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Throwback Review: 'The Angry Red Planet' (1959)

* The-angry-red-planet.jpgWe Earthlings have always been fascinated by Mars. It's the name, I think; when you name a bright red planet after the God of War, you've set that planet up to have a bad reputation. We've always imagined that if there aliens on Mars, they're probably a pretty hostile lot. 

Generations of children grew up fearing an attack from that planet, Martians pouring forth from their flying saucers and obliterating us all with their ray guns.

In Ib Melchior's 'The Angry Red Planet,' the Martians don't invade Earth. In fact, we invade Mars - that is, if you can count one ship with a crew of four people as an "invasion." 

The ship is brought back from Mars via remote control; upon landing, scientists discover that half the crew is dead. There's one man left (Gerald Mohr) and he has some acidic green slime on his arm, which makes him disinclined to party. The only other survivor is the hot redheaded doctor, Iris "Irish (Get It She's A Redhead So She Must Be Irish Because We Love To Use Stereotypes In The Fifties)" Ryan (Nora Hayden). Physically, she's unscathed, but she has psychologically repressed memories about what happened on Mars and the dreadful fate that befell her crew. She tells what she can and we see what takes place in flashback.

2nd January 2018

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