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

Thursday, July 16, 2009

SPACE MASTER X-7


SPACE MASTER X-7 (1958). Director: Edward Bernds.

Dr. Pommer (Paul Frees) experiments with a piece of "blood rust," his name for the red fungus that covers the planet Mars and was brought back by a ship called "Space Master X-7,", and discovers to his regret that it's even more dangerous than he imagined. Laura (Lyn Green), the mother of his son, comes to visit and walks off unaware that she's carrying fungal spores. Agents John Hand (Bill Williams) and Joe Rattigan (Robert Ellis) begin a desperate search for the woman, finding traces of the fungus -- which sort of resembles a glistening, moving carpet -- wherever she's been. The climax occurs on a plane where the fungus begins to break out of the cargo hold. An amusing scene has the passengers reacting to the fungus as it covers the plane windows. Thomas Browne Henry of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, Blood of Dracula, and many others, is in the cast as a Professor, and Moe Howard of the 3 Stooges is a helpful cab driver! The acting is more than adequate, and Frees has a better and bigger role than usual; he's excellent. This might have amounted to more if it had a bigger budget and more imaginative direction, but it has its moments.

Verdict: Creepy in spite of itself. **1/2.

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