Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mutiny in Outer Space (1965)

Mutiny in Outer Space is an interesting movie, made in the sixties but feels to 100% like something from the late fifties. This is of course a good thing, even if it lacked the fungus-action I expected. Because this is a story about a space station attacked by a fast-spreading fungus! Originated from an ice cave on some planet and brought back to the station by some brave wide-cheeked astronauts! When they discover the fungus on one of the astronauts legs they quickly quarantine him – but it’s too late and soon the fungus is growing everywhere, especially on the outside of the space station. Slowly drifting to earth, someone has to stop it from entering the earth’s atmosphere and spread the fungus all over the world!

Directed by Italian cinematic shapeshifter Hugo Grimaldi and financed and distributed by the legendary Woolner Brothers Pictures, the movie is way more ambitious than it probably could afford to be. We’re treated to some of the worst wobbling spaceships I’ve seen, a ridicoulous spacestation-miniature that looks like it was made in ten minutes and the usual flat sets with old office chairs transformed to space-chairs. But what saves this movie is intelligent and imaginative direction by Grimaldi, who uses the whole screen to tell the story and often makes everything much more fun to look at with a nice camera-move and the use of depth. I can’t really complain about the actors either. They do what they’re told to do and do it fine, with out sleepwalking thru their parts.

The whole scientific mumbo-jumbo talk sounds (and is) silly, but I’ve learned to love that with many of these movies. It’s not as absurd like Ed Woods work, but with a little less work it could have been. Now it sounds like I don’t like Mutiny in Space, but I do. It’s a nice little sci-fi with lots of entertainment, but the biggest disappointment is that they focus more on the talking and less on the “funging”. It should have been more fungus-attacks, more fungus-infected people, more fungus crawling around trying to kill people. I guess the obviously very low budget played its part here, but come one! Give me fungus! If it had more fungus it should have been called Space Fungus instead by the way.

I own the German DVD from X-Rated. It’s a nice version with quite good quality. It’s a bit soft, and is probably taken from a very good mastertape – so it’s not from the original negatives. It also includes the German version of the movie, shorter and with German language and the 20 minute short Super-8 version! The cover is awsome and it has a proud place in my collection.

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