The latest twist in the search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 is an unmanned submarine search. However, the US Navy vehicle known as Bluefin-21, somewhat resembling an underwater drone, was initially forced to turn back as the area it was scanning was forcing it to descend far deeper than its maximum ability. The plane may be at a depth of over 26,000 feet, almost an inverted Himalaya of height. Today, however, it completed its first successful scan of the ocean floor in shallower waters closer to Australia’s West Coast.
What might Bluefin-21 eventually encounter? With FilmOn’s video on demand selection, we can speculate about a couple of scenarios.
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The Incredible Petrified World (1957) directed by cult film director Jerry Warren (Teenage Zombies), stars John Carradine (The Grapes of Wrath, Filmon Video on Demand’s Bigfoot) — the often fiery patriarch of the Carradine acting clan — as a relatively mellow, yet fatherly ‘professor’ of something like oceanography, who proposes to send a group of students/assistants in a privately financed submersible to depths never-before explored in the ‘South-Eastern Sea’ of the Caribbean. When the diving bell becomes disengaged from its cables, it discovers a network of volcanic caves on the ocean’s floor, along with other surprises.
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Destination Inner Space (1966) is for those still clinging to extra-terrestrial theories of Flight MH370’s disappearance. Scott Brady (the ‘Dancin’ Kid’ from the iconic Johhny Guitar) stars as a U.S. Naval officer assigned to take command of a futuristic research station resting on the sea bottom (seemingly far out in U.S. coastal waters) that has been detecting a ‘USO’—Unidentified Submerged Object.
Before long, the station’s scientific curiosity finds them dealing with much more than detection. As reflected in the title of this film directed by Oscar-winning Francis D. Lyon (editing for 1947’s Body and Soul), Destination Inner Space often successfully combines many elements of current ‘hot’ sci-fi films and shows of 1966, from the original Star Trek and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea to Fantastic Voyage (Disneyland’s Adventure Thru Inner Space, sponsored by Monsanto, would not open until the summer of ’67). Its scenario resembles one of the all-time sci-fi classics, Howard Hawk’s The Thing.
The aficionado’s supporting cast features James Hong (Blade Runner, Big Trouble In little China, R.I.P.D.), Mike Road (the voice of many dashing Hanna Barbera characters including ‘Ugh’ from the original Space Ghost and ‘Race Bannon’ from Johnny Quest), Sheree North (Lawman, Charley Varrick, Telefon), Biff Elliott (the original ‘Mike Hammer’ in I, The Jury, Star Trek) and the mod-tartan-wetsuit wearing Wende Wagner (Brit Reid’s secretary in the original Green Hornet, Rosemary’s Baby) among other notables, while Samuel Fuller’s oft-preferred music composer Paul Dunlap provides an excellently eerie, moog-infused score. And I’m not even talking about the pilot of the ‘USO’…if only the search of the Indian Ocean silt could be this exciting.
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