Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


MUTINY IN OUTER SPACE (1965). Director : Hugo Grimaldi.

While exploring [unseen] ice caverns on the moon, Captain Webber (Carl Crow) picks up a fungus that eventually desiccates his entire body and threatens everyone on orbiting Space Station  X-7, not to mention the earth. Instead of proceeding with a highly necessary quarantine, a space-happy Colonel Cromwell (Richard Garland) decides to cover up Webber's death and not report the dangerous fungus. Dr. Stoddard (Gabriel Curtis), his assistant Faith (Delores Faith) , and Delores' boyfriend Major Towers (William Leslie) have no choice but to initiate a mutiny. even as the fungus keeps growing ... This is a workable premise for a sci fi horror film, but the execution is dismal; the low-tech FX aren't the problem so much as the complete absence of directorial flair or even interest, and there is none of the compelling tension of such films as It, The Terror from Beyond Space or Killer Shrews, which despite their flaws are fast-paced and adroitly put together. Mutiny in Outer Space becomes more boring when it should be at its most exciting. Although made in the mid-sixties, the production quality is on the level of an early fifties TV program. For a short while it looks as if a triangle situation might develop between Towers, Delores and the blond Lt. Connie Engstrom (Pamela Curran) -- which at least might have been entertaining -- but no such luck. Garland was in Attack of the Crab Monsters and Glenn Langan of The Amazing Colossal Man fame plays a general overseeing the action from Earth. Curran appeared on such TV shows as Thriller, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and some particularly lively episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Delores Faith also appeared on U.N.C.L.E. and was in The Phantom Planet. William Leslie was in The Night the World Exploded and Queen Bee with Joan Crawford.

Verdict: At least the fungus squeals as it dies. *1/2.

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