Terror from the Year 5000 (1958) (part 5 of 8)
Later that night, Victor joins Claire and Bob out on the porch. For reasons unexplained, Claire is sitting much, much closer to Bob than to her supposed fiancé. The subject of the spooky medallion comes up, and Victor complains that just because the disc was “a little radioactive”, Bob and the Prof agreed not to press on.
Bob says, “Just for now. Until we know more.” Not that I really want to take Victor’s side on this, but how exactly are they going to “know more” if they stop their experiments? Victor asks pretty much the same question, but he implies that continuing the experiments somehow constitutes “taking a chance” and tells Bob that he’s “just plain scared.”
Claire calls Victor “rude” and Victor asks her, “Oh? You’re taking his side, are you?” Comically, just as he says this, we get a shot where Claire appears to be practically sitting in Bob’s lap. Bob, however, sees the tension between the couple and excuses himself, heading for bed.
After he leaves, Claire scolds Victor, saying he’s “just aching for a fight with Bob!” Victor says he could take him, or words to that effect, but Claire says that’s not the point. “I don’t cherish the thought of being married to a bully!” Okay, okay. So you’re not the Robin Givens type. We get it.
Victor speaks for everyone in the audience when he says that Bob is “getting on my nerves”, especially because of his refusal to move forward on the experiments. He then shows his descriptive powers to be seriously wanting when he explains that “the first man to unlock the future would… really be on top of the world.” In response, Claire simply tells him he needs sleep.
Meanwhile, the Prof is babbling to Bob, who’s clearly nodding off. Prof is all amped up because they’ve finally established written communication with a future civilization. “It could be a new age!” he blathers. “A golden age!” Bob yawns, apparently feeling pretty blasé about corresponding with people three thousand years in the future. The Prof sees this and apologizes for getting so “wound up”.
Out on the porch, Victor and Claire see Old Man Angelo heading out of the house, and Claire calls over to wish him goodnight. She muses about how odd it is that Angelo doesn’t want to live in “the main house”, and that “he must get lonely out there in that shack!” Yeah, but not nearly as lonely as a scientist.
Victor snarks, “Are you thinking of adding Angelo to your string of conquests?” If I didn’t know any better, I’d say they’re trying to make Victor out to be a total ass to give Claire an excuse to run into someone else’s arms later. Hm, but who could she run to, I wonder. Claire gets pissed and decides it’s time for bed. She asks Victor if he’s coming inside, but he says he’s got some “thinking to do.” Apparently he’s got to think of other harsh things to say to his fiancée.
Claire goes to her room and begins to get undressed, conveniently standing right in front of the window so she can cast a silhouette on the blinds. Victor, meanwhile, secretly enters the boiler room, pulling out one of your standard industrial-grade Electrical Arc Generators. It, naturally, starts generating electrical arcs as Victor fires up the Hot Water Heater.
Then we spend a long time watching Claire pull off her stockings. We cut to outside the house and see a dark figure watching her shadow get naked on the blinds. (By the way, if the Hot Water Heater can cause a motorboat to stop running, why doesn’t it do anything to the lights in Claire’s room?) Anyway, back in the boiler room, Victor turns his attention to a random dial, and as he’s looking away, a hand slowly creeps out of the Hot Water Heater.
Suddenly, Claire sees something outside her window and shrieks at the top of her lungs. At the exact same moment, the hand coming out of the Hot Water Heater grabs Victor, and he struggles to break free. As Claire continues to point out her window and scream, Victor picks up the “handling stuff from the future” tongs and throws it at that blinking light bulb. This somehow causes the Hot Water Heater to shut off and the hand to retreat back inside.
Claire finally gets the bright idea to actually move away from the window, and as she does so she just happens to run right into Bob’s arms. (Did I call it or what?) Prof. Erling is right behind him, and Claire tells them that something is out there. Bob looks out the window and shouts, “There is something!” (Because you can never trust these women not to just see things, right?) The two men charge out of the house, and after they leave, Victor sneaks out of the boiler room, cradling the arm that was clawed by the hand. He returns to his room to pretend he was asleep the whole time.
Out on the front lawn, we watch Bob chase someone down and eventually tackle him to the ground. He forces the guy’s face into the light, and it turns out to be (brace yourselves) Old Man Angelo.
Bob goes back to Claire’s room and tells her that Angelo “won’t admit it, but I think he was doing a little peeking!” Yeah, just like Bob does a “little” smoking. He advises her to keep her shades closed and leans over to do just that. Of course, Claire happens to be standing between him and the shades, so now they’re now even closer than when they were sitting out on the porch. This prompts someone to cue a swell of romantic music as the two start making eyes at each other.
Claire starts to apologize for making a scene. “First Victor acts like a fool,” she says, “And then I scream my head off. You must think…” As she trails off, Bob tells her, “I think we ought to make it unanimous [?].” Then he starts kissing her passionately [!]. Yep, this sure does make it unanimous: This film doesn’t make any sense to anybody.
After the kiss, Claire says she thought he was “the cautious type”. No, just the incredibly stupid type. Bob asks, “Was that taking such a risk?” With her fiancé in the next room? Yes, I’d say so. Then he leans in and kisses her again [!!].
Meanwhile, Old Man Angelo goes to his shack, and the lush romantic orchestration abruptly switches to “comic relief music”. Angelo turns on his light, revealing the walls to be covered with girlie pictures. So, I guess we know what Jeff Spicoli will be doing when he turns sixty. He gets in bed, grumbling about being accused of peeking at “Miss Claire” while he settles into a nice girlie magazine.
Back in the house, Prof. Erling walks in on Bob and Claire, still [!!] going at it. The Prof gets all huffy, saying, “Maybe we’re lucky the noise didn’t wake Victor!” as he storms out. Claire wonders why Victor wasn’t out on the porch, telling Bob that “he said he had some thinking to do.” Bob looks at her and says, “Let’s give him something else to think about.” And then he goes in for another kiss [!!!]. God damn! There are Temptation Island contestants with more shame than this guy!
Next, we find Bob walking down the hall, and now that he’s gotten a little action, he has a goofy grin on his face. He even does a little happy skip [!] as he walks along. His skipping, however, causes him to notice a trail of blood on the ground. He follows it down the stairs to the boiler room, but the door is locked, so he just stares at it for a while.
The next day, Bob tells Prof about this, and also about the animal he found in Victor’s suitcase at the bottom of the water. He notes that Victor now has a “sore arm” and concludes that he’s “managed to bring life through that apparatus!” Bob says he can only assume that the animal in the suitcase was “one of his failures.” (His engagement to Claire is another.)
The Prof, however, simply says he’s “disappointed” in Bob for making up these “wild accusations against Victor”, and says that his little tryst with Claire has caused him to lose his “objectivity”. Bob insists it’s all true, so the Prof, giving Bob a taste of his own medicine, asks for proof. I mean, getting written messages from three thousand years in the future is one thing, but actual living things? That’s crazy talk!
We next see Bob come out of the house in his swim trunks and carrying a shovel. Victor spots Bob diving into the water near where he tossed the dirty bomb, and he angrily runs over. Bob hauls up the suitcase, and for no reason, he dives down into the water again [?]. Conveniently, this allows Victor the opportunity to run right up and snatch the case away.
Victor lifts the case above his head, and as soon as Bob surfaces, Victor lowers the boom and tosses the case so that it hits the water a precarious two or three feet from Bob’s head. Somehow, this knocks Bob for a loop, so Victor jumps into a canoe [?] and starts paddling towards him. When he reaches Bob, Victor hilariously starts beating up on him with an oar.
Bob grabs the oar and pulls Victor out of the canoe, leading to the two having a small tussle in the water. Old Man Angelo wanders by just as Bob is getting the upper hand, so he runs back to the house to tell the Prof that Bob is “beatin’ up Victor!” The Prof and Claire run out to watch, and along the way, the Prof puts fifty bucks on Bob. Okay, he doesn’t really do that. But he should.
Meanwhile, Bob is really laying the smackdown on Victor. He eventually carries Victor’s limp body back to shore and tells the Prof and Claire that Victor jumped him. The Prof once again calls these “wild accusations”, so Bob rips off part of Victor’s sleeve, exposing radiation burns. First of all, when did Bob decide these were there? Secondly, how does an archaeologist recognize radiation burns? Sure enough, however, that’s what they are.
We cut to Victor down in the boiler room, not looking much worse for the pummeling he just received. “Rest?” he says to Bob and the Prof, “Now that we’ve gone this far?” The Prof says he’s taking Victor to the hospital because he’s concerned about the “secondary radiation” he received. If that’s secondary radiation, then what’s primary radiation?
Victor suddenly gets crazy paranoid like a heroin addict in withdrawal. “I know what you’re trying to do! You wanna get rid of me so you can claim all the glory for yourself!” As he says this, we see Bob with a tiny bandage on his chin, getting a patronizing smile on his face as he blithely smokes around all the scientific equipment. He asks Victor if he used the Hot Water Heater to materialize “some form of life.” Victor scoffs, “And you’re calling me crazy?” Yes, as a matter of fact, we are. The Prof insists on taking him to the hospital right away.
After a shot of our four protagonists all heading to a boat, we cut to a very cheaply-signed facility called “Spooner Beach Hospital”. Oddly, “Spooner Beach” is on one sign, and “Hospital” is on the other. The Prof and Bob emerge from the front door, deep in discussion with a white coated physician.
As they head towards the Prof’s car, Bob asks if Victor’s condition is serious. The doctor replies that he’ll only know after running some tests, which according to him will take “two to three hours [!].” What kind of tests are we talking about here, the LSAT?
Still, it seems that Radiation Testing While-U-Wait isn’t speedy enough for Claire, because she calls out, “That long?” The doc apologizes for the delay, telling her to “get something to eat” in the meantime. Sure, why not go nosh while you’re waiting to find out if your fiancé has radiation poisoning?
As they talk, off in the background, we see Victor craftily sneaking out of the hospital by… just walking out the front door. Dagnabbit!