Watching The Angry Red Planet.
Thought: trip-to-Mars yarns got a lot more boring after a few unmanned probes went there.
Idea: so... the first Humans on Mars are greeted by Martians, who of course have studied us and speak perfect English (or Russian, or Chinese, as the case may be). How can this be? Well, aside from living underground, they watched our probes approaching and quickly set up boring painted scenery for the rovers to look at, any time they got too close to evidence of civilization. They don't explain it this way at first, of course. They spout some mystical twaddle about how inanimate probes, having no imagination, can only report things that are really there, and only an organic brain, subject to hallucinations, can perceive the Martians.
OK, enough of that. They're on a rocket to Mars. The seats in the control room look like... are those ejection seats? Excuse me: there's no place to eject to. Aside from outside-the-rocket being deficient in the air department, there appears to be a front end of the rocket overhead. Oh, well: I guess the set designers wanted aerospace-looking seats, and took whatever Air Force surplus was handy.
Nothing's moving, but with all that vegetation there's bound to be some life. Er... vegetation isn't life?
19-by-god-11 on Mars! But the Colonel's muzzle discipline is appalling.
Oxygen consumption indicator. Big green light for normal (lit). Big red light for excessive. Chekhov's gun?
Nice product placement for Burroughs.
Everybody out to the surface! Not very good at obeying orders, are they?
As we were warned: CineMagic is lame. Woulda been cool if the Martians had held up some of those fake landscapes for our probes, though.
The freeze gun just goes beeeeep? That's a lower SFX budget than first-season Dr. Who! And the Colonel's muzzle discipline is still appalling.
Are those helmets supposed to be keeping air in? And: those dinky cylinders are meant to be the air supply?
Rule 1: if it's your first day on a strange planet, you've just noted that the plants seem to have nervous systems, and you see a great big plant with long tentacles, you should immediately run up to it and poke it.
Rule 1a: if you're being grasped by a slow-moving tentacle, always grab the end and move in the direction it's curling.
Rule 1b: once everyone is well clear of a sessile menace, kill it anyway. Teach that planet a lesson!
Hmmm, Polaroid camera! But, unlike the Burroughs computer, the name isn't prominently on display.
"Our signal keeps bouncing back at us!" Um. Radios don't work like that?
Funny, the porthole changed from red to blue. Oh, now it's shading back to, well, purply-pinkish.
We're being held in place by a gravitational pull so strong that... er, wait. Are we squished on the floor yet?
That huge blob thing is a single cell... with a spinning eyeball. Right.
Feed the radar power through the outer hull. Um. Isn't the antenna on the outside already? 'Cause if it isn't, it's not very useful for its intended purpose. Unless the intended purpose is measuring the distance to the outer hull, which seems a bit pointless.
Well. Two members of the expedition came back alive. One has a grotesque and presumably highly contagious alien infection. It's getting near the end of the movie, and I haven't heard anyone order the base quarantined, with an option for a nuclear antiseptic. Also, no one seems to have suggested cutting off the infected arm.
Hm. Isn't a single O6 a bit of an anomaly? I thought officers were pretty much expected to be married as a condition of advancement - surely not less so in the 50s?
And now the movie's over, the evening duly wasted. Oh, and the big red excessive-oxygen-consumption light never lit up.