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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 [2] 3 4 ... 9
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #9. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Josh
Bat-Rat-Spider-Crabs are awesome... yes this comment is horribly lame, but I felt like saying something for the sake of saying something, because I'm bored with no life. And now I need to go read the mist again because i dont remember Mr. Bat-Rat-Spider-Crab being in it, thanks for that little tidbit of info.
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #10. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Cham
Whoever said The Angry Red Planet is actually a good movie is an idiot. This movie is a bad poorly mademovie. Now, that is not to say I don't like it. I really like it. The pink-o-vision or whatever the hell it is is pretty neat. The bat-rat-spider, as everyone here already knows, is awesome. But to call it a good film--the acting stinks and the production sucks. The movie is bad. I will watch it again though. I give it a 4/5.
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Smeazel

Just for the record...

It states in the plot summary on this site that the ship is under gravity for the entire flight, and that this is "explained by 'constant acceleration'".  No need for the quotation marks, actually... constant acceleration WOULD in fact simulate gravity.  If the rocket were constantly accelerating at 9.8 m/s^2, then inside the rocket it would, gravitationally, be just as if the astronauts were on Earth (for all practical purposes).  Of course, they'd have to decelerate before they landed, but that's no big deal... halfway through the trip, the rocket can turn around and start DEcelerating at 9.8 m/s^2.  There'd be a moment with no gravity during the transition, but the rest of the trip they'd have regular gravity, for all practical purposes.

HOWEVER, there is one major problem.  Constant acceleration would mean constant fuel expenditure.  In the real world, once a rocket gets into space where there's no air to slow it down, it doesn't need to expend fuel unless it's maneuvering.  Once its course is set, it'll just keep on going in a straight line with no more fuel expenditure necessary (until it's time to turn or stop).  Newton's First Law.  Fuel isn't needed to maintain a rocket's velocity - but it IS needed to maintain a nonzero acceleration.  If the rocket is constantly accelerating, it has to be expending fuel all that time.  And a rocket just can't carry that much fuel.

So, the long and the short of it is, constant acceleration WOULD indeed effectively simulate gravity - but it would also require far more fuel than that rocket could reasonably have had in its tanks.

Okay, I'm nitpicking your plot summary.  Sorry.  I'll shut up now.
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Geoff Feller
I'm surpised no one has mentioned the kooky jazz score over the end credits, perhaps unique in SF cinema.  If I remember correctly, "Angry Red Planet" was produced by Edward Bernds, who directed some of the later Three Stooges shorts.  Could explain why the Bat-Rat-Spider's eyes got "gouged out" as Moe would say.  
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Roger
This could've been a good movie if the characters had been given any sort of humanity. As it is, two minutes after poor Sammy (the nicest guy in the crew) gets absorbed by the giant amoeba, the surviving crewmembers are acting like everything's fine! I mean, if they don't care about him, why should we? This movie obviously had no budget. There is not a single zoom in in the entire film (had zoom lenses been invented by 1959?)! They couldn't even afford crossfades at the end of each scene--the action just inexplicably fades to black a number of times. But decent character develpment could have saved even this piece of drivel. (Note to future screenwriters: GOOD CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT IS CHEAP--TRY IT!!!)

So in the 50's we thought we had the science thing figured out. Now we realize how goofy our ideas were. What worries me is, we still think so today. How will we look 40 years from now?
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #14. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by BoyScoutKevin
Saw this for the first time recently. How do I love it? Let me count the ways. (1) The stock footage. (2) The dialog. Someone actually was paid for writing the dialog. Someone should get their money back. (3) Do not have footage of a rocketship landing. Just take footage of a rocketship lifting off and reverse the footage. (4) One of the guys has a freeze gun. What does the Colonel have? Another freeze gun? No, an automatic. And how does he store it, when he does not need it? With the clip in it. Keep that man away from me. (5) Plants obviously made out of rubber. And (6) When one of them is absorbed by an amoeba, do the rest of them close the door to the rocketship to prevent the amoeba from getting into the ship? No. They leave the door open and watch. Enjoy. I am sure Roger Corman had a hand in the making of this film. It sure looks like one of his. Now, back to "The Fly."
The Angry Red Planet
Reply #15. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Megaloman
The first time I saw this, my mom stayed up and watched it with me and my brother.  We never got to see the end, Channel 2 stopped the film before it was over!  To this day my mom never knows what happened.  Of course, she doesn't remember watching it either.
Anyway, I love this film.  It is just so much fun, and completely unlike a lot of "go to Mars" films at the time.  And all the monsters are really cool as well.

The Angry Red Planet
Reply #16. Posted on July 20, 2001, 12:59:47 PM by lostmissy
for some reasom I like this movie. But that may say more about me then about the movie itself. Maybe the sum of the movie is greater then the parts!!
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