September 19, 2013

Sci Fi Invasion: Trapped by Television

Well, the Sci Fi Invasion box has hit a stumbling block as the sixth disk begins. Yes, the last couple of movies have not necessarily been great, but they were certainly entertaining in their own special way. We have now come across the oldest film I have yet come across in this set and it's connection to the science fiction genre is tenuous at best. It is not exactly a bad movie, but it is a largely forgettable. Frankly, I think the only reason it is here is as public domain filler, it really is not a science fiction film.

The movie is called Trapped by Television and it was released way back on 1936. I suspect this was originally the short end of a double feature, based on the movie being a mere 64 minutes long. The film is not a science fiction film, so much as it is a standard drama. I actually feels a bit like watching a play, when you look at the simple staging of the scenes. It does benefit from a good cast that includes Lyle Talbot and Mary Astor.

As the tale begins, we are introduced to Rocky O'Neil (Nat Pendleton). He is the muscle for a collection agency, but he has a lot of affection for science, a detail that pays off early. He is sent to collect a debt from Fred Dennis (Talbot), but upon finding Dennis is working on a television set, he immediately puts his job to the side and makes friends with the young man. To help him with his debt, he gets him work as a fellow collector.

The collection job brings them to Bobby (Astor), an entrepreneur. She decide to fund his work. They all work together and try to bring their investment to a company that maybe interested. Unfortunately, things happen and someone may not be as thrilled with the new device.

I don't know. Perhaps it is a generational thing, but the movie really did not do much of anything for me. It isn't terrible, it is just not much of anything. There is no real tension, character development, or anything. The title is misleading, no one actually gets trapped by a television. You could do worse, but you would not be missing much if you skipped this.

Not Recommended.

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Skidmark McGee said...

I thought this was quite entertaining. Nothing but a B-programmer, to be sure, but it had a little more heart than many of the others in this amusing, but mostly useless, collection.
Thinking of Sci-Fi, it seems like someone went back in time and raided a mom & pop video store, circa '86, to compile it. ;)

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