Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Angry Red Planet (1959)

Earth loses contact with a rocket to Mars and is presumed lost. When it reappears, they find two survivors: the hysterical requisite hottie (Naura Hayden) and Colonel O'Bannion (Gerald Mohr) who is infected by a strange, bad makeup and an even worse Bogart impersonation. They grill the hottie to find out how to cure him.

Flashback time. Our intrepid crew lands on the red planet and sees that everything is eerily still. As if the plants were being controlled. Controlled to be ... still. Whatever, they venture out and are attacked by a carnivorous plant, then by a giant mouse-spider-bat-crab monster, finally by an ameboa. A big one. With a rotating eye. They try to return to Earth but they are held in place, as if there were a controlling force. Forcing them to ... well, whatever.

Finally they are allowed to return to Earth and the Hottie remembers enough so save the suave Colonel while they play the Martian's "don't ever come here" warning message. And they all lived happily ever after. Except the people who died.

High on the list of cheesy special effects is CineMagic! Here, black and white video is saturated with red to make it look ... well, bad. Then they have the actors interact with hand drawn props that look only slightly worse than the live action. Marvelous! There's nothing like being kicked in the groin to make you forget your splitting headache.

Oh, exagerating, am I? Judge for yourself:

Bad acting, cheeseball script, horrible special effects, and the stereotype of 50's B cinema. The plot holes were big enough to drive a giant mouse-spider-bat-crab monster through. While on the surface wearing space suits, one character gives his gun (Cleo) a kiss, demonstrating that the helmets don't have glass. And it only starts there.Despite the unbelievably bad effects and cotton candy plot, I kinda liked it. No, it won't make the year's best of list, but even though I fell asleep during it (had to re-watch the last 25 minutes on Amazon Prime after Neflix axed it), I have to say I'm glad I watched it. AMRU 3.

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