Sunday, May 19, 2024



This is another Tubi discovery, a very low-budget 1960s sci-fi film that I had never heard of. It was written & directed by Hugo Grimaldi & Arthur C. Pierce, and executive produced by the Woolner Brothers. (Grimaldi, Pierce, and the Woolners were involved in plenty of cheap sci-fi/horror flicks.) 

Sometime in the far-off future of the 1990s, a Major Towers (William Leslie) and his young associate travel from the Moon to Space Station X-7. The two men are bringing back precious minerals from the Moon to Earth, but they are also inadvertently bringing back an unknown deadly fungus. The fungus starts to grow all over the station, while Leslie tries to find a way to stop it. Making matters worse is the commander of the station, a Colonel Cromwell (Richard Garland). The Colonel is starting to lose his grip on reality, and he and the Major butt heads. 

MUTINY IN OUTER SPACE was originally released in 1965, but it feels as if it was made 10 years earlier. The movie is in black & white, it has a full-frame aspect ratio, and its budget appears less than the average episode of LOST IN SPACE. The special effects are mediocre, and the direction is lackluster. Most of the movie takes place on the space station, and its interior design is sparse and generic. There's also the fact that while the station is supposed to be quite large, it appears to be crewed by about five people. 

The no-name cast doesn't help either. William Leslie does a decent job as the square-jawed hero, but it's the type of role someone like Kenneth Tobey would have made much more of. The most notable names in the film are Harold Lloyd Jr. (son of the famed silent movie legend) and 1960s American TV veteran Francine York. The actors are not helped by the cardboard characterizations. The story does have the main female cast members as officers of the space agency overseeing things, but the women still don't have much to do other than serve as romantic interests for the men, scream at the creeping fungi, and look worried. 

As for the mutiny referred to in the title, it doesn't amount to much. The creeping fungi does generate some suspense, but the production values are not enough to help out the better aspects of the script. 

While watching MUTINY IN OUTER SPACE I kept thinking about Roger Corman--and not just because he passed away recently. Corman made plenty of movies like this film--but one way or another, he always figured out a way to make those features memorable. MUTINY IN OUTER SPACE really needed a Roger Corman, or a Mario Bava or a Antonio Margheriti. 

1 comment:

  1. Creeping fungi? In B&W? Bad production values???? I'm in!!!!