Mars Needs Women (1967)
Mars Needs Women (1967)

Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure Running Time: 1 hr. 23 min.

Release Date: August 28th, 1967 MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Director: Larry Buchanan Actors: Tommy Kirk, Yvonne Craig, Warren Hammack, Sherry Roberts, Donna Lindberg, Byron Lord

 


 

F

ive awkward Martians, led by Dop (Tommy Kirk), visit earth in search of young fertile women to take back with them in the hopes of repopulating their species. A genetic mishap on their home planet is causing the number of female births to radically dwindle, and the aliens’ only hope is to infuse human DNA into their gene pool. An unsuccessful mission could prove the end of the Martian race, but that’s of no concern to Colonel Bob Page (Byron Lord) and the Secretary of Defense (Neil Fletcher), who are tasked with stopping the determined spacemen.

The incredibly poor acting and the pathetic, shoddy costumes are hideously portrayed and presented, but that is just the start of an enormous list of unquestionable faults. The Martian costumes look as if they are about to come apart at the seams, with the originality behind the designs completely nonexistent. Still involving the technical front, there’s an early sequence where a secretary of some sort can be seen typing in a lab. The director (Larry Buchanan) and cinematographer (Robert C. Jessup) have the audacity to show a close-up of the computer terminal she’s using, and it’s quite apparent that her fingers never depress a single key. Is this just bad acting? Or could the film’s budget not accommodate a real keyboard? Could this have been done on purpose for humor? Regardless, it is unfathomable why a scene like this would be so haphazardly conceived, monetary constraints or not.

And yet, even a moment as pitiful as that can be overlooked when compared to a five-minute strip show scene in which the exotic dancer removes not a single article of clothing. Granted that harsher censorship existed back when this film was wretchedly birthed (in 1967), but it is nevertheless unthinkable that other options could have been so grossly limited. Further notably detestable segments include recycled stock footage of jet planes, Yvonne Craig’s stale and lifeless dialogue, and a blatant lack of any sound effects, even when the Martians use countless science-fiction devices to carry out their mission.

The terrible special effects are the only aspect of the movie that is understandable, assuming (or perhaps hoping) that greater technology was not feasible or obtainable at the time. The substandard components of this film are humorous by today’s standards, but unfortunately not hilarious enough to be worthy of a viewing, therefore proving to be a severe waste of time. “Mars Needs Women” is absolutely dreadful, with its status as a cult classic only partially legitimate as a sarcastic demonstration of what not to do when making a movie. In the years to come, one can only hope that the original film negatives disintegrate and this cinematic offal becomes lost forever.

– Mike Massie

  • 1/10