Oh wow, this movie was incredible! A long slow setup pays off in the biggest way when four astronauts land on Mars to explore, and everything is violently color washed in red so bright it practically glows.
The movie begins with some Air Force officers discussing a rocket mission that was thought lost turning up on their scopes, but no one on board is answering the radio, so they devise a plan to land the rocket by remote control. Upon landing, the hatchway opens and Dr Iris (Irish) Ryan, played by Naura Hayden, steps out. The only other survivor is Tom O’Bannion, played by Gerald Mohr.
Tom has a slimy green growth attached to his arm and the doctors are at a loss to find a way to get it off, and Iris is of no help because she’s traumatized by all the crazy shit she saw, so she can’t remember what happened to Tom that might help the doctors. Finally they pump her full of drugs that somehow help her start to remember, and we’re then treated to a flashback for the rest of the movie.
Not to go into to much detail and spoil the movie, after a dragging montage of the crew doing random stuff on the ship to kill time during the trip, they land safely and begin exploration where they encounter hilariously constructed monsters. Lots of very impressive sounding science jargon is thrown around, and the ray gun has the most annoying high-pitched continuous tone of any gun ever. Every time they fired it I was hitting the mute button on my remote.
I honestly don’t think much more needs to be said here. The monsters and landscapes of Mars are classic sci-fi cheese and the hokey acting makes for an enjoyable experience. This should definately be in the collection of any fan of old B movies.