Friday, 24 June 2016

The Angry Red Planet (1959)

That bat-rat-spider thing is back!
If you’re a fan of THE ANGRY RED PLANET and its arachno-rodent puppet centrepiece then worry no more - the US region 1 DVD of this may go for silly money nowadays (upwards of £60) but if you didn’t manage to get that here come Fabulous Films with a region 2 DVD release that will be out in a bit.

The first manned flight to Mars returns minus two of its crew and with one chap covered in green goo. The only one who seems to be unharmed is ‘biology expert’ Dr Iris Ryan (Nora Hayden). She can’t remember what happened until she’s subjected to drugs and patronising words by her attendant medical team. Then it all comes back.

Somewhat less impressive
The team set off for Mars taking with them items essential for space exploration. These include socks and slip-on shoes, make-up and science fiction magazines. There are four of them: a bloke who looks like he owns the local Italian restaurant and has wandered onto the ship by mistake is in charge of radar and guns, a former Nazi war criminal is pretending to be the science expert, Dr Iris probably makes a bit on the side as a low-rent Maureen O’Hara lookalike that any chap fancying his chances as John Wayne for the evening can pop over his knee, and in command is a man whom you wouldn’t trust with your daughter because you’d never get her back from the white slave traders he would inevitably sell them to.

There's quite a bit of this at the start. Make some tea or something.
They travel to Mars.
They land on Mars.
Mars is red, and somewhat...drawn.
It’s also full of splendidly tatty monsters that I don’t doubt would have scared the living daylights out of me when I was eight. Best of all is our bat-rat-spider friend. He’s meant to be forty feet high but was actually a fifteen inch marionette. It still looks...unnerving, even if the effect has been massively diminished by the passing of nearly sixty years. 

Let's see him again! Yes!!!!!
Pizza/Radar man gets done in. Captain Pervo gets green goo on his arm. Dr Nazi dies, leaving Iris to get the ship back to earth and go all hysterical. She calms down in time to hear the Martians’ warning to never come back and instead that Earthmen should stay home and destroy their own planet. Which to be honest is exactly what they did.
Fabulous Films’ DVD looks as good as MGM’s Midnight Movies release (because of course I’ve seen both). There’s a trailer as an extra and that’s it. 

Fabulous Films are releasing Ib Melchior and Sid Pink's delirious THE ANGRY RED PLANET on Region 2 DVD on Monday 4th July 2016

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