The Angry Red Planet

Synopsis: The first spaceship to Mars, presumed lost, is found in space and brought back to Earth by remote control. Only two from an initial crew of four are still alive, but one is unconscious due to an attached alien growth, while the other is traumatized, blocking out all memory of what happened. In hopes to save the unconscious crewman, the amnesiac is interrogated back into remembering. Those in charge thereby learn of the terrible dangers awaiting anyone venturing into the spooky, ruddy stillness of the very alien Martian ecosystem.
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
Director(s): Ib Melchior
Production: American International Pictures (AIP)
Rotten Tomatoes:
83 min

General Treegar.

At 03:
00 this morning,

the expeditionary

X-1 rocket ship,

missing for 61 days,

was sighted by Mount Palomar,

drifting in orbit

some 90,000 miles out in space.

All attempts to establish radio

communication have

failed so far.

We don't know if anyone

is left alive on board.

The MR-1 appears to be

a dead ship!

We've had no contact

with the rocket

since it entered Mars orbit

over 2 months ago and reported

preparing to land on the planet.

The ship was believed

to have crashed

in the landing attempt.

But she didn't!


the Mars rocket

must be retrieved

and brought back

to earth intact!

That's a tall order, George.

I know.

But the recording

instruments on that ship

contain priceless information

covering the entire trip.

We must have it!

Professor Weiner,

what are our chances?

They depend on several

factors, general.

The MR-1 is, of course,

equipped with robot control,

which can be activated by

remote triggering from earth...

If they're operative.

The Nevada base is

alerted to handle it.

They're on standby.

Go on, Professor.

If there's enough fuel on board,

we can send the ship homing

for the Nevada base.

And if the fuel holds out

through the re-entry


we can set her down safely.

Here's another if--

what if there is

someone on board,


Major Ross,

has communications

established any contact?

No, sir. None.

It could be radio failure.

Someone must have taken

the ship off Mars.

The unexpected,


acceleration of, uh, of--

5, 6 Gs.

5, 6 Gs could be

dangerous to them,

even fatal!

And how long will they last

if we leave them out there?

Then it's decided!

We take off for Nevada at once.

We're getting it now, sir,

on the radar telescope screen.

There she is.


Are you ready?



Attention, please.

Minus 1 minute.

Repeat. Minus 1 minute.

Start final countdown.

Tracking, tracking.

Rotary fuel pumps on!

Recording tapes running.

Minus 30 seconds,

minus 30.


Main guiding gyros starting.

Running true.

Running true.

Minus 20 seconds,

minus 20.

Remote-control firing switches...


10 seconds.











She's off!


Then there is fuel aboard.


But there's only one question--

how much?

Well done, professor!

Davis, I want the

exact arrival time

of the ship computed.

Notify me as soon

as you have it.

Yes, sir.

The answers to this

and the many other questions

posed by anxious officials

may come tonight,

when an attempt will be made

to land the Mars rocket ship

at a remote air force

base in Nevada.

There is still the

question of fuel--

does the ship have

enough fuel left

for a safe deceleration?

Or will it burn up

in our atmosphere

like a blazing meteor?

The world waits with suspense

to learn the fate

of the ship's crew of 4,

seen here in newsreel shots

prior to the departure

of the MR-1.

Colonel Tom O'Bannion,

United States air force,

the pilot navigator.

Dr. Iris Ryan,

brilliant young authority

on the sciences of

biology and zoology,

daughter of the late

Professor Alfred Ryan.

Professor Theodore Gettell,

the designer of the rocket ship

and the world's

foremost authority

on space and rocketry.

And chief warrant

officer Sam Jacobs,

electronics and radar expert.

The prayers of a

grateful nation tonight

will be offered in the hope

that these 4 survived

their history-making flight.

5 minutes more. Yeah.

What do you think?

Anyone aboard?

Alive, I mean?

We'll know soon enough.

Hey, look!

- You know what I think?

- What?

That thing up there--

it's a flying coffin.

Looks good so far.

Colonel Davis, anything

on the distant-

radiation counter?


Radiation monitors in position!

Radiation monitors, check.

Attention, please.

This is a repeat of

previous instructions.

No one is to approach the ship

unless ordered by Control.

I repeat, no one is to approach

the ship unless so ordered.

Radiation monitors,

proceed to the rocket.

Start your check.

All counts still

in the green zone.

Hull radiation

within safety zone.


Radiation monitors, stand back.

Recovery squad, move up.

No shielding necessary

to open airlock.

Monitors, stand by to check

interior radiation.

Hold it! Look!

Recovery squad, hold!

Someone's alive.

The girl!

To hell with radiation!

Let's go!

Come on, let's go!

Stretcher bearers!

Aw, come on, sarge,

give me a break, will ya?

Who is it?

Can't see his face.

Hey, what is it, man?

Come on, Iris.

Anything that can be

done for him will be done.

How can anyone cope with that?

Come on, Dr. Ryan,

we'll follow.

I've given him a sedative.

Should keep him quiet.

He's running a high temperature.

Dr. Gordon,

that--that growth...

What are we up against?

I don't know.

It's spreading rapidly.

Do you have any idea

what it might be?

No, I haven't yet.

If we only knew how

or by what he was infected,

we might know how to

combat the disease.

But we're working in the dark.

What about the tape records?

Has anything been

learned from them?

That's just it.

General Treegar informed me

that there are no records.

No tapes at all?

Yes, many of them!

Marked and filed from

the first day out.

They've examined about

half of them by now,

all of them empty.

Nothing on them?


as though they'd been erased

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Ib Melchior

Ib Jørgen Melchior (September 17, 1917 – March 14, 2015) was a Danish-American novelist, short-story writer, film producer, film director, and screenwriter of low-budget American science fiction movies, most of them released by American International Pictures. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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