|The mosnter from First man Into Space (1959) d. Robert Day|
First Man into Space (1959)
d. Robert Day
Criterion Collection #365
The American B-Movie from the 1950s and 1960s is a well represented category inside the Criterion Collection. Criterion Collection likes movies by American independent film producers, and typically the films have a better than average idea behind them with the expected minimal production values and typically comically terrible acting.
First Man into Space features all these characteristics- it was released after Man had reached space but before people had gone into space, so the plot revolves around a hubris-tic pilot flying experimental rockets in the stratosphere (a la Chuck Yeager.) Lieutenant Dan Prescott- the Yeager type pilot, has a foreign accented boo, Tia Francesca (played by Maria Landi) and works with his brother, Commander Charles Prescott (played by Marchall Thompson.)
When Dan flies to high he disappears, only to reappear as a murderous monster covered in what can only be described is a rubber suit covered in muffin crumbs. He ruthlessly murders a half dozen people and drinks their blood before his sympathetic brother and a Strangelovian Doctor bring him back from the brink. Left unsaid is whether he is punished for murdering a gang of people while cloaked in he toxic space dust.