So this is what The Martian would have been if it didn't have all that up-to-date science (or even a consistent color scheme for the red planet). Not much here; the quest for survival still is compelling before it goes on longer than it needs to and descends into camp. If nothing else, it proves the necessity of 2001. Shout-out to the most human character in the movie: a monkey that clearly doesn't want to be there.
More enjoyable than The Martian. Of course the special effects are outdated and of course the science isn't all there. We had five decades of technological and scientific discoveries since. With that in mind, I think Byron Haskin and co. crafted a very ingenious film supported by a very smart script. And there's no beating landscapes in technicolor.
Expected much more from this Criterion release -- quite funny though I must say... the quintessential cheesy space flick. Felt like I was watching an episode of the original Star Trek minus the Shatner. That monkey was random. Even more random perhaps was the Native American that was meant to pose a Martian... wow, what the fuck were they smoking?
Yes, the special effects are cheesy, the science questionable, and the studio and Death Valley locations aren't too convincing as the Red Planet, but this imaginative sci-fi adventure from director Byron Haskins manages a smart and compelling story. Though it doesn't quite reach classic status, it's entertaining for fans of the genre.