In 1975, four astronauts, Dorothy, Doc, Charlie, and Steve, crash land on Mars when taking readings, with only four days of supplies. They must try to survive on the surface, which is ...
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In 1975, four astronauts, Dorothy, Doc, Charlie, and 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>
This low-budget film from 1965 is set in the distant future of 1975. It tells the story of an American spacecraft with four people on-board that crash lands on Mars. There's a kind of twist at the end that renders this synopsis somewhat incorrect. The story actually has a theme to it, which relates to the passage of time. And there are a couple of references to "The Wizard Of Oz".
But overall, it's a slow moving boring affair that tests the viewer's patience. The character named Charlie, second in command, looks like a high school dropout who joined a circus. Much of the dialogue has each crew member informing another crew member of technical information that all four should have known about long before they ever left Earth. All this talky exposition is for the benefit of the viewer, of course. The woman, named Dorothy, whimpers: "Steve, what are we going to do now?" Responds Steve: "We'll have to run for it" ... a crew of real knowledgeable astronauts there.
On Mars, lots of screen time is spent just wandering around their surroundings, making stupid comments and asking dumb questions. In these sequences, the dialogue occurs while the camera is quite some distance from the characters, giving the impression that the visuals were shot first, with the dialogue superimposed in post edit.
Later, they encounter live beings, sort of. And the wizard finally makes an appearance well into the second half. When he does, he speaks in English, conveniently, and his voice has an echo chamber quality to it. He launches into a laughable, loquacious monologue that goes on for a tortuous four minutes. It's one of the more humorous parts of the film.
Special effects look cheap, though I did find the reddish, pink colors marginally convincing, given this is the red planet. Casting and acting are poor. Dialogue is awful. Scientific credibility is nonexistent. At least the script made an effort to create some thematic heft. And for me that's what saved "The Wizard Of Mars" from being a total cinematic disaster.
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