THE AN­GRY RED PLANET Mar­tian mon­ster may­hem

SFX - - Reviews - Ian Berri­man

re­leased 4 July 1959 | PG | Dvd Di­rec­tor Ib Mel­chior Cast Ger­ald Mohr, Nora Hay­den, les Tre­mayne, Jack Kr­uschen

Mars movies were much more fun be­fore sci­en­tific plau­si­bil­ity was a con­cern. Which would you rather watch: a man grow­ing spuds in his own poo, or as­tro­nauts leg­ging it from ram­pag­ing mon­sters?

The bonkers bes­tiary is the main rea­son to watch this: a gi­ant Venus fly­trap; a 40-foot high rat/bat/spi­der mash-up; the gi­gan­tic amoeba, topped with a sin­gle con­stantly ro­tat­ing eye, whose touch leaves you with a bad case of Swar­fe­gaarm. An­other is the de­ci­sion to shoot the Mars sur­face scenes with a lurid red tint us­ing a process called Cinemagic, de­signed to make the live­ac­tion bet­ter match back­ground draw­ings of Mar­tian cityscape and jun­gle by Hanna-Bar­bera/ comics artist Alex Toth. The re­sults are quite trippy.

Shame about the dreary book­end­ing se­quences, where trau­ma­tised bi­ol­o­gist/perv­ing tar­get Iris re­counts the jour­ney. But thanks to some corny char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion – es­pe­cially that of the mis­sion Com­man­der, who spends half his time do­ing that “pro­pri­eto­rial hand on the wall” thing with Iris, shirt gap­ing open for a mat­ing dis­play of chest hair – even these have their amuse­ments.

Ex­tras Trailer.

For the Cinemagic se­quences, the cast wore white clown make-up, with black lips and black make-up in their nos­trils.

The spray tan­ning ma­chine went crazy.

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