Sci-Fi December: First Man into Space

First Man into Space illustration by Jeff SchwartzbauerFirst Man into Space – 1959

Dir: Robert Day | Starring: Marshall Thompson, Marla Landi, Bill Edwards, Robert Ayres

Year: 1959

Review: This is a fairly typical example of pre-moon landing space travel science fiction. The concept isn’t something too lofty, essentially asking the question that so many were at the time “What will happen to man when they enter space?” Its a film thats looking to exploit that common public interest. In this films case, when you enter into space the craft will become covered in a bizarre crustacean-like shell to protect itself from the harsh elements of space. When the pilot of this rocket attempts to eject from the rocket, he is also encased in a crustacean-like shell. He falls back to earth and now … CRAVES BLOOD! The movie takes some time getting to the good stuff and once the Pilot is roaming the New Mexican countryside killing cows and nurses it gets a bit more entertaining. The special effects are limited to a suit and some make-up to cover the actor to make him look like a bumpy and craggy mutant, but its really rubbery and looks a lot like a rain-suit that was left to dry by an open flame. There is also some miniature rockets flying through some sort of meteorite dust but nothing to get too pumped for. Its not a long lost classic but if you enjoy old 50’s sci-fi there is some laughs to be had and some charming moments, plus its only like 80 minutes long.

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