For a few years now I’ve been a dedicated listener off the Film Sack podcast. For those that are not familiar with it, it’s a weekly show in which 4 dudes watch and review a movie from the depths of movie history, a long forgotten horror flick from the seventies, or an under appreciated gem from last year. Last week it featured “The Angry Red Planet”, and I also couldn’t leave this science-fiction vehicle untouched.
To start off, “The Angry Red Planet” is a typical fun movie to watch. Not because it’s very good, but due to the amazingly poor special effects, obvious painted backdrops, cringeworthy dialog and wooden acting. What’s even more funny that it wasn’t meant to get a funny reaction from its watchers, oh no, they’re dead serious.
Let’s break it down starting with the plot which doesn’t provide any tension throughout the entire movie. Mainly because the entire story is told as a flashback. So from the start you already know who is going to survive and who’s going to kick to bucket before the credits show. Even more hilarious is that the creators made it even more obvious for us viewers. For example one character who you know won’t survive was reading a comic-book in one scene. After finishing it he closes the book and stares aimlessly into the room saying something like “I wonder if I’m going to be in the next edition.” Think again…
On-wards to the special effects. In that regard “The Angry Red Planet” does something funny here. As many other movies from the 1950’s the effects aren’t great. But this movie did, or rather tried, to do something smart. It tried to hide the bad effects with something they called “CineMagic”. Basically it’s a cheap filming technique with which a large part of the movie was recorded in black and white as in that day and age filming in black and white was still a lot cheaper than filming in color. After a special treatment of the negative (solarisation) the developed film gets a red glow and makes all the actors look slightly cartoony. Letting them blend in more with the cartoony backdrops and creatures they had made. The end result, not that great. In spite off all the effort, Mars still looks like a studio with some plastic plants. Positive is that Mars looks red, really red. Except during the night, that its sky is apparently blue…
To leave this review with something positive. “The Angry Red Planet” must have to most brilliant movie monster to date. Something called a Batratspidercrab. Just for that monstrosity you should watch this movie.
What I learned from watching:
- Getting a possible lethal dose of radiation is to be avoided at all cost, except when there is a women to be rescued.
- A landing rocket looks exactly the same as it’s launch.
- The Earth is surrounded with radioactive meteors.
- Plagued by nightmares? Just ask your ships doctor, he has some pills against it.
Genre: Adventure / Sci-Fi
Duration: 83 minuts
Director: Ib Melchior
With: Gerald Mohr, Nora Hayden en Les Tremayne
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.