I’ve never seen Ivan Tors and Herbert L. Strock‘s Gog (’54) but that title is perfect. There’s just something about that sound, that vibe….gog! The story is about fears of technology taking over everything — a sci-fi variant of The Desk Set. In this sense it’s almost a forebear of John Badham‘s WarGames.

It contains standard ’50 sci-fi characters — a handsome, thoughtful alpha male (Richard Egan) who’s new to an unusual scientific situation, an older, somewhat eccentric scientific authority figure (Herbert Marshall), an attractive, sexually seducable blonde or brunette (Constance Dowling) who either works for the scientist or is his willful daugfhter, a brilliant but posslbly malevolent lone wolf scientific figure (John Wengraf), etc.

You can’t tell from snippets, but I’d say the dialogue is reasonably intellligent sounding. It feels almost but not quite as well-written as Them! At one point a guy visiting a woman lying in a hospital bed says, “The doctor says it isn’t serious, just too much radiation. ” At a later point somebody says, “Can you hold off the robots until we get there?”

The trailer makes the story look fairly comical, of course, and the bargain-basement effects and cardboard-fortified sets seem to be almost Plane Nine From Outer Space-level, but I’m thinking of getting the DVD just so I can say I saw it.

From the Wiki page: “Gog was shot on two sets at Hal Roach Studios, with exteriors done at George AFB, a former Air Force base near Victorville, California. It took just 15 days to shoot all of the footage needed, and the film’s final cost was estimated at a quarter of a million dollars.

“Shortly after filming of Gog was completed, Constance Dowling married Ivan Tors and retired from acting.

“Although shot in 3-D, Gog was released at the tail end of the 3-D fad of 1953-54 and was therefore shown ‘flat’ in most venues, despite being available in its stereoscopic format. Gog was also filmed in flat widescreen at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which had become standard among US studios the year before.

“Critical response was generally positive, with many critics noting the story’s basis in science fact, rather than science fantasy. The film was previewed for the press at United Artists’ screening room in 3-D.”