(1958, SciFi, b&w or colorized)
Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy
Hey everyone, I just thought of something. Why are we doing this?
In a nutshell:
Scientists and convicts ride a rocket to the moon and find hypnotic blue women.
[Recycled movie, recycled summary. Here’s the first time I used it.]
The brilliant but erratic Dirk has built a functional moon rocket in his backyard. To his dismay, the military notices and declares all such experiments must take place under their purview. His partner Steve agrees, but Dirk would rather launch his rocket secretly than turn over his experiment. To this end, he bullies escaped convicts Lon and Gary—one of whom is “smart,” and the other “shrewd”—into helping him crew the rocket.
Steve notices something wrong and climbs onboard with his fiancée June. Dirk discovers them just after takeoff, and everyone suits up for the journey. Levers are pulled, unwelcome convict advances are rebuffed, and asteroid fields are navigated. Near the voyage’s end, turbulence shakes a box o’ batteries from a wall to crush Dirk’s head. His dying act is to pass a diamond amulet on to Steve, along with a cryptic admonition to convey his apologies to someone called “The Lido.”
On the moon, the intrepid explorers are forced to flee from barely mobile rock creatures into an oxygen-enriched cave. Almost as soon as they discover this, hot blue moon women take them captive. In the scenes that follow, Lon and Gary canoodle with blue moon girls while June becomes jealous of Steve’s apparent betrothal to another. This happens because Steve’s amulet causes him to be mistaken for returning moon native Dirk...though not really. Apparently, the Lido (i.e. queen) only pretends to think he’s Dirk so that she can steal his rocket and relocate their dying colony to an undefined planet.
Before this plan can come to fruition, however, the blue women have some sort of power struggle involving murder, hypnotism, and a marionette spider. An evil blue girl kills The Lido and ascends the throne while a friendly blue girl commits suicide to help the explorers escape. In the end, all the blue ladies asphyxiate, Gary’s greed for their diamond mines (did I mention those?) gets him fried, and the survivors—comprised of Steve, June, and Lon—escape to the rocket.
Once again, here’s the link to my original thoughts on the film. My opinions haven’t changed that much; it’s still a pretty standard example of a fifties space exploration/exploitation movie. It’s perhaps even ahead of the main pack in quality, if only by a hair’s breadth.
Here’s something else that hasn’t changed—the commentary script. The Rifftrax catalog calls it a “reinterpretation”; i.e. it’s either exactly the same as the one read by Mike and Fred Willard previously, or it’s as close as makes no difference. This means that I could just point you back to the original review yet again for a random sample of the comments. Or I could just jot a few of the ones I liked from this viewing: When Lon and Gary first appear in the rocket, Kevin asks, “Hardened toughs, or a couple of guys who wandered away from the Apple Genius bar?” When they ask Dirk if he has a plan to get back from the moon, Bill responds, “We just jump and hope we land in an ocean.” When our heroes meet a rock monster, Bill compares it to “a manatee that got caught in a car crusher.” I prefer the previous iteration of this Rifftrax solely for the novelty of hearing Fred Willard’s voice, but aside from that, there’s no appreciable difference between this version and the last one.
(1958, SciFi, b&w or colorized)