The late 50’s and early 60’s were a bumper time for science fiction films, many were rushed out and low budget but people were fascinated by space travel and maybe that one day they would see someone actually land on the moon, which of course did happen later in that decade.
Paul Mantee plays American astronaut Kit Draper, stranded (with his pet monkey) on the Red Planet after an emergency crash landing. Now he must find ways to adapt and survive, physically and emotionally, in the alien landscape – but he may not be as alone as he thought…
Shot in Techniscope the film has a very grand feel to it, colours are bold and the images of Mars are striking, remembering that they had no idea what the surface would look like or what the atmosphere would be at that time.
Adam West (Batman) has a small role as his fellow astronaut but overall its up to Paul Mantee to carry the film and he does it remarkably well. The special effects for the time are well done and you can see why this has become a cult classic over the years.
The Blu ray released by Eureka seems like the same master that Criterion use on the USA release. The image is sharp, colourful and there is good depth to the image. Grain is intact and the overall sharp picture should please viewers a lot. Audio is English LPCM 2.0 and is clear has depth and the music score especially stands out well. Extras include an interesting exclusive new audio commentary with special effects designer and Robinson Crusoe on Mars historian Robert Skotak. The commentary is moderated by Michael Felsher. Also included is the original trailer and a well written booklet.
A great 60’s sci fi classic that is exciting and a joy to watch. Recommended.
FILM: 8 PICTURE: 9 AUDIO: 8 EXTRAS: 5