12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Not a Typical 1950s Anti-Commie Movie,
This review is from: Red Planet Mars [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Rival scientists from the USSR and the US are engaged in a Contact-the-Martians Race. The scientist from the US makes contact first (or does he?) and those stereotypical 1950s commies (evil vodka swilling atheists all) are upset because the superior Martians with a perfect society are Democratic Christians. So the USSR sets out to prove it is all a hoax being conducted against the world, including against the US government, by the american scientist.
In an extremely interesting twist on the usual 1950s sci-fi movie mindset, the originally thrilled US government also becomes afraid and starts to question its scientist's veracity and motives when the Martians' promises of cheap energy, long life, etc., for all humans on Earth begins to panic big union and corporate interests (fuel companies, pharmaceuticals, etc), and so the scientist also has to fight against his own government trying to put a gag on him (hey, they know where their campaign contributions came from). Even "worse", I'm sure, is the fact that the Martians appear to be Socialists. This all helps make the film far more relevant to today than most 1950s sci-fi since although the "Communist scourge" of the USSR no longer exists, rampant Capitalism is still a threat to Democracy.
At turns, this is a very good sci-fi movie which shows great creativity and insight, or a sugary schlockfest filled with caricatures. In either case, it is entertaining and makes worthwhile viewing.