Here's a flick that Eegah!! and Tabonga saw when it came out, way back when. We gave it a C+ grade, we considered FORBIDDEN PLANET to be the definitive measure of quality and satisfaction. Hey, at least PHANTOM PLANET had a real rubber monster! Enjoy tonite's special colorized version..
The story's about an invisible roaming planet that's destroying Earth space exploration rockets. Two astronauts are sent out to investigate. One of them survives a meteor shower while repairing the ship and then mysteriously ends up on the planet... Miniaturized!!
At the beginning of our soundclip you hear that the planet is on a collision course with these two space jockeys. Jimmy Weldon plays Lt. Webb, who's reporting that they are encountering some outside acceleration force. Jimmy was also the voice of Hanna Barbera's Yakky Doodle and is still around today! We both love Uncle Jimmy, since we grew up with him and Webster on KJEO Channel 47 out of Fresno, CA.
This has some real nice 'space' music, reused and remixed from other features.
It's time to bring in that lil' 6-eyed furry freek, Ralphie The Tarantula! He sez he's ready to be pushing that big red 'GO' button wonst a'gin, an' start our Eariffic Earclip for... THE PHANTOM PLANET!
There is some very nice miniature work (Charles Duncan) in this movie, the special effects (Louis DeWitt) were also above par for 1961.
While trying to fix a problem on the outside of the ship, Capt. Frank Chapman and fellow astronaut encounter a meteor shower.
Chapman is knocked unconscious. While he's being placed back in the ship, the other astronaut's oxygen hose is severed by another meteor and he falls backwards into space, unable to reattach his lifeline.
A tractor beam pulls Chapman's ship down to the planet's surface.
After a time, he shrinks down to the size of the inhabitants, due to differences in the atmosphere.
Chapman is brought in front of the planet's council, to make him a citizen of Rheton. Angelique Pettyjohn is in that crowd somewhere!
One of the weirdest stories I ever heard was about Francis X. Bushman, here he plays the leader, Sessom. Anyway, after a stage performance where he wore heavy makeup, Louis Mayer wanted to speak with him and sent him a message to meet him at a certain place. Francis wanted to take off his makeup first, which would take a few minutes. After waiting about 10 minutes, Mayor was so furious about being kept waiting, he never used Bushman on any other MGM productions!!
Here's a shot of the Moon Command. It wouldn't be crap though, without those hot military chicks!
Chapman has to fight to his death with this jealous lover. Each of them have a deadly power plate behind them. You figure the game out!
Great shot as the guys holding their hands out fly the planet around the galaxies!
Of course, one of the best things about this flick is that Richard (Eegah!!) Kiel plays the big old Solarite monster. He tosses a rock at Chapman, it's repelled by the force field it's being held in. When we saw this originally, we thought the thing looked goofy!
Lots of Solarites attack the planet in their flaming rock ships!
It's nothing but a big game of chess and chicken...
I don't know... Is that scary?
Chapman is attacked as he tries to bring Zetha back to consciousness.
The Solarite is maneuvered over one of the power plates and they turn the juice up all the way!
Dazed and confused, Chapman is finally rescued by his pals. But, he only has this one small piece of evidence of his ordeal, given to him by Zetha as he departed.
Now remember, it's only the beginning, it's only the beginning!
And, as a special request by Professor Grewbeard in the comments section, here's a bonus insert of the lovely Zetha!