My Favorite Movies #55 – Blast from the Past

Blast from the Past - PosterBlast from the Past


Directed by Hugh Wilson

Quick synopsis… Following a bomb scare in the early 1960s, eccentric inventor Calvin seals himself and his pregnant wife in a state-of-the-art underground shelter. Thirty-five years later, their son Adam emerges.

  • This movie is another one of those that I’m a little surprised that it’s in my top 100.
  • Then again, I find it very entertaining… so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.
  • This is one of those that I owned on VHS back in my college days.
  • Probably found it in a bargain bin at Walmart…
  • If memory serves, it wasn’t exactly a hit at the box office.
  • Things begin in Los Angeles in 1962, where Dr. Calvin and Helen Webber (Walken & Spacek) are hosting a dinner party in their home.
  • Calvin is one of those eccentric, paranoid guys who believes that nuclear war between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. will break out at any moment.
  • Therefore, he’s done what any brilliant scientist with (apparently) limitless funds would do in his position…
  • He’s built an underground fallout shelter, capable of comfortably sustaining himself, Helen, and their soon-to-be born child for more than 30 years.
  • As tensions with Cuba increase, Calvin and Helen head down into the shelter, just in case…
  • Unfortunately, moments after they arrive, an out of control jet crashes into their house.
  • Calvin assumes the explosion is an indication of nuclear holocaust in the world above.
  • He activates the locks, effectively trapping them in the shelter for 35 years.
  • The next day, authorities assume the Webbers were killed in the explosion, having no idea about the fallout shelter under their feet.
  • …And Helen goes into labor.
  • They name their son Adam and raise him in a very contained world where 1962 never ends.
  • Up top, life goes on and LA evolves.
  • Life underground takes its toll on Helen while Calvin seems to thrive in the comfort of all that’s forever familiar.
  • 35 years pass, Adam grows up and becomes Brendan Fraser, and the locks finally release.
  • Calvin goes up to the surface to see if the world is safe for his family to return.
  • He discovers a very different Los Angeles than the one he knew in 1962.
  • Calvin understandably misunderstands everything he experiences and assumes that everything is a result of nuclear fallout and decay.
  • Once he returns to share the bad news with his family, Helen is upset because she’s more than ready to return to the surface, but Calvin puts his foot down.
  • And then he seemingly has some kind of cardiac related episode.
  • So Adam heads up to gather supplies that will sustain the family for another ? years… maybe things will improve in time.
  • And so, Adam embarks on his quest to restock the shelter and has many wacky adventures along the way.
  • Okay, not really… But he does meet Eve (Silverstone) while selling some of his dad’s old baseball cards.
  • Eve and her brother, Troy, show Adam what life is really like in 1997 Los Angeles.
  • To Eve, Adam seems odd. He’s always super polite to everyone, which automatically makes him abnormal.
  • Somewhere along the way, they fall for each other, as two attractive leads in romantic comedies typically do.
  • Watching back through this movie, again, I question why it made my personal top 100 list.
  • Maybe it’s a nostalgia thing.
  • It’s certainly not a bad movie. But there’s nothing incredibly special about it, either.
  • At least, not as far as romantic comedies go.

But what do you think of Blast from the Past? Is it something you’ve seen before? There’s a part of me that kind of thinks I’m one of only about a dozen people who ever saw it. Maybe it’s not your cup of tea. So come back next week for a movie that actually won some Academy Awards.

4 thoughts on “My Favorite Movies #55 – Blast from the Past

  1. Pingback: My Top 100 Movies | The Confusing Middle

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