“What we’re looking at may well be the rebirth of the human race.”
In March 1957, four astronauts have just returned from the first manned mission to Mars. On the way back they hit some unusual space anomaly. The ship is thrown forward at a tremendous speed. They crash land. The team doesn’t know how fast they were going or where they are. The assumption is that they are on one of Mar’s polar caps. They realize there is oxygen and gravity. They leave the ship to try to learn more of where they are.
The team consists of Commander Eldon Galbraithe (Nelson Leigh), engineer Henry Jaffe (Christopher Dark), radioman Herbert Ellis (Rod Taylor) and scientist John Bordon (Hugh Marlowe). They have not been able to communicate with anyone via the radio.
After traveling out of the snow line they come upon a cave. They are attacked by giant spiders. That night they are camped when they are attacked by mutants. They kill one and fight the others off. They next day they bury the mutant and continue exploring the land. They come across a graveyard. The cemetery proves that they are on Earth. The world had been destroyed by atomic war and the mutants appear to be what is left of humankind.
They are attacked by more mutants and seek refuge in another cave. They find themselves in an underground city. The astronauts learn that it is the year 2508. The humans that run the community welcome them. However, there is one who does not like the newcomers. He is jealous and plots to have the astronauts expelled from the community.
“World Without End” was released in 1956. It was directed and written by Edward Bernds. The stupid spiders were used again in “Queen of Outer Space” (1958) and “Valley of the Dragons” (1961). The estate of H.G. Wells considered suing the production company claiming that the movie was too similar to the time machine. Strother Martin has a small un-credited part. He plays Nihka.
As for the movie, it’s good. It’s your basic 50’s science fiction story with sexy women in mini-skirts and spiked heels and guys wearing tunics and sequined shower caps. The only monsters are the giant spider pillows and mutant Cyclops people. The highlight of the movie? Why, the shirtless Rod Taylor of course. There’s some action and blowing up of mutants using a home made bazooka. And the happy ending. It’s a good addition to your science fictions time travel collection.