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The Wizard of Mars
Horrors of the Red Planet / Alien Massacre

USA 1965
produced by
David L. Hewitt (executive), Joe Karston (executive) for Karston-Hewitt Organization, American General Pictures
directed by David L. Hewitt
starring John Carradine, Roger Gentry, Vic McGee, Jerry Rannow, Eve Bernhardt
story by David L. Hewitt, Armando Busick, screenplay by David L. Hewitt, music by Frank A. Coe, art direction and miniatures by Armando Busick, technical advisor: Forrest J. Ackerman

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The far future - in other words, 1975: A quartet of astronauts (Roger Gentry, Vic McGee, Jerry Rannov, Eve Bernhardt) crashland on Mars - which accidently makes them the first humans to ever to set foot on the planet. And puts them into a predicament immediately, since their spacesuits only hold a limited supply of oxygen, there might be a rescue shuttle on Mars but they only have a vague idea where (if at all), and there might be all kinds of threats - yes, including a volcano, right between them and their target.

Reaching what was supposed to be the rescue shuttle, our heroes discover it's only a Martian probe from years ago ... but they also find a gold brick road that leads them to a seemingly deserted Martian city - that's actually filled with oxygen and cobwebs (?). The city's full of columns, which upon closer inspection turn out to be cryo-chambers (or something similar) of the Martians. Eventually, our astronauts manage to communicate with the collective consciousness of the Martians (John Carradine), which tells them the city they are in is a place frozen in time, and the Martians will only allow them to leave if they can make time work again - in other words, they have to re-attach an orb to a giant pendulum to make it swing again, and then leave the place in a hurry as it might evaporate. Of course they succeed and ultimately wake up in their spaceship again, still orbiting Mars ...


The premise of Wizard of Mars sounds really cool: 4 astronauts caught on an unworldly planet with weird aliens, an alien consciousness played by John Carradine, all rounded up by a plot reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz - sounds like a surefire winner, right? Only it isn't, it's actually a very boring film that totally lacks narrative buildup, any scenes that involve any actual tension, it moves along at the awfully slow, the characters are no more than (unfunny) caricatures, and not all that well played at that, and while John Carradine at least puts in a decent performance (as was to be expected), his one scene (a monologue) seems to drag on forever without really moving the story along.

Rather disappointing, really.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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