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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 ... 5 6 [7] 8 9
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #49. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by rob r
I noticed a small detail the last time I saw this on cable.The seats in the ship were actual jet ejector seats.I think the manufacturer (Weber?) was even thanked in the credits.Too bad these bozos didn't use them.
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #50. Posted on October 13, 2006, 03:33:16 PM by marlon the monster
I dont care how you try to justify it but freezing someones eyeballs is just plain wrong.Other then that an enjoyable movie.
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #51. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Alan Gutierrez
As one who owes his career to Science Fiction, and artistic design, I think the Bat Rat Spider Crab is one of the top 10 designed monsters of all time! While at Art Center College of Design, I was taught by one instructor that good ideas are "making the strange familiar, and the familiar strange" That's what makes BRSC so good, taking familiar images (repulsive in this case) and rearranging them into a new design. As an artist in the SF field, I've tried to live by that creed 25 years since my BFA in Illustration and hundreds of SF book covers.
Re: The Angry Red Planet
Reply #52. Posted on June 26, 2007, 02:45:31 AM by lumal has a lot to say about this stuff
Ib is 89 and still writing. He's a very interesting fellow.

We R selling the orginal shooting script on Ebay and they are studing it and USC & UCLA film school.

THX 2 the Nasa Mars guy. We get a lot of this regarding ARP. 4 it's time and even now oin context.

Kirk Maillet
Re: The Angry Red Planet
Reply #53. Posted on September 07, 2007, 03:48:51 PM by 316zombie
i love this movie! the effects are amazing,especially for their time period!the solarizing of the matte pics and the marionettes really creates a wonderfully eerie atmosphere,if you know how to appreciate the art and the design involved in creating this effect.many professors of film use this movie as a tool to teach their students about the advances in film making throughout its to the dialog and acting,well sure,they weren't fabulous,but they fit the film very well!it was never meant to be a classic,but it is,on any number of movie lists.can you name a better scifi movie from the same time period?i doubt it!
Re: The Angry Red Planet
Reply #54. Posted on January 05, 2008, 05:36:53 PM by damnote
This was one of the first B-Movies I saw as a kid. I still love it and I don't get bored. Out of all the "Mars" movies out there this one still takes the cake as a great example of what we all thought Mars would be like.....far out!
Re: The Angry Red Planet
Reply #55. Posted on January 08, 2008, 11:26:27 AM by Flangepart
This film provides an invaluable lesson for all aspiring female astronauts: Girls, when preparing for your first EVA, don't forget your purse!
Remember the first words the General says when she staggers out of the ship when it lands on earth...
"Its the girl!"
Not 'Doctor'...whats her name...just 'Its the girl!"
and yeah, Sam has Waaaaay too much affaction for his gun.
Sam remember...
"This is my wepon, this is my gun..."
Re: The Angry Red Planet
Reply #56. Posted on October 20, 2008, 04:04:26 PM by WingedSerpent
Who would win in a fight Rat-Bat-Spider-Crab or Man-Bear-Pig?
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