This movie its idea already looked silly on paper but the execution of it is just as silly really. Let's just say that this movie ain't no "Cast Away". It's a story about survival, set on the distant planet Mars but I can't exactly say that this movie is being a very realistic or appealing one to watch.

It remains definitely a watchable movie but it's still one that does a lot of things real poorly, which makes this a bit of a bad and silly watch at times.

One thing I just don't really understand about this movie is that it takes a realistic approach to things but yet manages to throw so many crazy and just plain ridicules stuff into the story. First of all, the entire idea that a man can breath and just live normally on Mars is quite ludicrous but I guess that people just didn't know any better back in 1964, so I won't hold that against the movie. But it still manages to put in a whole lot of other silly stuff into the movie, which just dragged the story down so much for me. The random attacks of alien spaceships (which got reused from "The War of the Worlds") and the guy/alien he digs up are just two of the elements that make the story quite a ridicules one, even for normal '60's science-fiction movie standards. And lets not even get started on that ugly little monkey!

I guess the movie was afraid to become a long and boring one if it had only just purely focused on its one main character and his struggle to survive on a strange, far off planet. But this in fact would had probably made the movie a far more interesting and realistic one. Now instead, with all of the craziness being thrown into the movie, I can't really see anything that is so appealing about it, though it has grown out to become a sort of a cult-classic, in certain circles, so it still appeals to plenty of other people.

I can't say that this overall is a bad movie though, since it still features some good and interesting elements in it. First of all the idea of letting the story take place entirely on an alien planet was something that didn't got done an awful lot at the time and it does make this one of the more original genre movies of its era. It does a lot of other daring things as well, such as featuring for one part just one main character and it's not featuring a real typical or clear main plot line in it, in which a mystery needs to get resolved or an evil alien needs to be beaten, or anything like that. I think the movie still deserves lots of credit for this all. It's being different but not always for its own good though unfortunately.

It was also obviously a cheap movie to make but considering the financial resources, they overall did a pretty good job with it. It's a pretty good looking movie, which some decent early special effects but my only complaint about it would be that Mars looks nothing like Mars at all in this movie. Again, perhaps they simply didn't know any better back in 1964 but I'm pretty sure that Mars back then also was better known as the red planet, which makes it odd that the sets and exterior shots are all mostly gray or white looking.

More bad and silly than great really but it still has its originally going for it.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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