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
The "Cinemagic" process, used for all scenes on the surface of Mars, was the result of an attempt by producer Norman Maurer to turn live-action footage directly into hand-drawn animation - or to simulate that. This would enable hand-drawn backgrounds to look as real (or as unreal) as the live action footage. It didn't have that effect here, of course. See The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962) for Maurer's second (and failed) attempt at the same process. See more »
Early in the film, it's said that there is a communications lag with Earth of just a couple seconds, adding "just wait until it's a couple hours!" But at their greatest separation, the radio lag between Earth and Mars would only be about 22 minutes. See more »
Take every hackneyed gimmick you've ever seen in bad science fiction movies, add in bad acting, cornball dialogue, extraordinarily amateurish special effects, silly 'Martians', and add a garish crimson filter for your 'Martian landscape' shots, and you have a monster of a movie like this one turned out to be.
On the other hand, the monster ameba with the rotating eyeball was fun to watch, as was the gigantic rat-bat-spider creature.
This was made in those grand old days before 'political correctness' was so common; the Astronauts waste no time in wasting the local flora and fauna whenever they get the chance. Hey, why conduct a serious scientific expedition when you can romp around roasting the locals?
All its faults aside (and there are many of them), this is a fun movie to watch, particularly if you enjoy screaming in delight at all the bizarre events depicted on the screen.
Go ahead and rent this one, just make sure no one sees you with the evidence.
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