Although widely admired among longtime science fiction fans, The Angry Red Planet is merely a substandard entry from the genre's 1950s heyday. With wooden performances, atrocious dialogue, and some monsters that would sca... more »re only very young kids, it's perfect fodder for a rainy- day marathon of cheesy movies, as long as you keep your expectations low. Following the standard plot of its day, the movie tells (in flashback) the story of four astronauts who land Rocket M-1 on Mars, only to find the "angry red planet" lives up to its nickname. The plants are carnivorous, there's a gigantic "bat-rat-spider-crab" that can snap humans in half with its pincers, and a slithering Jello-beast with a rotating eyeball that threatens to dissolve the rocket ship into a pile of digested goo. Naturally, there's an onboard flirtation between shapely space-gal Nora Hayden and astro-hunk Gerald Mohr (who inexplicably spends the last half-hour with his hairy chest exposed), while Les Tremayne and Jack Kruschen play the stock characters (respectively) of elder scientist and blue-collar engineer--the latter toting an "ultrasonic freezer gun" that forces attacking monsters to chill out. If that's not enough to whet your schlock-movie appetite, the scenes on Mars were filmed in a gimmicky pink-hued process called "Cinemagic," which resembles a negative image covered in Pepto-Bismol. Is this any way to spend 83†precious minutes? Look at it this way: When an angry Martian warns humans to stay away ("you are technological adults, but spiritual and emotional infants"), you may be laughing enough to make it all worthwhile. --Jeff Shannon« less
"Sid Pink's "Angry Red Planet" was a delight when it came out four decades ago and it's still great fun to watch. In a day when low-budget SF flicks were all in black and white, this ruby-hued gem was dazzling, filmed in "Cinemagic" - a kind of solarized and red-tinted film processing gimmick. So boost the color control on your TV to the max and get your retinas scorched the way audiences did in 1960. Sid Pink's pics tend to the bizarre - "Bwana Devil", "Reptilicus", "The Man From O.R.G.Y." and of course the camp Hans Conried classic "The Twonky" about an alien TV set that takes over a geek's household. This film is no exception. This time four astronauts land on Mars, only to find they are unwelcome. Armed only with a sonic ray gun named Cleopatra -- "because she's such a cool doll" -- our intrepid quartet must fight off a meat-eating plant with a yen for red-haired Irish-American exo-biologists, a 40-foot-tall bat-rat-spider drooling over a goateed, pipe-smoking professor, and a one-eyed blob the size of a mountain that wants to devour their spaceship with everybody in it. All the while they are ogled by three-eyed, two-horned Martians with an attitude problem. Hand-painted sets, puppet monsters, beatnik dialogue, nothing but red as far as the eye can see, and a jazz xylophone score - hey, daddy-oh, this is like coolsville."
"I wonder if some things aren't better left unknown..."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 03/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you visited the cinema in the 1950s and into the 1960s, then you were acutely aware outer space was crawling with all kinds of voracious, hideous space creatures and hostile alien types waiting eagerly to decimate and/or devour any intrepid Earthlings foolishly willing to venture out into the great unknown, as illustrated in the film The Angry Red Planet (1960). Given these apparent dangers, it's a wonder we ever found anyone with guts enough to go into space...co-written by Sidney W. Pink (Reptilicus, Journey to the Seventh Planet) and Ib Melchior (The Time Travelers), the latter also directing here, the film features Gerald Mohr (Invasion USA), Naura Hayden ("Bonanza"), Les Tremayne (The Monolith Monsters), and Jack Kruschen, who was nominated for an Academy Award around the same time for his role in the film The Apartment (1960)...kinda hard to believe after seeing him here...
At the outset we find ourselves among some gooberment bigwigs...turns out a manned spaceship sent to Mars, once lost, has since been found (drifting in orbit around Mars), and the decision is made to bring it home by remote control. Since there's been no communication with the ship, the fate of the four-person crew is questionable. Once returned to Earth, there appear two survivors, one Dr. Iris Ryan (Hayden), who's in a severe state of shock, and the other not identified as he's got some nasty space fungus, and is quarantined quickly (perhaps they should have just remote detonated the ship rather than bring it back to Earth...oh well, too late now). The computer tapes are blank, so the only answers have to come from Dr. Ryan as to the fate of the mission, which takes us into a lengthy flashback. Time to meet your Mars crew...there's the navigator/pilot Colonel Thomas O'Bannion (Mohr), a manly sort with the swagger and chest hair to prove it, Dr. Iris Ryan, the definite looker of the bunch, Professor Theodore Gettell (Tremayne), the obvious brainiac sporting the prerequisite goatee and pipe, and finally the odious, idiotic, ethnic comic relief named Sam `Sammy' Jacobs, the electronics expert, hailing from where else? Brooklyn, of course...anyway, after a lengthy bit of space travel, our plucky adventurers finally arrive and discover the `red' planet is really pink (no foolin'). The surface seems devoid of intelligent life, but there are plenty of hungry, carnivorous plants. As the professor ponders his sense of dread regarding the possibility of some sort of community mind in control of the planet, Tom puts the make on Iris, Iris endangers herself needlessly a few times requiring Tom to save her, and Sammy pitches woo to his sonic freeze cannon due to its propensity to get them out of jams (seriously...he names it Cleopatra and kisses numerous times...get a room you weirdo). Things get nasty as various native creatures, including a rather large rat/bat/spider/crab creature and a ginormous, googly-eyed amoeba-like snot monster threatens to eat the crew, and a mysterious force field prevents them from taking off...
Perhaps the worst/best line from this film occurs after the rocket lands on Mars and the crew is deciding on their course of action. Sammy chimes in with this doozy..."Well, should we go out and claim the planet in the name of Brooklyn?" Yeah, go ahead, dude, and don't bother putting on your spacesuit...The Angry Red Planet, released by American International Pictures, is perhaps the epitome of shoddy science fiction films, featuring cardboard characters, lousy dialog, rotten acting, cheapie sets, low rent special effects, and scads of pseudo science...so why should anyone want to see it? Because it's a big, steaming load of fun. I think my favorite character was Colonel Thomas O'Bannion, played by Gerald Mohr, who came off as a low rent Humphrey Bogart type, with a propensity for hiking his leg up on whatever was available, and leaning on his knee. I mean really, this is just a cool way to talk to people, having your goodies splayed out right in everyone's face. For some reason, the buttons on his shirts never seemed to work properly, as often he can be seen running around bare-chested, displaying his fine man chest rug (eat yer heart out David Hasselhoff). His abilities as a commander were questionable, as often his orders would go unheeded by the others. One thing's for sure, he was always on the make, continually hitting on Iris, regardless the situation (hey, when the ratio is three dudes to one woman, you gotta lay your claim early and often). Nowadays that kind of continual attention would probably be labeled harassment, but back then, it was, well, harassment...as far as the special effects, they're pretty substandard, as I already mentioned, but they do have their charms, and no doubt made quite an impression on younger viewers who witnessed this feature around the time of its release. The main effect occurs once the crew ventures onto the surface of Mars, for the purpose of exploring. There's a heavy, pink, Pepto-Bismol polarized tint, one that seems kinda cool for about five minutes, but then wears thin quickly, inducing a gradual ache in the noggin. If you dig on obvious matte painting backgrounds, you'll be in heaven here as there are scads of them, some decent, some not. As far as the creatures, I thought they were pretty decent considering, as I'm sure that large rat/bat/spider/crab monster would have scared the hell out of me if I was all of ten years old. The huge beastie that came out of the lake was a bit more impressive, its menacing qualities offset slightly by its crazy, google eye. I loved the fact it was just some gigantic, unstoppable mass that, with little provocation, charged after the crew, chasing them all the way back to their rocket, to which it then just glommed on to the ship in an effort to feed on the fleshy contents. All in all this is pretty much a thrown together effort, shot in less than ten days for a minimal budget, but one that does entertain. I'd take this over the slew of direct to video CGI laden junk currently littering the home video landscape.
The picture, presented in fullscreen (1.33:1), looks decent, but I did notice a slight graininess throughout. There was a frame or two missing, and the master print did exhibit some slight wear and tear. The Dolby Digital mono audio comes through very well. As far as extras, there isn't much, only an original theatrical trailer.
Perfect Popcorn Fodder!
AudioHead | GA USA | 05/15/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"In spite of it's multitude of shortcomings, (for example, in the acting department, Colonel O'Bannion's demeanor in the first half of the film seemed more like that of a gigolo than a spaceship commander), I found "The Angry Red Planet" to be a delightfully entertaining film. Very original and creative in certain respects: the CineMagic red filtering gave the Martian landscape and atmosphere an eerie, glowing quality; the Venus (I mean Martian!) flytrap was just passable, but the giant bat-rat- spider-crab creature was cool; the giant ameoba with the rotating eyeball is an incredible, hilarious sight - intended or not, it's got to be one of the most comically imaginative creatures ever conceived! I would place "The Angry Red Planet" in the 3rd tier of the 180+ sci-fi films made during that era - better than dozens of dull, boring, unimaginative low budgies confined to the fourth and bottom rung, but well below the second tier ("When Worlds Collide"; "This Island Earth", etc.) and the "cream of the crop" top level, ("Forbidden Planet"; "War of the Worlds", etc.). Perfect popcorn fodder for both the die-hard 50's sci-fi fan and general family entertainment."
Angry Pink Planet
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 03/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let's face it, this is quite possibly the goofiest, dorkiest, silliest slab of limburger ever to ooze forth from the septic bowels of hollywood! That's why I love it so much! Thank God for "Cinemagic"! This modern marvel separates the film into its distinct pieces. There are the normal colors on earth and in the spaceship (MR1), this let's you know that you are in the BOREDOM ZONE, and allows you to go to the bathroom, bake a pizza, or do some long overdue engine work on the car. Then, there's the headache-inducing pink of Mars. This tells you that the good stuff is about to happen. What good stuff? Well, first we've got the gigantic, rubber, woman-eating plant that grabs the beautiful female astronaut, but is too slow in the old devouring department! Next, the infamous BAT-RAT-SPIDER-CRAB (one of the coolest cheese-puppets ever constructed) that crushes Les Tremayne between two boulders and loses it's eyesight to the sonic freezer gun named "Cleopatra". Finally, The titanic, gooey jello-mold with the Marty Feldman peepers that thankfully puts an end to Jack Kruschen! Remember, think pink! The rest is naptime. Peace..."
The Angry Red (Pink) Planet
mason williams | bloomington, in USA | 01/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Absolute love. I barely remember seeing this movie when I was little on a Sunday afternoon. The rat-bat-spidermajigger sent me into my moms arms and under the blankets. Now I'm 33 and I just finished watching the dvd from MGM. The sound, print, and color are all fantastic! MGM is pretty consistant. If you are anal about your dvds then fear not. The movie itself is a hoot. Hollywood is still recycling this plot over and over, monthly it seems. Sci-Fi formula: A Bunch of dudes and one "token" (usually a girl but sometimes an ethnic) zoom off into space and find something spooky. In the 50's it only took 80 minutes to do this, now it takes 2.5 hrs (always with about 30 minutes of 'space' footage filler). The bottom line, If you dig theremin laced moody exotica soundtracks, creepy aliens, foxy 50's bombshells in tight space-suits, and wise-cracking jugheads (ala McHale's
Navy) then this is your flick. A bargain at twice the price."