Missile to the Moon
|Missile to the Moon|
|Directed by||Richard E. Cunha|
|Produced by||Marc Frederic|
|Written by||H.E. Barrie and Vincent Fotre|
|Starring||Richard Travis, Cathy Downs, K.T. Stevens, and Leslie Parrish|
|Music by||Nicholas Carras|
|Cinematography||Meredith M. Nicholson|
|Editing by||Everett Dodd|
|Distributed by||Astor Pictures|
|Running time||78 mins|
Missile to the Moon is an independently produced 1958 black-and-white science fiction film directed by Richard E. Cunha that was distributed by Astor Pictures; it is an even lower budget remake of 1953's low budget Cat-Women of the Moon.
Two escaped convicts, Gary and Lon, are discovered hiding aboard a rocket by scientist Dirk Green, who then forces them to pilot the spaceship to the Moon. Dirk, who is secretly a Moon man, wants to return home. Dick's partner, Steve Dayton, accompanied by his fiancé June, accidentally stowaway on board just before the rocket's launch. Moon man Dirk is later killed in a meteor storm during the lunar trip. Once they land on the Moon, the spaceship's reluctant crew encounter an underground kingdom of beautiful women and their sinister female ruler The Lido, giant lunar spiders, and mysterious surface dwelling, slow-moving, bi-pedal rock creatures.
The Moon spiders seen during the film are obviously the same large prop spider being wire-controlled from overhead.
Those lunar surface exteriors were clearly shot in regular Earth daylight and gravity; no attempt is made to convince the viewer the Moon is an airless void where humans would weigh one-sixth their normal Earth weight: When one of the Earth convicts is forced by a Moon "rock creature" to step into direct sunlight, his spacesuit bursts into flames from the supposedly very high temperatures.
The Moon rock creatures appear to be heavily influenced by the character design used for Gumby of the popular syndicated stop motion clay animation kid's show of the same name, which ran on television for 233 episodes for nearly five decades.
The cast includes Richard Travis, Cathy Downs (in her final movie role), K. T. Stevens, Tommy Cook, Nina Bara, Gary Clarke, Michael Whalen, Laurie Mitchell, Leslie Parrish (as Marjorie Helen), Henry Hunter, Lee Roberts, Sandra Wirth, Pat Mowry, Tania Velia, Sanita Pelkey, Renate Hoy ("Miss Germany, 1952"), and Mary Ford (who is incorrectly billed in the film as "Miss Minnesota", confusing her with a different Mary Ford).
- Strick, Philip. Science Fiction Movies. 1976. Octopus Books Limited. ISBN 0-7064-0470-X.
- Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies: American Science Fiction Films of the Fifties, 21st Century Edition. 2009. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-89950-032-3
- Jalufka, Dona A.; Koeber, Christian (November 8–10, 2000). "Moonstruck: How Realistic Is The Moon Depicted In Classic Science Fiction Films?". In Barbieri, Cesare; Rampazzi, Francesca. Proceedings, Earth-Moon Relationships. Padova, Italy: Springer. pp. 190–191. ISBN 0-7923-7089-9.
- Johnson, John (1996). Cheap tricks and class acts: special effects, makeup, and stunts from the films of the fantastic fifties. McFarland. p. 23. ISBN 0-7864-0093-5.
- "Kirk's Rock". Television Tropes and Idioms. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- Lloyd, Robert (July 9, 2006). "Even now, Gumby has that special dimension". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
- Missile to the Moon at the Internet Movie Database
- Missile to the Moon at allmovie
- Complete soundtrack from the film score released by the "Monstrous Movie Music" label (sound samples available)
- Detailed plot summary with commentary
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