Missile to the Moon – USA, 1958 – overview and reviews

 

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‘… a strange and forbidding race …a giant fiendish creature’

Missile to the Moon is a 1958 American science fiction film with monsters directed by Richard E. Cunha (Giant from the Unknown; She Demons; Frankenstein’s Daughter) from a screenplay by H.E. Barrie and Vincent Fotre (Night of the Witches; Baron Blood).

Distributed by Astor Pictures (Robot Monster; Peeping Tom), the film is an even lower budget remake of 1953’s already low budget Cat-Women of the Moon.

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The cast includes Richard Travis, Cathy Downs (The Phantom from 10,000 LeaguesThe Amazing Colossal Man; She Creature), K. T. Stevens, Tommy Cook, Nina Bara, Gary Clarke, Michael Whalen, Laurie Mitchell, Leslie Parrish, Henry Hunter, Lee Roberts, Sandra Wirth, Pat Mowry, Tania Velia, Sanita Pelkey, Renate Hoy (“Miss Germany, 1952”), and Mary Ford.

Plot:

Two escaped convicts, Gary and Lon, are discovered hiding aboard a rocket by scientist Dirk Green, who then forces them to pilot the spaceship to the Moon. Dirk, who is secretly a Moon man, wants to return home. Dick’s partner, Steve Dayton, accompanied by his fiancé June, accidentally stowaway on board just before the rocket’s launch.

Moon man Dirk is later killed in a meteor storm during the lunar trip. Once they land on the Moon, the spaceship’s reluctant crew encounter an underground kingdom of beautiful women and their sinister female ruler The Lido, giant lunar spiders, and mysterious surface dwelling, slow-moving, rock creatures…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

” … the level of invention is low and the whole thing becomes progressively sillier as it proceeds.” BFI Monthly Film Bulletin

“The direction is so rushed and the puny sets so restrictive that most of the scenes are flat-blocked. Players march onscreen single file, go through the dialog, and exit again stage right or left. Just like a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.” DVD Talk

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“Among the camp highlights: dubbed screams (taken, reportedly, from Attack of the 50 Foot Woman), obvious photo-blowup backdrops (you can even see the line between two connected photos), a cardboard spaceship (watch it sway in the wind), rock monster that look like Gumpy, Earth-like oxygen and gravity on the Moon, and more.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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“Truly an all-time low, based on the lowest of the low to begin with, Cat-Women of the Moon.” John Stanley, Creature Features

” … best remembered for its extraordinarily inept plot, set and props.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction

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The same poster as above but with censored female victims

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Image credit: Wrong Side of the Art! | Monster Movie Music

Release:

In 2008, Legend Films issued the film in a colorised version, plus a remastered black and white upgrade.

In 2009, Filmusik presented a live performance of Scott J. Ordway’s soundtrack with a showing of the colorised version. The same year, a Blue Waters comic series, inspired by the movie, was issued.

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