An at times quite frightening and atmospheric film achieved by means of economy and simplicity
In a “future” 1973, the first manned expedition to Mars has been attacked and destroyed by an unknown life form which somehow later manages to stow away on the rescue ship. There is only one survivor from the initial ill-fated expedition: the leader, Col. Edward Carruthers. He is being brought back to earth under suspicion of having murdered his fellow astronauts! Will he have to face a firing squad for the crime of murder, or can he prove his claim that a Martian monster is to blame for the deaths of his crewmates?
Director: Edward L. Cahn
Screenplay: Jerome Bixby
Music composed by: Paul Sawtell, Bert Shefter
Producers: Edward Small, Robert E. Kent
Makeup: Paul Blaisdell
Narrated by Marshall Thompson
Cinematography: Kenneth Peach
Edited by Grant Whytock
Production company: Vogue Pictures, Inc.
Distributed by United Artists
Running time: 68 min.
Cast of Characters
Col. Ed Carruthers: (played by Marshall Thompson) Captain of the first expedition to Mars. All his crewmates were killed by the creature, but he is the one blamed for it.
Col. Van Heusen: (played by Kim Spaldin) Captain of the rescue ship that is sent to rescue Ed Carruthers and his crew. Initially he is hostile towards Carruthers and manages to become infected by the alien stowaway.
Major John Purdue: (played by Robert Bice) He gets injured and spends most of the movie with a bandage on his head.
Lt. James Calder: (played by Paul Langton) Suffering a broken ankle and armed with only a blow torch, he becomes trapped between a couple of induction pumps by the monster.
Bob Finelli (played by Richard Benedict) & Gino Finelli: (played by Richard Hervey) Brothers who fall victim to the creature.