These days, we take time travel for granted. In movies, TV shows, books and comics, it has become an almost boringly predictable plot device. But the idea had to start with someone, and that someone might as well be H.G. Wells, whose absurdly fertile imagination produced the books War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr. Moreau and 1895’s The Time Machine. The 1960 version, starring Rod Taylor (let’s not speak of the 2002 Guy Pearce remake, O.K.?), hewed closely to Wells’ original story. A Victorian-era inventor creates the titular device, travels way too far into the future and discovers a world populated by two races: the underground-dwelling Morlocks and the above-ground, docile Eloi.
The film’s time machine looks absurd — a steampunk-ish lounge chair with lots of colorful lights — and the dialogue …let’s just call it less than original (“If that machine can do what you say it can, destroy it, George, before it destroys you!). But The Time Machine does have one thing to offer: the always hilarious sight of blond men in tunics, rocking bowl cuts. It’s like the kids from Village of the Damned, but all grown up.