Toto nella luna (1958)

aka Toto in the Moon
Article 2221 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-15-2007
Posting Date: 9-11-2007
Directed by Steno
Featuring Toto, Sylva Koscina, Ugo Tognazzi

When an Italian man is discovered to have an element in his blood similar to one found in monkey’s blood, American scientists believe he will be the ideal man to send into space. However, there are complications with German spies and aliens from outer space.

There are several familiar names in the cast and crew; Ugo Tognazzi is mostly famous for his appearance in LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, Sylva Koscina appeared in HERCULES UNCHAINED , DEADLIER THAN THE MALE and JULIET OF THE SPIRITS, among others. and co-writer Lucio Fulci would go on to become the director of a number of gory Italian horror movies. I wish I could say much about their contributions here, but given that my copy of the movie is in unsubtitled Italian (the plot description above is pieced together from what I could figure out), I can’t really say too much. It was a vehicle for an Italian comedian known as Toto, and much of the humor is verbal. Still, there are some interesting plot elements here; the story initially seems to revolve around the cover of a magazine known as SOUBRETTE, the aliens are represented as disembodied eyes who communicate over great distances, and the aliens are able to use pods to duplicate people (which makes me think that someone involved saw INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS ). It looks fun enough, but it’s always hard to tell in these circumstances; with subtitles or dubbing, it could turn out to be just dumb. Nonetheless, there appears to be a considerable amount of science fiction content, not least of which are the various pieces of science fiction artwork that pop up in the story.


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