(Not So) Random Film of the Week: GOG

gogWhile the three films in Ivan Tors Productions’ “Office of Scientific Investigation” (OSI) trilogy haven’t gotten the name recognition or massive fan bases of certain other more well-known franchises, each stands out as a fine example of Tors’ commitment to bringing a more scientific and human touch to the genre. While not going for camp or cheap thrills, the films make for a look into Tors’ heavy interest in pure science fiction with independent films he got made on his own terms.

Beginning with 1953’s The Magnetic Monster, 1954’s Riders to the Stars, and GOG, also released in 1954, the three films trade in the era’s familiar “B” movie antics for drier, more “realistic” hard science mixed with speculative elements. While some action scenes take place in all three films, outside these sequences things are done with a more sedate, almost documentary-like presentation of their assorted plots.

Additionally, all three films can be watched and enjoyed fully in any order, as they tell stories that are connected by a few threads, but don’t contain the same characters. Chief among these threads is men (and women) of science trying to make advances in the field for the future with dramatic (and sometimes unfortunate) results. Or: you can’t make a science-flavored omelette without breaking a few scientist-shaped eggs…
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Kvetch-22: You Win Some, You Lose Some

Good GOG PlusHere’s some news fresh from the “Wouldn’t You Know It?” desk:

Hooray! I won something awesome recently – a blu-ray copy of the Ivan Tors produced, Herbert L. Strock directed sci-fi film GOG (1954), restored into its 3D state and in HD for the first time on disc. Many thanks go to Kino Lorber, Classic Movie Hub and Aurora’s Gin Joint (all fine places to sit for a spell and learn about plenty of classic films) for picking my hastily scribbled entry. I also got two more Arrow Video blu-rays in the post today to review right after GOG showed up via Fed Ex: Dillinger and The Zero Boys. Excellent!

However (and this is hi-larious)… Continue reading

Clean Thoughts: Ivan Tors’ OSI Trilogy Deserves a Second Chance, I Say…

gogI hadn’t even thought about Ivan Tors until a weird dream a few weeks back and again today when I was in the shower and for some reason, images from “gog” popped into my head. More precisely, one of the two robots spinning around with its arms out, damaged yet still quite dangerous. Yeah, I think of oddball stuff in the shower – don’t you? No, not THAT kind of stuff… this is a family show!  OK, not ALL the time, but you get the point (jab, jab!)…

Anyway, before you ask a second time (and haven’t yet looked to the left at that poster – it helps to read this site while fully awake most of the time), “gog” was the third film in Tors’ really outstanding Office of Scientific Investigation (OSI) trilogy of “hard” science fiction films:

(thanks, MrMaxHeadroom!)

1953’s The Magnetic Monster and 1954’s Riders to the Stars made up the first two chapters and all three make up one of the most intelligent set of sci-fi flicks of the 1950’s. Tors himself was dedicated to making “realistic” genre films and all three succeed today despite many dated elements. That said, one does need to give films such as this a bit of a “pass” in terms of complaining about their cheesier or not so accurate aspects as they were predating and predicting many things science was still figuring out. I also give them a special hall pass gold star because audiences of the time got three films in two years that didn’t insult their intelligence and probably ended up as interesting for adults as it was for the kids who probably thought this was another raygun and robot quickie.

While I’ll most likely do a separate Random Film of the Week post on all three in the future, I’m going to go on ahead and recommend these (in order, of course!) if you’ve never seen them before. I think those of you with an eye for detail and an ear for good stories well told will get a kick out of this trilogy. Given that remaking them is probably never going to happen (although, it would be amazing to see these as period pieces rather than updated into today’s world), you may as well take these in as they’re meant to be seen and smile at the things that make you think a little more than you’d usually care to in a “B” movie…