FIRST MAN ON MARS *** U.S.A. 2016 74 mins Dir: Mike T. Lyddon
Opening in true 1970’s drive in movie style we are given a science lesson by a coroner, who promptly tells us he is not a scientist but tells us all the statistics we need to understand about Mars. After our lesson we see astronaut Eli Cologne becoming the first man to step foot on Mars and he is not happy what he sees on the planet. After a bit of back and forth with mission control about how much he has spent on the project, he sees a rock what he believes to be gold and being the money grabber he is goes after it.
As he grabs it our main guy gets a nasty cut from the rock and becomes infected with an alien organism. His return to Earth is now comprised but he will find a way back. The only question is…will he still be himself? Back on Earth in the Black Bayou, Louisiana a creature has been seen in the swamplands. Upon investigation by a couple of rednecks they set off the beacon on Eli’s returned space module notifying the scientists that Eli has returned. Unfortunately for one of these rednecks Eli is no longer human but a flesh eating creature hell bent on destruction. As the scientists and the local police try their best to capture the creature they find its victims body parts everywhere. This leaves everybody with only one way to deal with this ravenous creature and that is by blowing it up with dynamite, signs of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. An enjoyable film for those who like to watch campy flicks in the same vein as the 70’s grindhouse features or just enjoy B-movie style creature features. Revel in the humour that Lyddon has crafted which is a bit hit or miss depending on your tastes. The special effects are brilliantly constructed with just enough eye popping and red sticky stuff to fill the screen. For those who expect to see nudity in these sort of films you will be disappointed here, but you do get to see some lovely looking women in bikinis for a while so that will have to suffice. FIRST MAN ON MARS was produced/directed by Mike T. Lyddon on a budget of $14,000 and shot in 16mm to add that 1970’s look to the film. Some of the characters are based on his super 8 film that he shot back in the 1980’s called ‘Mutilation Maniacs‘ which you can find as a bonus on the NIGHT FOR NIXIE DVD. FIRST MAN ON MARS is best described as THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN for the 21st century.
Review by Peter ‘Witchfinder‘ Hopkins