Terror from the Year 5000 (1958) (part 4 of 8)

We then cut to Bob and Victor asleep in Victor’s room. Alas, this is not an occasion for homoerotic japery, as it seems Victor has two beds in his room [?]. Victor quietly rises, trying not to wake Bob.

He stumbles around the room and bangs into a lot of stuff while attempting to put on a pair of pants, but Bob continues to snooze peacefully. Amusingly, it’s only the sound of Victor pulling up his zipper that causes Bob to stir. Do I want to know what Bob is dreaming about? Probably not.

Victor then quietly sneaks out and heads out to the spare room that Old Man Angelo was trying to unlock earlier. He works the lock, and for some reason, the sound of this happening all the way down the hall is what finally wakes up Bob. He peeks out into the corridor just in time to see Victor sneak into the other room.

Inside, Victor opens up a chest of drawers and pulls out a metallic suitcase that looks uncannily like a “dirty bomb”. Bob sees him sneak downstairs with the suitcase and quietly follows. They both go outside and suddenly, there’s a loud pop, and Victor turns around to see a palm leaf falling [?]. This is a really strange moment, and I have no idea why it was put in. Even stranger is how the leaf makes a sound like a big pine tree crashing in the woods. Anyway, Victor tosses the suitcase into the water while Bob secretly watches.

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The next day, Bob and Claire are outside and preparing to go for a swim. For Bob, however, this is just a ruse so he can swim near where Victor ditched the case. Claire complains that she prefers to swim on the other side of the island because here there’s “no place to change” into her swimsuit. Bob, being his usual helpful self, says, “Well, I’ve got mine on!” and begins to strip down to his trunks. This leads to Claire letting out a very disappointed “Oh.” Yeah, I know you’re bummed out that you won’t get to see a guy who could be Ronald Reagan’s body double in the altogether, but you’ll just have to cope.

Bob tells Claire to go behind some trees and change. When she asks if he can be trusted not to look, he grins and says, “Call it a calculated risk!” Well, guess what, Doc? I’ve calculated the odds, and they are 1:1 that someone will spy on her changing.

Bob walks away and dives headfirst into the water. It’s pretty yucky water, too, so I hope he doesn’t mind getting a few tetanus shots once he comes out. Meanwhile, Claire looks around warily, then goes behind a tree to change. Much like in Austin Powers movies, however, a big palm leaf is strategically positioned so that nobody in the audience gets to see anything as she takes off her clothes.

Terror from the Year 5000 (1958) (part 4 of 8)

“No, the water’s great! I thought raw sewage would taste worse than this, but I’m pleasantly surprised!”

While Claire is otherwise occupied, Bob dives down to the bottom of the lake to find Victor’s suitcase. Meanwhile, Claire has finished changing, and emerges dressed in a Sheena-style leopard print bathing suit and bathing cap.

At the same time, Bob, who has now been holding his breath underwater for as long as it took Claire to change into her swimsuit, decides the best way to examine the contents of Victor’s suitcase is to open it underwater [!]. Did Bob get his archaeology degree through the mail? I mean, if the briefcase held, say, the Dead Sea Scrolls, he’d be pretty damn SOL right now, wouldn’t he?

When he opens it, however, he finds a small stuffed furry animal inside. Claire dives in, and Bob quickly shuts the case. For some reason, he doesn’t shut the thing all the way, and the top flaps open [?] as he swims off.

The next thing we know, Claire has grabbed two sticks and is now sneaking up on Bob underwater. Scamp that she is, she pinches his leg between the sticks, causing him to frantically swim away. Good thing he didn’t panic and start gulping down water, isn’t it?

Bob yells to Claire that something bit him, possibly an alligator, and that they should get out of the water. When she raises the two sticks to reveal her clever prank, he cries out, “Why you—” and swims after her. When he reaches her, he laughingly starts dunking her head in the water, and in a nice little continuity gaffe, we see him swim over to her again and start dunking her head again.

Terror from the Year 5000 (1958) (part 4 of 8)

I guess Claire will be paying for that little stick joke with her life.

We then cut to Claire climbing out and going behind the same leaf to change. While she’s back there, shock of shocks, here comes Old Man Angelo. Angelo again exercises his innate creepiness and hides behind a tree to stare at her. (Was I right about the odds or was I right about the odds?) Bob, still in the water, calls over to ask if he can come out now. “Afraid of the alligators?” Claire calls back. No, just stuffed furry things in metal suitcases.

Angelo finally gets an eyeful plus some, so he comes out from behind the tree to let Bob know that the Prof and Victor are in the lab and that they’re “ready”. Soon, Bob is down in the boiler room, er, I mean, the lab with the other two men. The Prof tells Victor to throw a switch, or twist a dial, or whatever monkey work he usually does when he’s not just getting in the way. Bob looks through the window of the Hot Water Heater only to find that the guys have placed a big jug of milk [!] in there.

We again see the advanced time travel special effect whereby a sparkler is superimposed over the jug of milk. The jug fades out, only to be replaced by a really ugly metallic bottle. Then Angelo immediately runs in and starts washing it. Okay, I made that last part up. Still, if you want my opinion, the whole “year 5200” story is a sham and this thing is really a still for these Florida boys to make some moonshine.

The Prof pulls out the bottle, and naturally, Bob assumes the milk jug was transformed into this. The Prof has to patiently explain to him that it was “exchanged. Traded if you like.” Bob asks, “What do you mean, traded?” You see, Bob, when I give you something in exchange for… Ah, I give up.

The Prof tries a different tack, however, asking Bob what the first activity of any explorer of a new region usually is. Bob, perhaps the most dunderheaded archaeologist in the world, responds, “Mapmaking, I suppose.” [!!] The Prof gets a truly pained expression on his face and says, “No, Bob. Barter! Trade!” Aw, now why did you have to go and give him the answer like that? I really wanted to hear what else he was gonna guess.

The Prof compares their adventures to Columbus and the Indians, Marco Polo and the Chinese, yadda yadda. Bob squints really hard, probably because he’s never heard of any of those people. He asks them if they really believe they’ve contacted future people, and Victor asserts that they have. Bob gets an impish look and says what he’s seen so far has “all the earmarks of a magician’s trick.” He then asks if he can “reshuffle the cards”, extending a metaphor that wasn’t all that great to begin with.

The Prof wants to know what he has in mind, and Bob suggests exchanging something of his own choosing that hasn’t already been prepared. Victor loudly asks if Bob’s insinuating that all of this is being faked. (What part of “magician’s trick” didn’t he understand?) Bob shouts, “No, there’s a lot going on here that I don’t understand!” Well, at least he can finally admit it.

The Prof placates Victor, telling him that “Being overly cautious is an occupational disease of most archaeologists!” Okay, but which occupational disease is responsible for Bob being such a moron? After a moment, Bob says he wants to exchange, of all things, his Phi Beta Kappa key [!]. (Presumably, he stole this from someone who actually did graduate Phi Beta Kappa.) The Prof agrees, and he and Victor put the key in the Hot Water Heater and make it get all sparkly.

Terror from the Year 5000 (1958) (part 4 of 8)

No, not that! Without it you won’t be able to get into the secret Phi Beta Kappa clubhouse!

The key fades out and a small medallion appears in its place. After a moment, the Prof opens the Hot Water Heater to retrieve it. Watch for a great moment here where Bob actually tries to grab this potentially radioactive artifact with his bare hands [!!] before the Prof hands him a pair of tongs to use instead.

Bob examines the medallion and declares it to be “impossible!” According to him, it’s engraved with Greek letters, which he translates as reading, “SAVE US”. Well, that’s a pretty odd name for a fraternity if you ask me. There’s a swell of dramatic music as all three of them give each other spooked looks.

Multi-Part Article: Terror from the Year 5000 (1958)

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