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The Angry Red Planet

Started by Fred Ringwald, November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM

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Fred Ringwald

The Angry Red Planet terrified me when I was about 6 or 7.  I recently saw it again, for the first time in many years, and was amazed by how BAD it was.  The acting, the dialogue, the idiot lavishing affection on his freeze ray---I just shook my head.  The attitudes are probably what's most striking: this was made before Vietnam, and they think nothing of obliterating  everything in sight with their freeze-ray, just because they're away from home.   Who can blame the Martians for being angry?

  The rat-bat-spider-crab is still one of the most effective monsters of all time. The strange motion it makes and the weird lighting combine to make it somehow seem really alive. It's menacing snarl and plodding walk are truely nightmarish. Of course, the movie that surrounds it is almost perfectly cheesy, and if viewed more than once a year proves tedious. But the spider-bat is truely a work of art. It is unique; who ever saw it and forogt it? Is this not one of the true criteria of a masterpiece? If it were filmed any other way than in the strange red glow that imbues it, it would just be another piece of Hollywood schlock. But the way that it is will make it a classic for all time. There is something in its being a marionette that gives it a somehow natural movement that would have been impossible to achieve any other way. The sounds, too, add to the experience to make the whole scene authentically otherworldly. I remember seeing the film as a boy and I have never forgotten the clomping footfalls that it makes when Dumb Dora hacks off its leg spike. This scene, and the ensuing few munites, are deliciously and eerily delightful, and are fully equivalent with the great opening scenes of the fully matuered Alien
in the film of that name.

Rick Oliver

This film provides an invaluable lesson for all aspiring female astronauts: Girls, when preparing for your first EVA, don't forget your purse!

James Hepler

What the hell is up with that women's jaw?  I can't believe I didn't notice that the first time I saw it.  Sheesh.


I saw this movie when it was released at a Saturday matinee.  I was 8 or 9 at the time. I thought it was scary and cool.  I rented it a few years back and showed it to my daughter when she was about the same age. She thought it was cheesy.  That's progress.


Say what you will about "Angry Red Planet" but the Bat-Rat-Spider creature still RULES as a great piece of FX.


Yes, I also think this movie is kinda cheesy seeing it now, after all these years, but back then in the 50's, I'm sure it scared the hell outta alot of folks! The bat/rat monster is definitely the highlight of the film, and it is still effective even today in my opinion. But it does make you wonder why they didn't see the whole creature when they first approached its legs! Oh well, you can't win them all. But for all its goofiness and absurdity, its still fun to watch on a late night!


You know who that Bat/Rat/Spider monster thingie had a HUGe effect on as a kid?  Stephen King, really.  Just go out and read his short novel The Mist, the BRS makes a cameo, of course you only see its legs, but it's still there.

Corby Waste

I just want to say that I'm a forty-something year old now working for the Mars Program and I think Angry Red Planet is by far the best old sci-fi movie about Mars. For me, personally, I only wish that when we started getting pictures back from the real Mars, that they would have been anywhere near as cool as what that movie showed. Also, I thought it was incredibly cool to recently see a small version of the movie poster on one of my major Mars scientists wall at a NASA center that will remain nameless. I don't want mention his name since he probably would prefer not stay anonymous but I wanted to let the Angry Red Planet's fans know that you have company in some very high places. And you never know....what if life DOES exist on Mars? What if it's still there underground? Anyone seeing the movie would definitely think twice before volunteering for the first expedition. Maybe we better hope that it was just science fiction!

I really appreciate seeing your webpage on it,

Corby J. Waste


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.


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.


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.

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.  


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?


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."