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
Master Marionette artist, Bob Baker, was called in to manipulate the Batratspidercrab creature. Mr. Baker's talents were also called into play for Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). 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 »
CWO Sam Jacobs:
[having just landed on Mars]
Well? Shall we go out and claim the planet in the name of Brooklyn?
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The main title, cast and credits do not appear until the end of the film. 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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