Five individuals from five nations, including the "Superpowers," USA, USSR, and China, suddenly find themselves on an alien spacecraft. An alien gives each a container holding capsules. No ... See full summary »
The first spaceship to Mars, presumed lost, is found in space and brought back to Earth by remote control. Only two from an initial crew of four are still alive, but one is unconscious due to an attached alien growth, while the other is traumatized, blocking out all memory of what happened. In hopes to save the unconscious crewman, the amnesiac is interrogated back into remembering. Those in charge thereby learn of the terrible dangers awaiting anyone venturing into the spooky, ruddy stillness of the very alien Martian ecosystem. Written by
$54,000 - or just over a quarter of the film's budget - was spent turning the footage into the so-called Cinemagic process. See more »
Les Tremayne clearly states that have deliberately landed on the equatorial area of Mars because that area is most likely to have life. Later Jack Khruschen, clearly contradicting that geography, asks where the polar caps are. See more »
Men of Earth, we of the planet Mars give you this warning. Listen carefully and remember: We have known your planet Earth since the first creature crawled out of the primeval slime of your seas to become man. For millennia, we have followed your progress. For centuries, we have watched you, listened to your radio signals and learned your speech and your culture, and now you have invaded our home. Technological adults, but spiritual and emotional infants, we kept you here, deciding your fate. ...
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The main title, cast and credits do not appear until the end of the film. See more »
A spaceship returns from Mars; about a couple of months earlier, a 4-person expedition had been sent to the red planet. Most of the picture is a flashback to what transpired over there. The picture is saddled by inane, melodramatic dialog, typical of many sci-fi efforts of the fifties & sixties. Note, for example, how the ship's commander (Mohr) tells another crew member to 'stay there' for no reason; as if moving to another spot inside the ship will cause a problem. Later, the commander orders two of the crew to remain in the ship while he and another go outside. The two he ordered to stay say 'no way' and follow out; I didn't have high hopes for the expedition's success by this point. There's much talk of 'ears twitching' and hugging a freeze-ray gun named 'Cleo' (short for Cleopatra, of course). It would at least be pretty funny, unintentionally, if the story didn't drag.
There's a very slow pace to the whole thing; the astronauts spend as much time looking out the ship's window portals (which change color from red to blue), commenting on what they see, as they do outside actually exploring. The martian landscape, advertised as filmed in 'Cinemagic,' usually resembles animation cut-outs, or drawings, shot through an orange-red filter to give the illusion of interacting with the actors, who do take on an odd surrealistic appearance due to the process. But I don't think it fools anyone over 10 years old. The one clever mention I did notice was that the memories of the surviving astronaut would be tinged with unreality, so that would explain the unreal nature of the martian vista. Oh, okay...
I was amused by some of the astronauts' actions as they begin to explore; right off the bat, they test their freeze gun on a plant, killing it, just for the hell of it. Then the female member hacks with a machete at what she thinks is a tree but turns out to be the leg of the spider-rat monster. Nice going, lady. Look up next time. No wonder the 'intelligence' on Mars gets upset and doesn't mind that one of the lower lifeforms, a giant amoeba, attacks the explorers. The acting isn't too impressive. Mohr especially, had a very annoying technique, saying a line and then abruptly erupting into a huge grin which always creeped me out - reminded me of It! the Terror From Beyond Space. The ending is fairly anti-climactic; don't expect any huge revelations beyond the 'no more expeditions' with freeze guns named Cleo.
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