Commie-Lounge 60s Flick Shows the Horror of Gambling, Jewelry, and Western Decadence

This rare 1963 Czech scifi film - variously known as Ikaria XB1 and Voyage to the End of the Universe - gives us a glimpse into where communist scifi filmmakers thought America was headed last century. Into violent, trippy doom!

Trekfancvg posted this excerpt on YouTube, explaining it was the then-Czechoslovakia's first SF movie:

The film is generally apolitical, except for this remarkable scene, in which the explorers enter a derelict 20th Century space craft, littered with evidence of capitalist immorality. The visuals are striking. Corpses of tuxedo-clad, gambling westerners, their bodies preserved by open vacuum. The crew killed by their own chemical hand-weapons as they fought over dwindling oxygen. The ship laden with nuclear weapons — still active after centuries.

Ikarie XB 1 is an ambitious, thoughtful, intelligent film that was decades ahead of its time. It's an ultra-rare "must-see" for any serious SF fan, with high-concept elements galore: a trip to proxima centaura; time dilation; future foods, fashion, music and dance; first-contact protocols; increased longevity; artificial intelligence; bulky socialist robots.

It's said the screenplay was inspired by the work of Stanislaw Lem, including "The Magellanic Cloud" from 1955.


I love the concept design and the slow, gooey pans across the remains of this luxury ship full of people who look like they should have been listening to Frank Sinatra in a nightclub.

Thanks to The Demix!

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I like the fact that the astronauts are not super-beings. "You should have sent an archeologist instead". A nice contrast from the usual "I have all the answers" Roger Ramjet of the time.