Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Beyond the Time Barrier (1960)

Beyond the Time Barrier (1960) by #EdgarGUlmer
#RobertClarke #DarleneTompkins

A military test pilot lands in a post-apocalyptic future.

“Trapped! … in the incredible cosmic world that moves 100 years beyond time!”
”A Spectacle of the World of Tomorrow! Fantastic Sights to Stagger the Imagination”


Beyond the Time Barrier (1960) Is another entertaining low budget science fiction movie by Edgar G. Ulmer. It’s probably not quite as good as The Man from Planet X (1951), but it’s a cut above many other movies in the genre. 

I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for time travel movies. Everything from Back to the Future (1985) to The Terminator (1984) to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)…

I remember when I was quite young, my next door neighbour’s dad offered to take us to see a movie one Sunday afternoon. It was playing at the local library, of all places. It turned out to be an episode of the original Star Trek TV series – which was the only Star Trek series that existed at that time. I was too young to have seen the show when it first aired (I wasn’t even born, in fact), so this may have been the first episode that I actually watched.

I don’t remember a whole lot about it, except that it involved characters jumping through a ring of light and travelling back in time to 1930s New York. I know now that the episode was called The City on the Edge of Forever, and that it is held in high regard by cast members and fans alike. Why it was being screened at the public library, I have no idea. Did they show Star Trek episodes every weekend? What made my friend’s dad decide to take us there on that day?

This was long before VCRs, and the episode was projected onto a screen by a film projector (just like all of the films we used to watch at school). Thinking back on it now, I find myself asking why was this episode of Star Trek available as a film print, anyway?

The whole memory is a bit of a mystery to me, but I cherish it as a very special moment in my life; an experience that I can’t quite explain, but has never left me. I think of it often, and remember it fondly. And I know that I watched it in rapt fascination, marvelling at the whole concept of time travel. Could it be possible? Would I get to experience it one day? What would that feel like?

I did not see Beyond the Time Barrier (1960) when I was young. I didn’t even see it when I was in my twenties or thirties. I saw it for the first time quite recently – and then again last week. I know I would have loved it as a kid – and I still enjoyed it quite a bit now – but It’s not quite as satisfying as a movie like Back to the Future (1985).

I might be going out on limb – and perhaps betraying my fellow lovers of low budget B-movies – when I say this, but I actually believe that Back to the Future is a masterpiece. Beyond the Time Barrier Isn’t quite that, but it’s an entertaining 75 minutes of #NotQuiteClassicCinema that deserves to be better known to fans of time travel movies. It’s fairly serious minded, and in some ways quite dark, but it a worthy addition to any 1950s Sci-Fi film festival on a #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn