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Space Men

Assignment: Outer Space

Italy 1960
produced by
Titanus, Ultra Film
directed by Anthony Daisies (= Anthony M. Dawson = Antonio Margheriti)
starring Rik Van Nutter, Babriella Farinon, David Montresor, Archie Savage, Alain Dijon, Franco Fantasia, Joe Pollini, David Maran, José Néstor, Anita Todesco
written by Ennio De Concini (as Vasilij Petrov), music by J.K. Broady, special effects by Caesar Peace

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD