In 1974, four astronauts, silver shoe-clad Dorothy, overweight Doc, goofy Charlie, and wooden Steve, crash land on Mars when taking readings, with only four days of supplies. They must try ... See full summary »
John Carradine narrates five horror tales, each with a comically predictable surprise ending. In the first, "The Witches Clock" (sic), The Farrells have purchased an old mansion in Salem ... See full summary »
David L. Hewitt
Lon Chaney Jr.,
A teenage couple making out in the woods accidentally runs over an alien creature with their car. The creature's hand falls off, but it comes alive, and, with an eye growing out of it, ... See full summary »
Edward L. Cahn
In the near future with a intergalactic vampire plague threatening earth, an expedition is sent to a distant galaxy in hopes of discovering the plague^Òs source. Landing on a mysterious ... See full summary »
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 »
A disturbed boy kills his father with his farm tractor and his arm is mangled in the process. He's taken to a mental hospital where he's outfitted with a hook to replace his lost hand and, ... See full summary »
In 1974, four astronauts, silver shoe-clad Dorothy, overweight Doc, goofy Charlie, and wooden Steve, crash land on Mars when taking readings, with only four days of supplies. They must try to survive on the surface, which is barren except for some canals with huge maggots with fins. After embarking through a golden igneous cavern, braving a storm and finding an unmanned Earth vessel, they discover a golden road which leads them to the unchanging ruins of what was once a beautiful Martian city. The Martians are modeled on the Flatheads of Oz, and their collective consciousness, the "Wizard," forbids them to leave until they perform a very small task... Written by
Scott Hutchins <email@example.com>
By rating this film as "excellent", of course, I mean a perfect example of this classic sci-fi space genre. As a collector of these films (I have over 100), this is one that I use as an example of just how "so bad it's good" can get.
The dialog is so terribly limited, and the action is so utterly action-less, that it truly IS hypnotic.
The parallel with "The Wizard of Oz" is just too precious for words. Hey, they even "follow the yellow brick road". No mention of the famous (non-existent) Martian canals, but they do run into a "tin man" in the shape of an old space probe from Earth...probably the best scene in the movie.
John Carradine's role as the Wizard is more like a reprise of his role of The Preacher (Grapes of Wrath) with none of the good writing. He drones on for minutes on end, talking about how the Martians became so smart that they distanced themselves from the Fabric of Time; and suddenly you find that you have, in fact, lost all track of time too. Brilliant.
I'm sure that the film makers were trying to make a serious statement...what that might be, I have no clue. That's not even important. Films like this are not meant to be compared to the post-Star Wars reality of space movies; not meant to be analyzed in a contemporary light.
For me, in the world of sci-fi space films, this one takes at least a tie for first place. Personally, I like to watch this (and most of the other pre-Star Wars space films) in black & white. They seem to make more sense that way. The original color print seems to want me to take this more seriously than I am able to. But the b & w viewing takes me right back to a Saturday Movie Matinée, and I'm 10 years old again.
I find this film particularly delightful when viewed from this nostalgic POV. It's why I collect, and why I whole-heartedly recommend this film.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?