The future. Where women wear mini-skirts and men wear boilersuits.
It is the year 1960. Major Bill Allison (Robert Clarke) is a military test pilot. He is flying the X-80, an experimental aircraft. The test takes him into a sub-orbital spaceflight. At one point during the test, he loses radio contact with the ground. The test is successful, however, when the major lands he finds that the airbase is abandoned and in disrepair. He sees a futuristic city in the distance and heads towards it. At one point he loses consciousness and is captured. When he wakes he finds himself in an underground city called the Citadel. He is eventually brought to the leader of the city. The leader is called the Supreme (Vladimir Sokoloff). The Supreme tells him that only he and this Captain (Boyd Morgan) are able to speak or hear. Everyone else, including his granddaughter Trirene (Darlene Tompkins) are deaf-mutes. The Captain believes Allison is a spy. Trirene, who is also a telepath, says he is not.
The captain tosses Allison in a prison that is occupied by a bunch of mutants. From them he learns that they are the result of a “cosmic plague”. The captain lets Allison out of the prison after Trirene has convinced the Supreme that he is not an enemy. Allison is taken to see three other people who have come from the past. Russian Captain Markova (Arianne Ulmer) from 1973, General Kruse (Stephen Bekassy) and Professor Bourman (John Van Dreelen) come from 1994. They are in effect prisoners.
Allison learns that it is the year 2024 and that the plague is the result of cosmic radiation from outer space from previous nuclear explosions that sent up dust into outer space. The resulting radiation started infecting the Earth in 1971. Those that sought shelter underground were not as affected as others although there have not been any births in 20 years. Trirene is the only one who is not sterile. The Supreme needs Allison to repopulate the world. The scientists have other plans. They want Allison to go back to 1960 in the X-80 and prevent the plague. However, there is no honor among thieves. Each of the scientists has their own double cross in mind.
“Beyond the Time Barrier” from 1960 was produced by Robert Clarke and directed by Edger G. Ulmer. Ulmer’s wife is also in the film. The movie is not just a time travel movie but also a post-apocalyptic movie. It’s typical of the cold war science fiction story. What is considered a twist at the end is necessary for the plot. The future does not believe he is from the past so without the twist there is no way for the past to believe he was in the future. Of course, the science is not accurate but who cares? It does make an interesting ending.
As for the sets, there is a limit on the imagination when it comes to how the future will look. I think it's part of the fun when it comes to science fiction from the 50’s and 60’s. My only complaint is that I would just once like to see the guys wearing the mini-skirts and fishnet stockings in the future instead of the women.
Of course, there are those that try to compare it to "Aelita: Queen of Mars". Don’t. “You could compare “Cat Women of the Moon” to "Aelita" if you tried hard enough. It’s your basic low budget science fiction movie. Lots of holes in the science but we aren’t watching it to compare it to a NASA documentary. We watch them cause they’re fun.