Red Planet Mars Reviews
The movie is either the most pandering indictment of mass hysteria being used to control the masses or a searing jibe at it's use, wrapped up so snug that it cant be accused of doing exactly that.
Peter Graves stars as a scientist who sends a signal to Mars and gets an actual call back from real Martians. The Martians give Graves messages that send the world into a panic, apparently because we Earthlings are jealous of the the Martians' technology. World markets collapse, crime spikes, Labor Unions freakout (not surprising), etc. Graves also receives a proxy message from Mars, originally delivered by God. This message changes the world into a peaceful, religious place practically overnight. But hold on, the Russians have been eavesdropping so trouble is bound to ensue.
This movie contains absolutely no visuals of Martians, space battles or anything else that amounts to anything more than a left over stage prop. But somehow it almost works. Many will think that this is a thinly veiled commantary on McCarthyism. Others will sour on its overtly religious theme, and that's okay. I honestly can't decide what I think of it.
I have to admit, the transition from SF schlock to religious preachy schlock was so unexpected that I continued to watch for a few more minutes in the hopes that it was just a phase the director was temporarily going through.
Sadly, that was not the case. Fast-forwarding through the remaining 1/2 of the movie only confirmed that "Red Planet Mars" was merely another sad example of the 50's interpretation of our American Puritan heritage.
It plays Thursday Aug. 31 at The Vortex Room- 9PM -1082 Howard-SF