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Not Rated
Copyright 1960 American International Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Dr. Iris Ryan - Nicknamed "Irish," she is here to scream at all the scary monsters. Her entire face unhinges. I swear the woman is part snake.
  • Colonel Thomas O'Bannion - Mission commander who starts putting the moves on Iris before the ship is even out of orbit.
  • Chief Warrant Officer Sam Jacobs - Gleeful moron with a freeze-ray gun, spends most of his time lavishing affection on it until the amoeba eats him.
  • Professor Theodore Gettell - We are informed he is the spaceship's designer and an expert on such things, then watch him wander around with a pipe. Dies of a heart attack or stroke.
  • General George Treegar - Why in the heck was a military officer in command of this?
  • The Bat-Rat-Spider - Give some disturbed kid a chainsaw, thread, and the named animals. He will make one for you. (You need a lobster too.)
  • The Carnivorous Plant - Tries to eat Iris, they chop her free and move to a safe distance, then Sam freezes it out of spite.
  • The Giant Amoeba - The largest single celled organism ever, this thing must be a hundred yards across. Col O'Bannion rewires the radar to fry it with electricity.
  • The Martians - The galactic equivalent of farmer Joe with his shotgun, don't like no humans trespassing on der property!

Buy It!

The Plot: 

A film, from 1959, which deals with the exploration of Mars is going to be cannon fodder so I'll stick with common sense aspects. Two months after it was presumed lost on Mars, the rocketship MR-1 is discovered in a stationary orbit around Earth, but attempts to raise the crew via radio are useless. Two months? Pathfinder took seven months just to reach Mars, who made this ship, Ferrari? General Treegar and the other experts (No meeting with the President and the brightest minds available?) decide to land the craft under remote control. What followed left me dumbfounded, a launch - in reverse, as they land this enormous rocket with no problem. I'm pretty sure that part cheeses off the Mars Polar Lander fellows to no end. Two survivors are on board, Iris and Colonel O'Bannion, the latter's arm is covered with a strange growth. She is finally able to relate the mission's fateful journey, including having gravity the entire flight! You heard me, the astronauts walk around their spacious craft under normal gravity, which is explained as "constant acceleration." It's almost as if they were actually on the set of some movie studio... ...reality is a gossamer thing I tell you. After landing they spend several minutes looking out viewports and describing the sights to us, then Iris sees a scary face in the window and screams. Everyone suits up and goes outside to explore, boy are strange things waiting for them: carnivorous plants, huge bat-rat-spider-lobster things, a giant amoeba, and the Martians themselves. How they mistook the bat-rat-spider-lobster beast for a patch of trees is still a mystery, but common sense fled me (Early on and under a hail of blows from the film.) anyway.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • The Pentagon has screen doors.
  • A rocket landing looks just like a rocket taking off, except in reverse.
  • Shifting desert sand dunes make excellent landing pads.
  • Earth is orbited by deadly radioactive meteorites. (I do not mean small particles, I mean glowing hunks of rock.)
  • Palm trees grow on Mars.
  • If it looks like a man-eating plant then it probably is a man-eating plant.
  • Having your eyes flash frozen sucks.
  • Nobody likes us. (Us humans that is.)

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 2 mins - Is it called the X-1 or the MR-1?
  • 3 mins - They flew to Nevada in a B-52? (A bomber.) Why not a passenger aircraft?
  • 16 mins - That is a darn roomy spaceship.
  • 27 mins - Why is she cleaning everything, it wasn't clean when they first packed the gear?
  • 32 mins - Stole those spacesuits from the local service station didn't you?
  • 42 mins - I really think that their helmets are open, no faceplates. (I'm right you know.)
  • 66 mins - Maybe you should check out the top of the tree...
  • 77 mins - Even through this crazy red effect I can tell that is a drawing.
  • 84 mins - This is the first point I can confirm one of my suspicions, their control room is where the engines should be...


  • Sam: "If those Martians are out there they must invisible."
  • Sam: "Some baby, that rat-bat-spider nightmare, huh?"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note angryred1.wav Control: "Stand by to check interior radiation."
Treegar: "Hold it, look!"
Control: "Recovery squads, hold!"
Treegar: "Someone's alive!"
Guy: "The girl!"
Treegar: "To hell with radiation, let's go!"
Green Music Note angryred2.wav O'Bannion: "Mars, the angry red planet."
Iris: "Sounds so foreboding, doesn't it?"
Green Music Note angryred3.wav Sam: "Well, should we go out and claim the planet in the name of Brooklyn?"
Green Music Note angryred4.wav The Martians laying down the law.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipangryred1.mpg - 2.4m
The Bat-Rat-Spider! Even with the effects available when this movie was made he is one of the more memorable creatures to ever come out of Hollywood. My humble opinion of course.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 9
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #33. Posted on November 15, 2003, 01:13:23 AM by Steve
As a lover of SciFi and a lover of bad movies I must say you have way overrated this flic. It basicaly sucks, and even for a bad movie is really BAD!!!
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #34. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Dave Munger
I actually came here just to comment on constant acceleration. I am a nerd. Acceleration is actually measured in terms of "G-forces", one G of acceleration is equivalent to one Earth gravity. It could work with a drive that was close to 100% efficient, like the "asymptotic drive" in Arthur C. Clarke's "Imperial Earth". That got it's power by feeding hydrogen to a microscopic black hole. Generally, things in Clarke novels either are possible mathematically, or he makes it really obvious that they're meant to be understood as magic. Then there are hypothetical drives where you don't have to carry the fuel with you, like ramscoops for collecting interstellar hydrogen. With constant acceleration, there is also the advantage of getting there faster.

<a href="">The Hand Of Munger</a>
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #35. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Phil
I saw this movie the other night for the 1st time since I was a little kid... and I must say it was BAD!!! I liked the way they looked out the window discribing stuff but not letting us see...  and they kept telling sammy the freeze-gun lover to not leave the window and keep watching, well what about the other window??? And the sets? Flat drawings!! But they figured if they put enough red on it we might not notice.. loved the rolling eyeball.
Also the fact that some of the astro-nuts had to explain to the others 'facts' about Mars (like maybe they weren't curious enough to find out a little before takeoff?)
I always thought "Forbidden Planet" was light-years ahead of this movie and it was made years before!!
Also, that rocket must have had a pretty large fuel tank! Wonder if the president knew these few guys in the control room and four astronauts were up to?
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #36. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Bruce
INCREDIBLY BAD!!! Some of the "Monsters" and scenery consisted of STILL Black & White DRAWINGS!!! Someone says: "OH! NO!" Look at the "Monster" in the view port and we are treated to a LINE DRAWING of a "Monster"!!! Then a "Monster" with a revolving turret for a head!

Horrifying, YES! But all due to the REVULSION at the rock bottom worst stuff imaginable (QUALITY-WISE!)

The Angry Red Planet
Reply #37. Posted on March 14, 2005, 03:39:16 PM by IT.
Not a bad movie in my opinion.Far better then Catwomen Of The Moon or Missle to the Moon.The scenes with the Batratspidercrab was the best and well remembered. The rest of the movie was average.I saw this movie as a kid and i enjoyed it but i always thought they could of had the batratspidercrab walk off a cliff into a pool of lava or something after it was blinded but it just walks off into the distance kind of a weak ending for one of the best monsters in SciFi history.I give it 5 STARS.
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #38. Posted on August 05, 2004, 02:00:33 PM by Thunderbird
The rat-bat-spider i wonder if those martian scientists were not fooling around with genetics? and as for the giant ameba there was a even bigger one in a episode of classic star trek a ameba big enough to wipe out a whole star system and a star ship run by vulcans WOW THAT IS BIG
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #39. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by amherst
This film was shot in "Cinemagic" process (that wierd negative with red tint) -- a process created and used for this film by Norman Maurer -- Maurer was the son-in-law of Moe Howard of the Three Stooges, and managed their careers in the 1950s and 1960s. (Maurer was a comic book artist by profession, and also invented the first 3-D comic book).
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #40. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by David Milland
A spectacularly bad film! Not that that's a bad thing. There's bad, and so bad it's good, and for most of it's 83 mins. "Angry Red Planet" falls into the latter category. Nicely stylized, but utterly unrealistic B/W line drawings are regularly substituted for actual Martian scenery. The "real" Martian scenery is no better as it is a strange combination of obviously potted palms, and other trees that have no business in a jungle, all of which have been scattered with excelsior. Even the pink, headache inducing "Cinemagic" effect doesn't begin to disguise this. The giant amoeba is delightfully audacious in it's awfullness. It is obviously two entirely different models. The rubbery, jellid one for the water, and the rigid, rolling-eyed one for land. It is also rendered as a chunky, multicolored mound of Jell-o surrounding the rocket, and swirling ominously through the porthole. In one such porthole shot you can clearly make out the end of a stick stirring it. The batratspidercrab is, on one level, as hilariously fake as anything I've ever seen on film, yet it is also amazingly effective! I could see every wire holding it up, the obviously hinged jaw, the way most of it's legs never touched the ground as it walked, just the utter, blatant fakeness of it, and yet it absolutely fascinated me! I wish it had taken up the entire running time, and I REALLY wish that I owned that prop. The four lead players, save for Ms. Hayden, are all talented, prolific, usually solid character actors. Gerald Mohr played lots of cops and robbers, and was very good in a small part in William Wyler's "Funny Girl". Les Tremayne and Jack Kruschen had both appeared in George Pal's stunning "War Of The Worlds". Tremayne had worked for Douglas Sirk in "Written On The Wind", and the same year(1960) that ARP was released Kruschen (brilliantly) played Dr. Dreyfuss in Billy Wilder's "The Apartment". All of which makes me wonder why the performances are so bad in this movie. I tend to think that since it was just a ten day shoot the principals signed on for a quick paycheck, and in the hope that the film would disappear quickly, and just gave the director what he wanted. Unlike Kruschen, not to many people can say that they were directed by Ib Melchior and Billy Wilder in the same year. Yes, it was directed by the notoriously inept Ib Melchior, produced by the epically inept Sid Pink (the man responsible for "Reptilicus"), and cowritten by both. Given that pedigree I suppose I should be thankful that it's even watchable. Other than Melchior's "Robinson Crusoe On Mars"(which still had execrable special effects even though it was from Paramount) this is sadly/hilariously the best movie either ever made. The jazz score at the end is quite cool, especially since it doesn't remotely fit with any of the music heard previously in the film. As for the lovely Nora (later to become "Naura") Hayden, she quit acting, and in the early 70's authored the best selling sex manual "How To Please A Man Every Time", and it's sequal "How To Please A Woman Everytime". I imagine her python-like unhinging jaw was a great aid in her research. That thought alone makes me extra double glad that I'm queer as a prom queen.  I've often heard it said that no one ever sets out to make a bad movie. "Angry Red Planet" will make you wonder. At least it's (unintentionally) funny, and moronically entertaining. I wanna see the Batratspidercrab in a new movie!
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