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The Angry Red Planet

The Angry Red Planet

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Enjoyable 50’s sci-fi outing

The Angry Red Planet, The crew of an exploratory expedition to Mars must fight for their lives after they encounter various lethal alien lifeforms on the angry red planet. Director Ib Melchior, who also co-wrote the engrossing and imaginative script with Sid Pink, relates the entertaining story at a steady pace and treats the neat premise with admirable restraint and seriousness. The cast play their roles commendably straight, with nice work by Gerald Mohr as the amiable Col. Thomas O’Bannon, ravishing redhead Naura Hayden as the strong, smart, and resourceful Dr. Iris ‘Irish’ Ryan (this film scores extra points for not presenting Ryan as your usual demeaning shrieking helpless damsel in distress), Les Tremayne as the sage Prof. Theodore Gettell, and Jack Kruschen as the hearty and easygoing CWO Sam Jacobs. This movie further benefits from a nifty array of gnarly creatures: a deadly Venus Flytrap-type carnivorous plant, a briefly glimpsed three-eyed behemoth, a giant amoeba, and, best of all, the famous enormous bat-rat spider beast. Moreover, there’s a real sincerity to the whole picture that’s impossible to either dislike or resist. Both Stanley Cortez’s vibrant color cinematography and Paul Dunlap’s rousing score are up to par. A fun little film well worth watching.

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