MISSION MARS (1968)
Article 3298 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-9-2010
Posting Date: 8-25-2010
Directed by Nicholas Webster
Featuring Darren McGavin, Nick Adams, George De Vries
What it is: Old-fashioned science fiction movie.
Astronauts go to Mars. Will they encounter Martians? Will they come back alive?
Director Nicholas Webster has had a little experience with science fiction previous to this one; he gave us SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS. If that doesn’t sound encouraging, that’s because it isn’t. He has a bigger budget here, which results in slightly better special effects and a certain degree of star power, but it doesn’t help much. It’s sincere, but dull; nothing much happens until the astronauts get to Mars (which is a little more than halfway through the movie), and nothing is done to keep the first half of the movie from turning into a major snoozefest. The encounters with the strange Martians perk things up a little, but not enough to hide the fact that the movie has no real surprises in store for us. The story is by Audrey Wisberg, who also gave us some of the weaker science fiction movies of the fifties with THE NEANDERTHAL MAN, PORT SINISTER and CAPTIVE WOMEN after a relative high point of THE MAN FROM PLANET X; this movie is a lot closer to his low points.