Monster of the Day #1552

Hello, everyone! I hope you all had a good week/weekend. Back from Texas, the Fest last weekend was great as usual. Thanks to Kirk and Patty and Sandy and Wendy for putting me up (and putting up with me). It was, as always, great to see everyone. We all look forward to the fall, though, when GalaxyJane will hopefully be able to rejoin us.

Sandy was in a Mars frame of mind, and two of his movies were trip to Mars flicks. They had a lot of similarities. The first one, Mission Mars from 1968, I had never even heard of much less seen. Or maybe I heard of it at some distant point in the past, but the generic title eluded me. Anyway, it starred Darren McGavin in he-man mode (“KOLCHAK!” we yelled at everyone who only recognized him as the “Dad from Christmas Story”) and Nick Adams as an inevitable sad sack. The first half of the short film was just them getting to Mars, with a LOT of emphasis on how their wives worried over them.

Finally they get to Mars and there’s a Cosmic Man-esque small round spaceship to the discovered, which sets the nicely weird beastie above on them. We never know if it’s organic or mechical or both, but that’s OK. There’s a surprisingly gruesome flash-flying, and they eventually blow up the ship in some manner that I still don’t understand; it just suddenly happened. Not a great flick, but you always like to check another one off the list.

  • bgbear_rnh

    The Martian ate the turkey dinner didn’t it?

  • Eric Hinkle

    That thing looks just plain bizarre.

    And good to hear that you enjoyed your weekend.

  • Slightly off topic: a few years back I caught an episode of McGavin’s Mike Hammer, and I gotta tell you I found watching Kolchak kick ass vastly entertaining. One scene he had this bright smile on his face when he decked somebody… Man, it was great.

  • Gamera977

    Glad to hear everyone had a safe trip and a good time.

    When I first saw the top photo I was thinking it was some sort of jack o’ lantern monster..

  • Was sorry to miss the festivities. Not stuck here too much longer though, and this should be my last involuntary vacation. Then again, had the military not brought me to Texas once upon a time, I’d have never met any of you in person. The Army giveth and the Army taketh away.

  • Rock Baker

    Yeah, I remember the first time I ran across a poster for MISSION MARS. A 60’s space opera starring both Darren McGavin AND Nick Adams! How had I NOT heard of this one before??? Odd in that the first half is pretty serious and the second half plays more like an Italian space opera of the pulp variety. All in all, though, a fun little picture, and one I was delighted to finally see.

  • Ken_Begg

    Spillaine famously hated the fact that McGavin’s Hammer carried a wimpy little .38. When producers in the ’80s sought the rights to bring the character back to television, Spillaine stipulated that Hammer must wear a pork pie hat and carry the classic M1911 .45.

    Conversely, I remember one of my only problems with the Timothy Hutton Nero Wolfe series was that Archie would occasionally carry a similar 45. Goodwin was a finesse guy who generally made do with a .32. A .45 seemed a bit out of character. That was literally my biggest complaint during the entire series, however. Except that they cancelled it after only two short seasons.

  • bgbear_rnh

    A .45 is so Wilmer.

  • Flangepart

    If I was a P.I., hummm… .357 for a revolver, a .45 for an auto loader.

  • Flangepart

    >the second half plays more like an Italian space opera of the pulp variety<
    THAT'S what it was. Even back in the days of Chiller Theater, I said to my younger self "Hey, this movie makes me want pasta."

  • The Hutton Nero Wolfe series is the reason I got into Rex Stout. Great show gone too soon.

  • Ken_Begg

    See, a perfect example of characterization through guns.

  • Ken_Begg

    40 plus years of awful Wolfe adaptations (I was *crushed* by the William Conrad series) were wiped away by this triumph. And the books still hold up, don’t they?

  • Gamera977

    Looks like this is on YouTube. I didn’t have time to watch it but from what I skimmed though it seemed to be the entire movie.

  • The Rev.

    Ken showed us an episode of it, and it was pretty great. I do need to try one of the books at some point.

  • The books are excellent.

  • The Rev.

    We all missed you very much and hope to see you come fall.

    You guys haven’t seen Ship of Monsters in its entirety, have you? Gee, it’d be a shame if we had to show that before or after T-Fest so you could…

    (Yes, I’m bringing that movie up again in a different MotD entry, because IT’S THAT GODDAMN GOOD.)