In 1973, the first manned expedition to Mars is marooned; by the time a rescue mission arrives, there is only one survivor: the leader, Col. Edward Carruthers, who appears to have murdered the others! According to Carruthers, an unknown life form killed his comrades during a sandstorm. But the skeptical rescuers little suspect that "it" has stowed away for the voyage back to Earth...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to director John Carpenter, filming took only six days. Carpenter didn't direct this film but he was acting as a co-host in an interview with Robert Osborne prior to it being shown on the Turner Classic Movies channel. See more »
Why would Carruthers need to kill his shipmates, to hoard a ten-year supply of food rations, if, by 1973, American rocket science was supposed to be so advanced that one could be launched to Mars every four months? Van Heusen's accusation would have made more sense if the writers had included the real-world science fact that a launch window, between Earth and Mars, only opens roughly once every two years. See more »
Spokesman at Press Conference:
Ladies and gentlemen of the press: As you know, the first attempt to send a spaceship to the planet Mars was made six months ago. We knew that that ship, the Challenge 141, had reached its destination, but that's all we knew. Teleradio communication with Mars ceased immediately and we were forced to assume that the ship and crew had been lost. The man in charge of this expedition was a man who had become known to the world as the first man to be shot into space, the man who ...
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I dug this one out of the dust bin and was quietly amazed at the simple, yet straight on-target focus of this movie. Yes-- Alien borrowed the basic setup from this 1958 setup. And yes-- Alien did it BETTER, ICKIER, and SCARIER. But hey, this was 1958!
The script is actually very down to earth and intelligent. The snippets of Sci-Fi Factoids actually made sense for what people popularly knew about Mars back then. The women were still women of that era, but they were intelligent and level headed. No Screaming. No fainting. No Falling down and spraining of slim ankles because of fashionable stiletto heels.
The fact that the movie is B&W is a plus in terms of the monster and the make-up. Let's face it-- in most scary movies, the scariest moment is when the camera is DARK and there is almost no color. Here, the shadows hide that fact that the monster is a guy in a heavy rubber suit. And in 1966, this movie frightened me enough to keep me awake all night.
1-- Guns, LOTS of handguns, Rifles, grenades, crates of 'em-- gods, they even got a BAZOOKA! And they're shooting them all off inside a tin can in Outer Space. Man, they built them thar spaceships like battleships! And they're ALL good shots because not one single bullet ever sets fire to a VITAL control panel. Wow!
2-- The women pour coffee and make sandwiches for the men. Ah. . .Heaven!
If you and your friends are Sci-Fi buff, despite being dated, this 'B' Classic is worth a Saturday Night Oldies Flick.
Just ask POLITELY: Girls, can we have some sandwiches?
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