Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Nicely cheesy Italian sci-fi film, complete with garish colors, chintzy special effects, and dubbed dialogue. It plays out like an episode of a TV series, with little context set up for our characters and their situations. When a military station in the Himalayas is destroyed and the staff killed, and there are rumors of snow monsters in the area, Commander Rod (Jack Stuart) and his buddy Frank (Rene Baldwin) are sent to investigate. It turns out that there *are* snow devils in the area; dog-faced, Prince Valiant-haired, Superman cape-wearing aliens want to melt the polar ice caps in an attempt to take over the planet. Rod and Frank wind up setting our for the moons of Jupiter to do battle, though the cut-rate effects take some of the edge off of the action. This is apparently part of a series of "Gamma 1" movies that the director, Anthony Dawson—real name, Antonio Margheriti—made in the 60's. I think Gamma 1 is a satellite, or maybe it's the name of the global organization for which Commander Rod works. In any case, this movie does work up some cheap MST3K-type fun, with a few fabulous shiny outfits for the men and women, a big Ken doll hairdo for our hero, and fisticuffs and ray guns galore. Despite the plastic-looking hair, the actor playing Rod, whose real name is Giacomo Ross-Stuart, is handsome and hardy. The hero's love interest is Amber Collins (what a perfect soap opera name!). The opening sequence at the Himalayan weather station is quite well done, though nothing after lives up to it, especially the abrupt and silly ending. [TCM]

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