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MOvie Poster for The Angry Red Planet
Watch the extra special ANIMATED version here on Youtube!
woman screaming

Hang on Boys...its gonna be one of THOSE kinda films

title card for The Angry Red Planet

...and rightfully so!

Blasting out of Locker is the 1959 classic The Angry Red Planet.  Presumably, it is “angry” and “red” (from embarrassment) at being dragged kicking and screaming into this Ib Melchior disast-o-rama!  The movie stars Captain Lecherous, Weakling 1950’s Woman, Brainy-Guy-What-Pulls-Theories-From-His-Ass (I think that’s his tribal name) and Comic-Relief-Gonna-Die guy who has an incredibly unhealthy relationship with his gun.

This cinematic misadventure begins somewhat backwards.  When I started the movie, I thought I had missed something.  After a healthy round of military stock footage, we are invited into the Pentagon where we learn that the MR1 rocket is in outer Earth orbit, fresh from its Mars visit, but not responding.  After a 12 second discussion, its decided that they bring the ship in by remote.  Glad we had this meeting guys!  Let’s do it again sometime! Can anyone say, “pad the film?”

Screaming woman

In space, no one can hear you scream.. but on Mars..

Screaming woman

She just found out that her deductible doesn't apply to Mars excursions!

Once we get out to the desert, the ship lands in a stunning display of even more stock footage.  While people are checking it out for radiation, the hatch opens and out stumbles the lady doctor.  She and Captain Lecherous are the only two survivors and the data records and tapes have all been erased.  We know this because it is explained in painstaking narrative detail over the infected Captain’s bed by the MEDICAL DOCTOR.  Folks, there is a LOT of exposition in this flick!  Fair warning!

In the local hospital (because that’s where alien-infected people go for treatment), doctors are at a loss to understand the nebulous infection afflicting the Captain, so they go and harass the woman for answers.  

They've CLEARLY never seen "The Blob!" She finally begins to mete out the story of their doomed misadventures on Mars. 

Narrowly avoiding a strategically placed but highly useless plot-point right off the bat, the crew settle into a “menial-task” film montage that would give Bert I Gordon a boner!  They arrive at Mars, where they begin to explore the surface flora and fauna, carnivorous plants, oily lakes, and amoeba creatures what eat spaceships.  The Martians eventually allowed the ship to return to Earth with a warning: “All these worlds are yours except Europa.  Attempt no landing there.”  Oh, wait a minute!  Hmmm, I think I’m confusing that with an actual movie you'd want to see.  Basically, the message was thanks for visiting but don’t come back.

Vagina cartoon plant

Beware the carnivorous Martian cartoon vaginacooter plant !

The Angry Red Planet Spider Bat Crab creature

How in the HELL do you completely MISS wandering under this thing? I don't know but somehow they did !

This was one crazy-ass movie.  Ib Melchior was trying to go for some weird effect with the film and it came off burning my retinas.  The red planet was VERY, VERY red…blindingly so..  distractingly so!  I became vaguely seasick watching everything vibrate at the subatomic level.  This was the director’s accidental discovery of “CineMagic!”  Sounds impressive if it hadn’t been an accident and couldn’t hide the fact that the landscapes of Mars were cartoons. No shit.. the cartoon vaginacooter plant is a small sampling of the very painfully obvious "cartoon" landscape. By the way, that name is taken from it's actual biological nomenclature "Vaginacooterous Consumous Earthilingus."  Look it up!


So, let’s talk about the crew.  Captain Schmarmy had all the redeeming qualities one comes to look for in a used car salesman coupled with a slimy lawyer who also volunteered in his spare time as a snake-oil salesman with a little Washington lobbyist sprinkled in for good measure!  I hated this jackass from the get-go!  He had an impressively “rapey” vibe in which I didn’t think he should be left alone and unsupervised with any of the crew.    I know it was the late 50’s/early 60’s but cripes.  Give me a break! The Captain took every opportunity to hit on, dismiss, and marginalize the only female member of the crew and believe me, she was no bastion of women’s lib!  She never once put him in his place, for which I was hoping! I was kinda hoping she'd knee him in the groin a couple of dozen times or lock his still-attached testicles in an airlock.. but alas....


Like any good broad of the 50’s/60’s, who smiled as if she were completely flattered by the inappropriate dialogue and misogynistic commentary, politely laughed, and put up with all the “woman jokes” and humiliation. I can't tell you how many times I was just HOPING she'd backhand that sickening smirk of his face. 


The other Doctor who “built” the spaceship makes a constant mockery out of the scientific process by postulating his “gut” feelings as “fact” so often that I wondered if he were secretly working for the Martians.  Perhaps I missed it but I have no clue what happened to him.  I don’t recall him getting eaten by creatures and he didn’t stumble out of the ship at the beginning of the movie.  Perhaps he got off somewhere between Earth and Mars.  Personally, I feel his pain. 


Then there was the “goofy” guy.. a little dimmer than the other light bulbs on the mission.  Always cracking jokes, naming his rifle (and spending a bit too much time polishing and kissing it), and being the comic relief.  This guy couldn’t be any more doomed if he had worn a uniform that said “Martians, please kill me!"  I can’t see how any of these dorks found their way onto this mission.  If these are the best, brightest, most vetted, qualified people that humanity has to offer.. I can't blame the Martians for saying "Stay the HELL on YOUR side of the orbital plane!"  This band of yahoos had about as much discipline as a group of drunken frat boys on a weekend road trip.  Looking through the lens of history, I am aware that using our current standards of behavior is somewhat unfair.  BUT.. if that were the case, I’d be out of a job!

Shmarmy guy

They took the ankle bracelet off for the big Mars mission but I STILL can't go within 500 feet of a playground!

Captain Lecherous

So.. what brings you to Mars? What's a dame like you doing in a rocketship like this?  Me love you long time?

IMDb link

Click on the IMDb icon for more facts and info on The Angry Red Planet

CineMagic woman

...And with each and every movie ticket sold, you get a lead apron, welding goggles, and complimentary Geiger-counter!

The Angry Red Planet Martian

...And you can keep Matt Damon as well !!!

Poor Matt Damon

Many notable moments in this movie!   One of which occurs while they are exploring Mars and someone goes to hack off a branch on an odd “tree.”  It turns out to be this 40-foot-tall Bat/spider/crab creature.  Everyone seems vaguely surprised when it comes to life and begins terrorizing them.  I’m not sure why.  Its right there, LOOMING over them.  I mean..its RIGHT the open! It wasn’t camouflaged!  It wasn’t hidden!  There’s nothing around it when it starts growling, snarling, and moving!  Were these goofs so oblivious that they didn’t look up at any point?

Most noteworthy was the horribly rendered “cartoon” landscapes.  Trying to save a buck or two, Ib Melchior thought we would all be so distracted by his new “CineMagic” technique that we wouldn’t notice.  Granted that my eyes are only now recovering, but I noticed!  Again, I try not to be “too” hard on these films but it’s kind of hard not to be.  The dialogue is mundane at best, there is no scientific basis for most of what passes for “science,” the new seizure-inducing “CineMagic” leaves you walking away from the theater feeling vaguely radioactive, and the overall plot is depressing, and they LOSE a character in the plot somewhere. 

However, in my research, I found an animated version of The Angry Red Planet on Youtube that is slightly different from the movie but more entertaining nonetheless.  Is it sad that the animated version is better than the actual movie?


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