The Angry Red Planet is a 1960 American science fiction film directed by Ib Melchior. The film was distributed by American International Pictures. AIP-TV produced the film for a cost of $320,000. The film was shot in Technicolor and SuperScope.
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In “The Angry Red Planet,” the first manned Mars mission crash-lands due to an radiation storm, and the only survivors are the commander (Gig Young) and his wife (Nancy Olson). They awake to find that the other two men on the crew have died, and that a large part of their own bodies has been taken over by Martian vegetation. The commander soon begins to experience terrifying hallucinations, as he becomes increasinglycut off from his own humanity.
“The Angry Red Planet” is a low-budget science fiction movie with some interesting ideas, but it is ultimately let down by its cheap production values and unimaginative script. The acting is adequate, but the characters are not particularly likable or believable. The special effects are weak, and the Martian landscape looks like it was filmed in a studio back lot. Overall, “The Angry Red Planet” is not a particularly good movie, but it is still worth watching if you are a fan of low-budget science fiction movies.
Martian meteorites, falling to Earth in 2073, lead to the development of a rocket ship by the United World Space Agency for a mission to Mars in 2093. Astronauts Colonel Gen. Thomas O’Bannon, Sgt. Major Beta, and Dr. Iris Riley are accompanied by a monkey, who is the first Earth creature to survive the trip.
After they land on Mars, they are met by an intelligent plant-like creature that they name “The Beast.” The creatures attacks them, and they take refuge in their spaceship. O’Bannon leaves theship to get help, but he is bitten by The Beast and dies. Sgt. Major Beta also dies trying to save O’Bannon. Dr. Iris Riley is the only survivor.
The Angry Red Planet follows the story of a group of astronauts who are sent to Mars to investigate why all communication with the first Mars expedition has ceased. When they land, they find that the planet is inhabited by giant monsters that threaten their lives. The characters must use all their ingenuity and courage to survive.
The main character is Commander Dave Stewart, played by Gerald Mohr. Stewart is a no-nonsense leader who keeps his cool under pressure. He is brave and resourceful, and he does whatever it takes to protect his crew.
The other main characters are Dr. Iris Ryan, played by Nora Hayden, and Sergeant Bill O’Bannon, played by Jack Mandrake. Ryan is the team’s scientist, and she is always looking for new ways to understand and solve problems. O’Bannon is the team’s muscle, and he is always ready to fight back against any threat.
The film was produced by Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen, who also wrote the screenplay, based on the 1956 story “The Angry Red Planet” by Ivan Tors and Marta Karenna, which was originally published in Startling Stories. The film was directed by Irvin Yeaworth and featured sets designed by Wallace Wood.
The film’s production is notable for its use of a Cinerama-modified camera, which was used to film the planet’s surface. The camera had been previously used on This Is Cinerama (1952) and How the West Was Won (1962).
In conclusion, “The Angry Red Planet” is an interesting and creative film that is definitely worth watching. It is a bit slow at times, but the special effects and acting are well worth the time investment.