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Film / Doomsday Machine

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Doomsday Machine is an American science fiction film directed by Herbert J. Leder, Harry Hope, and Lee Sholem. It was mostly filmed in 1967, but completed and released without the original cast or sets in 1972.

American spies infiltrate a Chinese base and learn that a Doomsday Device is set to go off within days, with no way to disarm it. In response, a manned mission to Venus on the spaceship Astra is pushed ahead of schedule, and half of the all-male crew is replaced by women, to the objection of the men. They do not realize this is so humanity can be repopulated until they have already launched, and moments before their home planet is blown apart. But tensions are high, and only increase with the revelation that the ship cannot outpace the resulting nuclear radiation of the exploding Earth without some sacrifices.

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Not to be confused with a Star Trek episode, or an animated film with the same name as this film's video release.


This film uses the following Tropes:

  • Adam and Eve Plot: Invoked by the people behind the Astra launch, who ordered half the crew to be replaced with women after learning of Earth's imminent annihilation. Played straight at the very end, when only one male and one female human remains.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The film ends with the two remaining members of the Astra crew learning that they cannot stay on Venus, but something great will await them at the edge of the universe, before their new ship blasts off to parts unknown.
  • Breaking the Glass Ceiling: The women, though belittled by the male crew, are still experts in their fields of study. One of them, from Russia, takes pride in being the only women in her otherwise all-male classes.
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  • Doomsday Device: The titular creation that ends up annihilating the world.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Astra crew gets to see their homeworld utterly destroyed using a viewscope.
  • Explosive Decompression: Averted; two of the crew are accidentally exposed to the vacuum of space when one tries assaulting the other, but while they do die, they do not explode in the process.
  • Hive Mind: The remaining crew is eventually contacted by the collective consciousness of an alien race on Venus.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: The Astra mission becomes an impromptu attempt at this once the doomsday machine is discovered. The crew doesn't finds out until they see the Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
  • Killed Offscreen: Two of the crew find an abandoned Soviet spaceship after fixing damage to the Astra's hull and explore it. When they try to contact the Astra from inside it, though, they are contacted by Venusians who tell them the other ship no longer exists.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The original goal of reaching and colonizing Venus is a failure, because Venus is already inhabited by an alien race that forbids all humans from entering after what they did to their own planet.
  • Space Madness: Affects one of the male crew after learning of Earth's destruction, who then attempts to sexually assault one of the females.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: The mentality of the male astronauts.
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