The Lathe of Heaven (0 stars)

I had such hopes for this movie, based on a story by Ursula Le Guin, who also consulted on the movie. Unfortunately, this movie is gawd-awful terrible. By far, the worst aspect of the movie is its grating, pretentious soundtrack, oh-so modern, like a synthesizer falling down an interminable flight of stairs, without the satisfaction of the final destruction. I can only think of one soundtrack I hate more and, mercifully, I’ve forgotten the name of that awful flick. Hate, hate, hate this soundtrack. However, if you could strip away the soundtrack, that would not be worth the effort, for this film loses its way, loses its focus, loses its purpose. There’s something about playing god, Man’s purpose, and destroying the world. Not even the Zen-spouting, antique-selling (Junque) turtle-bug aliens could save the twisted story. The worst episodes of the Twilight Zone, the Outer Limits, and the original Star-Trek were better – even if you mashed those all together.

The dated-ness of a movie filmed in 1980 about the “near future” was interesting at times – especially, all the giant computers – but I may have been grasping at anything. The movie features Bruce Davison, more-recently the villainous Senator Kelly in X-Men. Also featured is Kevin Conway, far better as the Voice of the revived Outer Limits – great voice, even through the agony of the soundtrack.

This movie was the first-ever commissioned by PBS. The Republican National Committee should screen it all over the country; I’m ready to cut funding for PBS for investing my penny in this abomination.

See the Butterfly Effect. See Franklyn. If there is only a choice between Donnie Darko and this, see Donnie Darko. If you loved Donnie Darko and hated the Butterfly Effect, this movie is for you.

The Lathe of Heaven (TV 1980) – IMDb

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