Before ID4’s huge and menacing spaceships gleefully devastated our world, there was a weird, boxey, volvo-like cube machine from outer space that did the same thing back in 1957’s under rated B sci fi bizarre-fest “Kronos.”
This neat and tidy little sci fi gem, directed by Kurt Neumann has gained an exceptional cult status over the years and is a very interesting, cautionary tale covered in an above average plot and it teaches us about the over-use and consumption of earth’s natural resources.
A heady and smart subject to discuss in film without getting preachy. It IS an alien invasion film and it does take place in the 50’s. But there are no huge explosions or people being turned to ash and bones. It is a dry extinction of the people of earth. And that is very scary. Well, for the 1950’s anyway.
“Kronos” itself is a large, alien “cube-like” machine called an accumulator. What does this mean?. It means we are screwed. No wait. It means we have to fight it tooth and nail. Even after it emerges from a large meteorite that crashes in the waters near Mexico. A malevolent alien race has sent Kronos to earth to deplete our energy and have it returned to save their own world. The film stars Jeff Morrow and Barbara Lawrence. In the film a scientist, a Dr Eliot, under the control of an unseen alien force, suggests to the military using an atomic bomb to take out Kronos. Earlier, Eliot sabotages lab equipment and the lab’s computer (named Susie) under the influence of the aliens. Still with me? OK.
They track an asteroid that contains Kronos but after it eventually crash lands, Kronos is set free to suck the energy juice out of the earth. Our intrepid leads, in b movie fashion, head to Mexico to investigate the downed asteroid. There they discover that Kronos is bad business and poor Doc Eliot is having a rough time keeping those pesky aliens out of his head. One cool scene involves the party landing on Kronos and checking out what makes it tick. It’s a cool sci fi moment that is cheesy and heady at the same time. The conventions of the genre are spun in full force in this movie. Including bombs that go off above Kronos that looks like the 4th of July gone batty.
As the film unravels we are told more about Dr Eliot and the intentions of Kronos and the aliens who have sent it. The machine is headed towards an H bomb stockpile facility in LA. Why did they drop it in the waters off Mexico? Hmmm. Oh well. If Kronos makes it to LA and the bombs then it’s adios human race. I won’t spoil the ending but it is a neatly tied up “in the nick of time” ploy. but it works in it’s funky b movie charm. The dialog is wonky but engaging and even endearing. We listen to the leads say things like “Hey, let’s try and make the feature!” or “That’s the starter button there on the dash” You know, real smart sci fi stuff…So, enjoy “Kronos” (it’s a very cool looking boxey destructo thing) and have fun with the banter and the way out science that is both confusing and not so scientific. At least until the end. Plus I loved the sound Kronos makes as it obliterates the landscape. Recommended!