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Aliens, contacting scientist Adam Penner, inform him that they have been on the moon for twenty thousand years, undetected due to their invisibility, and have now decided to annihilate ... 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
Director Ib Melchior was given just 9 days to shoot the film, on a budget of $200,000. See more »
Early in the film, it's said that there is a communications lag with Earth of just a couple seconds. Then it's said that they are only 30,000 miles from one character's favorite club/restaurant. Being only 30,000 miles from Earth would result in only a fraction-of-a-second radio delay. See more »
Hard to believe only 8 years between this and "2001"
I recently saw a nicely restored print of this film on the Showtime cable network. The color is not the best, but certainly very good, and the monaural sound is probably better than what one would have experienced in a typical 1960 theater.
A few visuals:
The mission clock on the spaceship bulkhead has a huge "BULOVA" on the face. The "day" numerals on the mission-elapsed time display look like they was made from black electrician's tape. They only show numbers of days that could be displayed with numerals that had no curved lines: "1", "17", and "47".
The female astronaut carries a stylish black purse on board.
There is a very large indicator on the spaceship bulkhead that says "Oxygen Consumption", with a green light indicating "Normal" and a red one indicating "Excessive".
The astronauts have oxygen cylinders on their backs while on EVA, but there is no glass on their helmet visors; their faces are completely open to the atmosphere.
The shots of the Martian exteriors are really pretty cool, quite innovative for the era and the limited budget. Not only is everything a monochromatic red, but there is an interesting solarization effect, which adds a bit of surrealism and makes the backdrops look less cheesy.
"You know, I can't say that I recommend spacesuits for beautiful young dolls. What happened to all your curves?"
and the classic,
"I know you think I acted like a hysterical female there back at the ship, but I can assure you I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself!"
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