Sidebar: One thing that has always bugged me about Star Trek was how each planet’s socio-civilization was so homogenized: like the ethnic cleansing has occurred long ago, and there’s only the X” people left or something. I mean, how many goddamn years was it before they even had a black Vulcan?!? End Sidebar—
Now check this out: Look at the photo above and to the left— This is a George Pal Martian, and above the Martian above, is a picture of a Martian’s hand (from the end of the flick, when the Martians—sob!—lose….)
But look at the Martian’s “face:” Well, it’s not a face—it’s just an eye! No neck, no head, no visible mouth—just a tri-lensed eye in the middle of a chest: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
Don’t know about you, but it took me years to figure that out—and when I did, it was a forehead slapping moment— because of their placement, I had thought the top green and blue lenses were eyes, and the bottom red lens to be a “mouth.” But when I figured out that it is only an EYE (!!!), I loved George Pal’s epic classic even more: The aliens were truly alien. And they wanted our planet… COOL!
We are never given too clear a picture of the Martian cities, though— I always imagined that up-close, they would be Lovecraftian “cyclopean” monstrosities (monstro-cities?), full of weird, incomprehensible and possibly rude architecture.
But these Red Planet metropoli are always presented as cool and distant, with Bauhaus-to-the-max miles-high skyscrapers, full of impossible technology and bizarre machinery. (Decent public schools, too…)
That is, until the filthy humans showed up with their ugly germ-festering biodomes. (“Honey, are those things even up to code?”)
That was my original idea for the title of this blog, a sort of summation of nearly everything I'd ever wanted cinematically: regularly playing on the ABC Channel 7 4:30 movie--or on WOR-TV Channel 9's 4 O'Clock Movie--the greatest monster movie in the universe, and incredible combo of miniatures, men in suits and stop motion, with entire continents destroyed!
But then there was a coup d'etat, and Tzar Ivan I of Ivanlandia took charge.