arnold, the rest of them are a bunch of military men and scientists that don't know how to dress worth a crap! Throw away your sun glasses, the future ain't looking that bright for fashion! The small cast is fleshed out by Sheila (The Busy Body) Bartold, Phillip (Lost Missile, Phantom From 10,000 Leagues) Pine, Harold (Freaky Friday) Gould, Ivan (General Hospital) Bonar, Henry (Vertigo) Jones, and Charles (3 Nuts In Search Of A Bolt) Irving!

Talk about a horror show, Governor Jerry Brown even makes an appearance in Linda Ronstadt's gold record vault! Speaking of gold records, the very special music for "Project X" was created by Nathan Van Cleave! Van Cleave was a pioneer in the use of the theremin, and besides "The Colossus Of New York," and "Robinson Crusoe On Mars," he worked on many episodes of "The Twilight Zone!" The Lowrey Organ also got credits!

The first twenty minutes or so drag on forever, but it's a complicated story to set up. A spy comes back from China with secrets and artificially induced amnesia, is cryogenically frozen, and revived, and given a new simpler identity, so they can get inside his head and get the suppressed secrets that hold the fate of the whole world out of him. Since the spy was also a historian and an expert on the 1960's, they choose this headline and character from the past to make him think he is now a bank robber!

Christopher George puts in a fine performance as Hagen Arnold! George had a real familiar face to the people of the time because he had just come off a two year, 58 episode run as Sergeant Sam Troy, the star of TV's "Rat Patrol!" When he wakes up, he finds himself on the lam, and they proceed to a fake farmhouse the government has set up to hide out!

Once everything settles down, the scientists drug Hagen Arnold, hook him up, and start digging around inside his psyche!

The gates to the portals of Hagen's mind open wide to let the government in....

....and they can watch and listen to the whole thing in psychedelic wide screen HD!

To make the facade look authentic 60's, they had to toss around some men's magazines!

Hagen doesn't like being cooped up, so after a couple of days, they let him escape, and he accidently meets with one of the future locals absent from her job at either the kinnery, or the cannery.

The perky Greta Baldwin is Karen Summers! She gets second billing in the credits even though her part has essentially no reason to even exist, except they needed to get a good looking woman into the cast somehow! Greta was in one other movie in the same year titled "Rogue's Gallery," and that was it for her! Other than that, it's very difficult to find any other info about her!

Somebody had some solid ideas about the future. Here Karen is given what appears to be an electronic cigarette to wile away her time!

There are some great animated sequences from the Hanna-Barbera Studios, and the combined comics genius minds of Alex (Space Ghost) Toth and Carl (Scooby-Doo) Urbano!

Give William Castle some credit, he actually used a Chinese guy named Keye Luke to play the role of the Asian leader Sen Chiu! Sen Chiu proclaims several times in this long drawn out speech, that just like Lucky of last week, he too, is indeed, Inscrutable!!!

The future of Asia! That tube is taking Hagen Arnold into a futuristic underwater prison! They don't take up space topside, and they are also used to raise food! Pretty elaborate for what looked like a prison for only one person!

Hagen Arnold is rescued from the prison by his scuba diving partner, co-pilot and buddy, Monte Markham as the unpredictable Gregory Gallea! Monte has been on countless TV shows over the years, and is still gainfully employed with films set to come out this and next year!

Can this dynamic duo possibly break on through the doors of perception to the other side?

Later, something akin to "Forbidden Planet's" Id has escaped from Hagen Arnold's mind because they peered into his brain longer than they were supposed to, and it's reeking terror and destruction on Karen Summers and Gregory Gallea!!

The super familiar face of a man with a similarly common name Henry Jones, as Dr. Crowther peers in on what is now left of Gregory Gallea. They squeezed all the answers out of Gallea's brain like a giant zit, and the world continues to be a safe place to live!

They wipe Hagen Arnold's brain clean once more, give him another new identiy, and him and Karen get to live together happily ever after, William Castle style!!


TABONGA! said...

It's hard to believe that this is a William Castle film!

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Yeah, and no cameo either!!


Randy Wilharm said...

Funny how the oriental guy interrogating Christopher George keeps referring to westerners as "occidentals"...

This was on TV around 1970...I hadn't seen it for 35yrs and then I find it on the computer!...great memories.

The way they depicted Chinese cities was pretty cool too & no shortage of color in this movie. Thanks for reviving it!

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Thanx Randy, cause that's why we're here!

Randy Wilharm said...

Looks like somebody Blu-Rayed this movie.
Wait till you see the clarity in these pics:

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Thanx Randy, yeah that looks amazingly awesome all right! At least our choice of screen caps is a bit more intriguing!

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