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The 1950s Science Fiction Podcast: S2 E4

Movie Review: Kronos

By Edward GermanPublished 3 years ago 7 min read
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Introduction:

Hello and welcome back to the 1950 Science Fiction Podcast. I hope you have been enjoying the latest season so far. The last podcast was very long, longer than I thought it would be. I hope I can make a shorter podcast and try not to go into so much detail. I did conduct a poll and asked the question should I do book reviews into two parts. I got only one response, and it was a yes for dividing a book review into two parts. I was also thinking of the same thing when I was creating the previous one. So I will consider that, and we will see what happens in the future.

Today's podcast will be a review of the 1957 movie Kronos. The movie's producers were Irving Block, Louis DeWitt, Kurt Neumann, and Jack Rabin; Kurt Neumann would also direct Kronos. The movie had a runtime of 78 minutes, shot in Black-and-White at Regal studios, a division of 20th Century Fox. It was part of a double feature that included She-Devil. The movie release date was April 1957 and cost an estimated $160,000 to make, considered a medium budget for a movie of the period. The film started with Jeff Morrow, Barbara Lawernce, and George O'Hanion.

Now on today's podcast.

L to R. . Dr. Arnold Culver, Vera Hunter, Dr. Leslie Gaskell

"Tracking an asteroid."

They found an Astroid heard to Earth.

The story unfolds when two government scientists working at an astrophysics lab observe an object they believe is an asteroid. The two scientists are Dr. Leslie Gaskell, played by Jeff Morrow, and assistant Dr. Arnold Culver, played by Gorge O'Hanon. They both work at a facility called Lab Cental that does scientific research for the US government. While they are observing the object, part of it splits off and lands near the lab. A burst of electrical energy emerges from the alien craft and infects a nearby motorist. The motorist is under the influence of otherworld intelligence and drives to Lab Central. He breaches the facility's security and then infects the director of Lab Cental with an alien presence. Then the motorist dies as the security personal comes rushing into the director's office. The director orders security to dispose of the body and gets back to work.

Dr. Clulver and his supercomputer.

SUSIE is the name.

Gaskell and Culver, with the help of Vera Hunter, Lab Cental's photographer, examine a series of images of the tracked object. They soon realize that it is on a collision course with Earth, and action is needed. The director is informed, and the US military fires guided missiles armed with atomic warheads to destroy the asteroid. The object receives hits by the guided missiles but is untouched. Instead of exploding, it crashes in the pacific ocean just of the coast of Mexico. When the missiles hit the target, it caused the director of Lab Central to collapse to the floor. The result of being possed by an alien intelligence. Afterward, Gaskell decides to start an expedition to search for the asteroid. Gaskell believes the asteroid could be under the influence of aliens due to the behavior of the object.

Inside the machine.

Mexico

When Gaskell and Culver arrive in Mexico, they waste no time in their search. They fly up and down the coast in a helicopter and find nothing. They stop over at a seaside hotel for the night for a meal and some sleep. While at dinner, Vera Hunter, who has brought more photo supplies, joins with the two scientists. During the evening, an immense glowing mass of water started to form on the surface. The scientists kept a close watch on it. However, by the morning, a large square metallic machine is standing on the beach. Everyone is either frightened or fascinated by the sight of the mysterious object. Gaskell, Culver, and Vera embark in the helicopter and make observations of the machine. They notice that two antenna-like rods protrude out of the center next to a ball-shaped object. They land on the top of the device and can get a glimpse of its interworkings. Shortly after they land and set foot on the machine, it starts to move and come to life. They take off in the helicopter and start to follow the object. It moves on two poles pulsating up and down at a rapid rate. The machine produces a whistle-like nose while in transit and other electronic sounds. It comes to a small town and destroys it with a blast of energy that starts landsides. As it goes thru the village, the legs squash anything under it. It proceeds to a local power plant and stops there for a few moments. Then it starts to glow as if it was absorbing the power from the station. Once finished, it destroys the entire power plant. The Mexican Air Force sends out WW2-era fighter planes to stop it but, the alien machine denigrates all four airplanes.

Kronos.

The machine continues moving around the Mexican countryside, leaving devastation in its wake. The rampage by the object is reported to the media and makes headline news. The public is unsure what to make of it, and the news media seems to laugh it off. Especially after a report from Dr. Gaskull when he names the machine Kronos. The name derives from the ancient Greek god of destruction. In the meantime, the director of lab central has discharged himself from the hospital after murdering his doctor. The doctor had discovered the director was possed by an alien force. Therefore the director killed him before the physician could take action against him.

Some great amination and mate art was used in the making of the movie.

Once the director is back at lab central, the director starts looking for places to send Kronos. The director uses telepathy to contact Kronos and gives it a target to locate. He sends the monster machine to an atomic weapons facility in southern California. While the machine is en route, the director recommends an H-Bomb could stop Kronos, and the Air Force sends a bomber to intercept Kronos. However, Gaskell objects to the strike citing that the blast will only increase Krono's strength. The director ensures Gaskell this is the only way to stop the machine; unbeknownst to Gaskell and Vera, the director is possed by the alien being and not in his right mind. The airstrike proceeds, but at the last moment, the pilot receives orders to turn back. Before the pilot can comply, he is unable to control his bomber and crashes into Kronos. The crash causes the H-bomb to explode but, Kronos absorbs all of its energy during the blast. Kronos is untouched by the explosion and continues to its next target.

Termination

In the meantime, lab central receives a call from the hospital. Vera answers the phone and is informed about the director's condition. She mistakes the director for Gaskell after she tries to tell him. The director attempts to kill Vera but, Gaskull intercedes and, the director electrocutes himself at a nearby panel. However, the electric charge doesn't kill the director but clears his mind enough to tell Gaskell what is realy going on. The director explains that Kronos, designed to be a giant energy storage device, was created by a dying race of beings for survival. He states that the alien world was being depleted of all energy by the inhabitants, and they needed to get more sources from other planets. Hence the invasion by Kronos. Later, the director retreats to a locked room, and the alien presence expels itself from the director's body, and both beings die.

As Kronos gets closer to Los Angles, the city evacuates its population as fast as possible, while Gaskell works on a solution to the destruction of Kronos. Gaskell has a eureka moment and theorizes that reverse in polarity makes cause it to implode on itself. He has the Air Force make another bombing run against Kronos, but this time with a canister full of ionized material. The Air Force jet makes a run over Kronos and drops the canister over the top of the machine. The bomb explodes and creates a field of particles between its rods. The result is an implosion caused by the particles and, Kronos slowly burns itself out.

My Thoughts.

I have enjoyed watching this movie; it has been one of my favorites over the years. It is a great story and well written. The producers used some very good amination for the depiction of Kronos moving across the landscape. Those sequences impress me the most during viewing. In order to keep the budget low, rudimentary effects for the movie; such, as stock footage and simple photographic effects, were routinely used. As for the story, I loved how a logical scientist and thinking man hero was a central protagonist. I love a good science fiction story in which brains win over brawn, with just a little help from the military.

There was one sequence in the movie I found to be interesting. It was the newscast and the dated tech in the studio. A TV news broadcast delivered the story about Kronos's appearance in Mexico. In the studio, the anchorman describes the events using only an artist drawing of Kronos to show the audience. No photos or film footage of the appearance of Kronos. Dr. Gaskell can make a long-distance telephone call and give a report; but, the anchorman thinks it's a joke or publicity stunt. Contrast this to today with a person using a smartphone and uploading to youtube or even sending picture texts on social media.

Some trivia.

Here are some trivia about the movie Kronos. The film's male lead is Jeff Morrow, who played Exter in This Island Earth. I discussed that movie in episode one of this season. Morrow played in other science fiction movies during the 50s, such as The Creature Walks Among Us and the Gaint Claw. While George O" Hanlon would later become the voice of George Jetson in the Hanna-Barbra animated series. The movie won approval from some critics for a better-than-average storyline and special effects compared to other films of its kind. Finlay, the movie's director, Kurt Neuman, died one year after the release of Kronos.

Conclusion.

Well, this concludes another episode of the podcast. I hope you have enjoyed today's show and will continue to listen. If you want to give me feedback, you can DM @EdwardGerman3 on Twitter, Suterbug1681 on Instagram, e-mail [email protected] message me on Anchor.FM via the voice message link. Or leave some comments were available on your podcast app. Be sure to read my vocal media page and WordPress page as well. Thanks for listening and I will work on my next podcast soon.

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About the Creator

Edward German

A long-time sci-fi fan who loves the internet. I am also writing on subjects other than sci-fi.

you can follow me on "X" @EdwardGerman3 Listen to my podcast The 1950s Science Fiction Podcast on Spotify for Podcasters.

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