If you’ve ever wanted to watch a movie with ten minute explanations of bad science, ‘The Yesterday Machine’ is for you. So strap yourself in for the time-traveling movie of a
lifetime hour and eighteen minutes for today’s Throwback Thursday, ScienceFiction.com’s ongoing column dedicated to the science fiction of the past.
‘The Yesterday Machine’ follows very forgettable characters and their battle with Nazi time-travelers who like to give long monologues on their dastardly plans to bring back the Third Reich. Sound intriguing? Well, don’t get too excited. The Nazis don’t even come until the end. It’s mostly just random meetings with civil war soldiers, long conversations about how a journalist “just wants to go on vacation!”, and a disappearing baton-twirler who briefly gets sent into the future.
While this movie has everything a B-movie lover would want, it also has a great deal of things no movie-lover really needs…. like ten-minute debates about whether or not Adolf Hitler was wrong. Or twenty minute explanations of time travel that is boiled down to “If I leave New York to go to San Francisco, and go really fast, I can get there before I leave.”
Though, for that alone, maybe it is worth a B-Movie lover’s time. After all, I have reason to suspect that it served as inspiration for ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show.’ It begins with a flat tire on a back-country road, not too unlike Brad and Janet’s car trouble. From there, two characters look for help, and a shit you not, the line “There’s a light” come out of one of their mouth. It took everything I had not to sing “over at the Frankenstein place!”
So while it may be slightly boring, and not as many bad special effects as one would want in a B-movie, the fact that there is something Rocky Horror-esque to it makes it something possibly worth watching. You know… if you have a lot of time on your hands… or you like people arguing with Nazis.
If you’re interested in watching ‘The Yesterday Machine’, it’s public domain and you can view it here: