22 November 2011

MUTINY IN OUTER SPACE/1965/DOLORES FAITH

MUTINY IN OUTER SPACE

1965/Director: Hugo Grimaldi/Writer:Arthur C. Pierce   

Cast: William Leslie, Dolores Faith, Richard Garland, James Dobson, Pamela Curran

Though filmed in 1965 the Woolner Brothers production of Mutiny in Outer Space has a distinctly 50’s look and feel to it. Filmed in b/w the feature had rockets ships that looked like the type in a Chesley Bonestell sci-fi painting and the spoke-wheel type space station that appeared in many sci-fi films of the 50’s and 60’s. Come to think of it Stanley Kubrick’s space station at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey still had the same design but the over all look became more detailed and modern, away from the Amazing Tales space station look that was dominate for the previous two decades. The Woolner Brothers (Lawrence, Bernard and David) were cheifly drive-in theater owners who, like many theater owners of the time, financed low budget film projects from independent production companies. Often film companies came to theater owners with nothing but a movie poster and the promise of a film if they could just get financing. They also helped to directly finance films made in Italy. Among their Italian backed productions is the Mario Bava classic Hercules in the Haunted World. 


Mutiny in Outer Space was another such Italian/American venture and was produced and directed by Hugo Grimaldi who also produced and  directed the Woolner Brother’s production The Human Duplicators, also in 1965. I have not seen The Human Duplicators but I am in the process of getting it. One reason I want to get The Human Duplicator’s is because of the presence in that film of one of the attractive female characters in Mutiny, the beautiful brunette Dolores Faith. The two women in this film are simply sexy and have that Italian diva look though they are both American actresses. The blond in the film is played by the equally sexy Pamela Curran. The 60’s hair with the tight space suits make these tow gals a couple of the sexiest space girls ever in my opinion. Dolores faith has only about a dozen acting credits total including an early exploitation film called V.D. that I hope you know I have bookmarked at one of my sites for future downloading.

A two man space mission to the moon returns to earth after exploring lunar ice caves. Unknowingly they bring back with them a deadly frozen space fungus that become aggressive once it thaws out. They stop off at space station SS X-7 where mission leader Maj Gordon Towers (William Leslie) wants to chill out after a hard lunar expedition and check in on girl friend Faith Montaine (Dolores Faith from Phantom Planet). He also doesn’t seem to mind the harmless flirtations of Lt. Connie Engstrom (Pamela Curran) and what red blooded 60’s space astronaut would? Of course the story is probably set in the remote future of 1985 or some such unimaginable date. The space station is commanded by the stern Colonel Frank Cromwell (Richard Garland) who is beginning to crack from the strain of his demanding command of orbiting around the earth in a cozy, warm little space station for too long. The ship’s doctor is concerned but has little control over Crowell. Even after Tower’s partner on the moon mission dies from turning into a moldy zucchini you find in the back of the vegetable crisper Cromwell refuses to admit the space station is in any danger and soon a power struggle develops between he and Towers and the people that support each man. Soon the space fungus has thawed out completely and even crawls around –with the help of invisible fishing line no doubt- the ship looking for victims. Soon Cromwell’s sweetheart Connie is forced to turn against him as he becomes less rational and in doing so only increases his paranoia. The drama on the ship is followed closely by the space team on earth led by Gen. Knowland (Glenn Langan of The Amazing Colossal Man) who at one point resolves the only solution is to destroy the space station unless the crew can figure out a way to destroy the moldy menace. It would be giving away nothing to say that not only do they but they do it all in the last 5 or 6 minutes of the film and it all ends on a pretty happy note and slurpy smooch between Towers and Faith.



You could argue that the film suffers from its low budget and like It! The Terror from Beyond Space, Mutiny seems to recreate its set by shuffling around props. I am not a big fan of plant monsters in general but I have seen worse. At least this space plant was mobile. Like the title of the post says it has similarities to, and may have even influenced, 1968’s Japanese-American production The Green Slime. And it may be a stretch to compare it to The Caine Mutiny but the basic elements are there. A once dependable ship Captain slowly cracks under the strain (though I think Bogey had more justification) of his command and loses the trust of his once loyal crew. At least Col. Cromwell has a sexy girlfriend on the ship with him. I think the film did well enough with its obviously low budget and the actors play it straight and deliver some acceptable performances. The two female leads are above average for space chicks of the time and I am will be seeing what else I can get a hold of with the lovely Dolores Faith in it. I was a pleasantly surprised by this one and fans of 50’s-60’s sci-fi will be as well.

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