The Yesterday Machine (1963)

Genres - Science Fiction, War  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Horror  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The kidnapping of a local teen by what appear to be Civil War-era soldiers prompts a newspaper reporter and a police detective (Tim Holt) to launch an investigation. They discover that the pair of Johnny Rebs have been plucked from the past to serve as bodyguards for a fugitive Nazi scientist, who has unlocked the secret of time travel with his "super spectronic relativity" device. The scientist plans to use his invention (a glass case festooned with Christmas lights) to snatch Adolf Hitler before his final moments in the bunker and whisk him back to the present to launch the Fourth Reich! The camp value of this off-kilter science fiction effort from Texas-based low-budget filmmaker Russ Marker is seriously undermined by a dreary pace, comparable to a period educational film. This analogy reaches a terminal point when, late in the film, the scientist pulls out a chalkboard and begins drawing diagrams to help the captured reporter understand the workings of his machine and time travel in general. Holt, light years from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and even The Monster That Challenged the World, would take a step further down the exploitation evolutionary scale with his next and final film, Herschell Gordon Lewis' dreadful hillbilly satire This Stuff'll Kill Ya! (1971).