War of the Satellites

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War of the Satellites

Post  BoG on Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:15 pm

Trying to capitalize on the same year's Sputnik launch, this is a Roger Corman quickie which tries to mask this defect with an involved plot, but ends up as slightly confusing and meandering. Satellites are being destroyed - probably by alien forces. The scientist in charge (Richard Devon) is on his way to a meeting at the U.N. building when his car crashes and he seems to be killed (again, due to alien forces). However, he shows up at the U.N. anyway - it's obvious (to the audience, not to any of the other characters) that this is not really the human scientist anymore, but an alien. Typically, he no longer expresses much emotion and, more alarmingly, he doesn't notice when his hand begins to burn due to a blowtorch. He can also divide into two identical beings.

Soon, a 3-ship mission is launched into space, among the crew the other two main characters played by Dick Miller and Susan Cabot. Miller's character is suspicious of the masquerading alien but Cabot's can't be convinced. The alien soon begins to dispose of the crew, starting with the guy who had witnessed his hand being burned. Obviously, the title of this film doesn't make any sense; these aren't satellites during most of the film, but ordinary spaceships. There's no war among them, such as a conflict between American and Soviet forces, just a vague alien threat. Miller is in a rare lead heroic role here; usually, he's support or playing an annoying loudmouth. Cabot is fine; Devon is creepy. Corman makes the most of almost nothing - a single arch & short corridor is used for most of the ship scenes, with characters running through the same set over & over. BoG's Score: 4 out of 10
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