The Angry Red Planet: A Movie Review

The Angry Red Planet is a cult classic sci-fi movie from 1959. It’s a B-movie, for sure, but it’s a lot of fun. If you’re a fan of old-school sci-fi, this is a must-see.

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Introduction

From the very beginning, “The Angry Red Planet” had me worried. The first few shots are of a rocket taking off with no music, just the sound of the rocket. This might have been all right, but it was so obviously done on a sound stage with process screens that I was afraid that the whole movie was going to look fake. And, sadly, most of it does.

Plot

Based on a story by Irving Block and Allen Shadduck, the screenplay is by Cyril Hume. The film concerns a group of astronauts who travel to Mars in an attempt to rescue a previous expedition, who have become marooned there. They find that the planet is now ruled by giant, mutated insects, and must fight for their lives against these creatures.

The film was shot in Cinecolor, a two-color process which was cheaper than the three-color process used by most studios at the time. This resulted in a film that had an overall reddish tint, hence the title. The film’s limited budget also meant that many of the special effects were compromised; for instance, the mutated insects were simply actors in rubber suits.

Despite its low budget and poor reviews, The Angry Red Planet has since become something of a cult classic, due in part to its camp value. It has been cited as an influence on such later films as Alien and Mars Attacks!.

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Cast

The Angry Red Planet follows the crew of the first ever manned mission to Mars. The story begins when the Mars 1 mission is launched, with a crew of four astronauts: Commander Colonel Edward “Ed” Carey (former football player), Dr. Iris Ryan (the mission doctor), Lt. Marcia Sinclair (the mission psychologist), and Sergeant Babe Jensen (the mission engineer). The film then fast-forwards to when the mission has landed on Mars, and the astronauts find themselves in the middle of an alien landscape. They are soon attacked by a giant Martian insect, and only narrowly escape alive.

The rest of the film follows the crew as they attempt to find a way back to their ship, while also being pursued by various other Martians creatures. Along the way, they must contend with hostile environment, dwindling supplies, and their own personal demons. The film culminates in an exciting climax that will leave viewers on the edge of their seats.

The cast of The Angry Red Planet is largely unknown, with only Robert O’Neill (Commander Carey) having any significant acting experience prior to this film. However, all of the actors give convincing performances and manage to create believable characters. The standout performance in the film comes from O’Neill, who is able to convincingly portray a man who is struggling to keep both himself and his team alive.

Overall, The Angry Red Planet is an enjoyable science fiction film that manages to be both exciting and suspenseful. While it may not be one of the classics of the genre, it is definitely worth checking out for fans of 1950s science fiction movies.

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Production

The Angry Red Planet was filmed in 1959 in Eastmancolor. The movie was directed by Ib Melchior and featured Gerald Mohr, Nora Hayden, and Les Tremayne.
The Angry Red Planet was produced by Berman-Gorstadt Productions and distributed by American International Pictures.

Reception

The film received mixed reviews. Critics praised the acting, particularly that of O’Brien, but criticized the script and direction. The film holds a 73% “fresh” rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10.
The Angry Red Planet was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Special Effects and Best Cinematography (Color), losing both to The Time Machine.

Conclusion

In conclusion, “The Angry Red Planet” is a fun, campy movie that is definitely worth a watch. It’s not the greatest film ever made, but it’s an enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half. If you’re a fan of price of cheese movies, then this is definitely one you’ll want to check out.

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