Good SF suspense movie about a monster loose on a spaceship headed back to Earth from Mars. The screenplay is by SF writer Jerome Bixby.
In January 1973 man has landed on Mars. It doesn’t go well. Colonel Ed Carruthers (Marshall Thompson) sends a message back that he’s the lone survivor. The crew are all dead. The military is going to court martial him and charge him with killing them.
A rescue ship lands to take bring him back. Before take off an emergency hatch is left open where a crew member was dumping excess items onto the planet. Leaving a door open is never a good idea.
The crew all resent Carruthers and believe him guilty. Crewman Joe Kleinholz hears noises coming from a storage compartment and investigates. Caruthers is playing chess with Eric Royce (Dabs Greer) when he hears a scream.
They go to check it out. They can’t find him. Then Gino Finelli disappears. Kleinholz body is discovered hanging inside a duct. Jack Purdue climbs in and finds a passed out Gino barely alive. Now he sees It and fires off a few shots and leaves.
Bullets are a joke and they line the grates with hand grenades. Is that a good idea on a space ship? Guess it’s okay in the movies. It is on the move and the grenades explode. Colonel Van Heusen (Did the shirt company put some bucks into the movie?) opens the hatch to see what happened and gets clawed. Now they try gas grenades. Nope.
An autopsy shows Kleinholz’s body is void of all fluids. Carruthers and Jim Calder think maybe It can be electrocuted. That just makes him mad. Calder ends up being trapped with only a blow torch for self defense. Can they ever come up with a plan to get rid of….It?
The shots of the ship going through space are beyond laughable and the monster is obviously a guy in a suit (Ray Corrigan) but it doesn’t really matter. This isn’t about special effects or a believable looking monster. View it as a suspense film with a SF element and it’s worth checking out.
This was Ray Corrigan’s last movie appearance. He usually played gorillas and other creatures in the 40’s and made numerous westerns in the 30’s as Tucson Smith and the 40’s as Crash Corrigan.