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Ray Peterson (Rik Van Nutter) is a reporter who is sent to a space
station to write a feature about life in space. But at first, he, the
greenhorn, receives an at best lukewarm welcome, as nobody, including the
commander (David Montresor) wants him around. When he takes a walk into
space on his own and just happens to save the life of one of the
astronauts, it actually only gets worse because when saving the man Ray
somehow damaged the fuel pump. Only Lucy (Gabriella Farinon) eventually
starts to show interest in him, which isn't too good either since she is
the girlfriend of the commander ...
Eventually though, select members of the station's crew go to Mars to
intercept a renegade space station set to destroy earth itself. Ray uses
all of his connections on earth to force the commander to take him with
him, which doesn't necessarily make him any more popular either ... but
then the mission runs into deep trouble: the renegade station is protected
by a seemingly inpenetrable force field, and our group of heroes actually
lose their best pilot (Archie Savage) when he tries to make it to the
station in a shuttle ...
Now its Ray's turn to show his true colours, and while everyone else is
already abandoning hope, he takes the space taxi (a sort of small
convertible spaceship), approaches the station throwing small objects
against the forcefield to distract it and finally amkes it through to the
station, where he finds the whole crew dead and the air steadily getting
thinner - which is bad news, since he damaged his oxygen supply to have
enough small objects to throw at the forcefield. However, Ray manages to
stop the station from its mission to bomb the earth and turns off
the forcefield before he passes out.
When he comes to again, not only the world is saved, but also the crew
of the spacestation have saved him and for his heroic deed finally accept
him as one of them. And of course, int he end, he gets the girl ...
Director Antonio Margheriti's debut film as a director was also the
first space opera produced in Italy ever. Apparently though, the
producers did not really trust the new format too much, so it was done on
a shoestring, and sometimes it shows. The finished product is not a great
film ... on the other hand it's not too bad either: Some of the
miniature effects are actually quite good (escpecially considering the
miniscule budget), the story (basically a Western about a greenhorn who
proves to be a hero and true Westerner at the end of the fillm) is decent
and not as silly as many other space operas, and if you love weird &
campy 1960's sci-fi designs, you will no doubt not want to miss this one.
As I said, it's not great ... but it's not too bad, either.