Final Expenses

The Doomsday Machine (July 8, 1976)

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A Shot in the Dark
 

Released on July 8, 1976: Moments before the Chinese destroy the earth with a doomsday machine, seven men and women are blasted into outer space with the task of starting a new world on Venus.

Directed by Harry Hope and Lee Sholem

The Actors: Bobby Van (Danny), Ruta Lee (Doctor Marion Turner), Mala Powers (Major Georgianna Bronski), Lorri Scott (Lieutenant Katie Carlson), James Craig (Doctor Haines), Grant Williams (Major Kurt Mason), Henry Wilcoxon (Doctor Christopher Perry), Essie Lin Chia (girl spy), Casey Kasem (Mission Control Officer), Denny Miller (Colonel Don Price), Mike Farrell (reporter), John Cestare (unknown), Raymond Mayo (unknown), Frank Gambina (unknown), Mark Bailey (Astronaut Major), Leo Ramirez (unknown), Anthony Loder (unknown), Win De Lugo (unknown), Gabor Curtiz (unknown), Mary Meade French (female reporter), Josh Peine (unknown), Steven Roberts (unknown), Michael Christian (unknown), Robert Swan (unknown), Ted Markland (unknown), Karl Bruck (unknown), Skip Battyn (unknown), Stuart J. Byrne (unknown), Harry Hope (unknown), Jane Williams (unknown)

 
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The End of the World As We Know It

In May of 1977 the George Lucas epic Space Adventure "Star Wars" took space age special effects to a new level, but in 1972 when this movie was filmed, and even in 1976 when the movie finally hit theaters, the special effects for this classic thriller were pretty good, and the ending of the story is exceptional. And on top of that, you can see a young Mike Farrell before his MASH television show fame, and the legendary radio disk jockey Casey Kasem as the Mission Control Officer. One of the astronauts sent into space is Bobby Van, born Robert Jack Stein to parents that were Vaudeville stars. He grew up with the old Vaudeville performers as they were ending their careers, and became a singer and television and motion picture actor. He changed his stage name to Bobby Van to honor his motion picture favorite Van Johnson. You will discover and enjoy the ending of this sci-fi classic for yourself, but here is how it begins: It is 1976 and the Chinese have created a doomsday machine that will blow the earth to smithereens, and they intend to use it in 72 hours. Back in the U.S. the space ship Astra is getting ready to send 7 men into space to explore the planet Venus, and their countdown is cut short as they are ordered to man their ship immediately so that they can escape the earth before it is destroyed. At the last minute the President orders three of the men to stay off the mission and they are replaced by three beautiful women who will mate with the other four astronauts and start a brave new world on Venus after the earth is destroyed. Sure enough, shortly after escaping earth's orbit the seven men and women watch the earth as it is destroyed by atomic chain reactions. Only a couple of the crew will survive to the awesome ending, and it may not be the ones you would expect! Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with lots of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy what happens next.

Bobby Van, Mala Powers and Henry Wilcoxon watch the earth explode
Bobby Van, Mala Powers and Henry Wilcoxon watch the earth explode
Bobby Van and Ruta Lee and Mala Powers
Bobby Van and Ruta Lee and Mala Powers
Bobby Van as astronaut Danny
Bobby Van as astronaut Danny
Casey Kasem and James Craig at Mission Control
Casey Kasem and James Craig at Mission Control
Casey Kasem talks to the Astronauts from Mission Control
Casey Kasem talks to the Astronauts from Mission Control
Casey Kasem at Mission Control in Doomsday Machine
Casey Kasem at Mission Control in Doomsday Machine
Casey Kasem in the motion picture Doomsday Machine
Casey Kasem in the motion picture Doomsday Machine
Denny Miller and Grant Williams
Denny Miller and Grant Williams
Denny Miller and Henry Wilcoxon
Denny Miller and Henry Wilcoxon
Denny Miller as Astronaut Colonel Don Price
Denny Miller as Astronaut Colonel Don Price
Denny Miller in Doomsday Machine
Denny Miller in Doomsday Machine
Essie Lin Chia as the lady spy
Essie Lin Chia as the lady spy
Grant Williams and Denny Miller in the space ship Astra
Grant Williams and Denny Miller in the space ship Astra
Grant Williams as Major Kurt Mason
Grant Williams as Major Kurt Mason
Grant Williams screams as the space lock door opens
Grant Williams screams as the space lock door opens
Grant Williams in Doomsday Machine
Grant Williams in Doomsday Machine
Henry Wilcoxon as Doctor Christoper Perry
Henry Wilcoxon as Doctor Christoper Perry
Henry Wilcoxon in Doomsday Machine
Henry Wilcoxon in Doomsday Machine
James Craig and Denny Miller at the press conference
James Craig and Denny Miller at the press conference
James Craig as Doctor Haines, mission leader
James Craig as Doctor Haines, mission leader
James Craig in Doomsday Machine
James Craig in Doomsday Machine
Lorri Scott and Grant Williams
Lorri Scott and Grant Williams
Lorri Scott, Ruta Lee and Mala Powers are ready to blast off into space
Lorri Scott, Ruta Lee and Mala Powers are ready to blast off into space
Lorri Scott as Lieutenant Katie Carlson
Lorri Scott as Lieutenant Katie Carlson
Lorri Scott after the space door opens and she is swept into outer space
Lorri Scott after the space door opens and she is swept into outer space
Lorri Scott in the space ship Astra
Lorri Scott in the space ship Astra
Lorri Scott watches the earth explode
Lorri Scott watches the earth explode
Mala Powers and Lorri Scott in Doomsday Machine
Mala Powers and Lorri Scott in Doomsday Machine
Mala Powers and Ruta Lee in Doomsday Machine
Mala Powers and Ruta Lee in Doomsday Machine
Mala Powers as Russian Major Georgianna Bronski
Mala Powers as Russian Major Georgianna Bronski
Mala Powers in Doomsday Machine
Mala Powers in Doomsday Machine
Mary Meade French, an unknown actor, and Mike Farrell at the press conference
Mary Meade French, an unknown actor, and Mike Farrell at the press conference
Ruta Lee as Doctor Marion Turner
Ruta Lee as Doctor Marion Turner
Ruta Lee ready to blast into space
Ruta Lee ready to blast into space
Ruta Lee in Doomsday Machine
Ruta Lee in Doomsday Machine