January 20, 2014

Sci Fi Invasion: Mission Stardust

Sometimes I have to wonder what they were thinking with some of the choices for the Sci Fi Invasion box set. I mean, yes, I am expecting a lot of bad movies, but this is getting ridiculous. Of course, I realize they are padding out the movie total with whatever public domain titles they come across that could possibly be watchable. I am also beginning to see why I took such a long break from watching movies in this set. So many bad movies. So many movies that leave me with little to really say about them.

Mission Stardust was made way back in 1967 and on a clearly limited budget. The movie drew its inspiration from a series of pulp novels centering on a character named Perry Rhodan, although from all that I have read (which really is not all that much), this representation is not indicative of the character from the story. I guess that is of little consequence as what we have before us is the movie and not a book.

The movie begins with the launch of a rocket, the titular Mission Stardust. It is a secret mission to the moon where a new element has been found that can help solve Earth's energy issues. The problem is that partway through the mission, the ship's controls are taken over by an unknown force and the ship is landed on the dark side of the moon, outside of contact with the base.

Turns out, there are some aliens in a broken down ship looking for some help. They enlist the human crew to help out and get the ship running again and to also help an alien scientist who is dying. That pretty much sums it up. For some reason I had trouble focusing on this movie. I really just didn't care.

Mission Stardust is a silly and dated. The lead, played by Lang Jeffries, is your typical man's man type of lead. He is cocky, brash, misogynistic, and likes to manhandle the female alien, played by Essy Persson. The effects are poor, the music is quite dated, and the only way you would have any real need to watch this is if you are working through a collection like this.

The transfer is not that good, but about what you would expect for a public domain collection. It is full frame (well, 1.33:1) and is clearly zoomed in to the center of the frame, the result is a lot of cut off heads and poor framing. There are plenty of marks and scratches. It is certainly watchable, but nothing to be all that impressed with.

The film was also known as ...4...3....2...1...morte. Primo Zeglio sat in the director's chair and this was the second to last film he ever made. It seems he spent his career making B-movies, based on titles like Captain Phantom and Slave Queen of Babylon. The original novels were written by Clark Dalton, but it took five writers to come up with this.

Not Recommended.

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