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Classic Science Fiction Movie Review--"Assignment: Outer Space" (1960) --Death By Film!

Be Advised: This Review May Contain **Spoilers**


I try. I swear, I really do. I try to find some reason to write a positive review of every movie. But some just won't let me. It's almost as if they were made just to give the world of Science Fiction something bad.

Case in point: "Assignment: Outer Space" from 1960.

I realize this was an Italian-made, B-movie. I don't hold B-movies to the same standards as "A-movies." But even a B-movie can have some life to it. Even they have some budget. The producer(s) of "Assignment: Outer Space" must not have been able to convince a real movie studio it was worth investing in. I bet they broke open the kids' piggy bank. That would be about right---a budget of around $1.37.

Where do I begin? How about the story itself?

It's the story of a reporter that is assigned to cover a routine check of infra-radiation in the M:12 Galaxy in 2116. He winds up traveling around in a spaceship trying to help avert a disaster that is about to annihilate life on earth. A fairly standard if not way overdone story. But not done well...even for 1960.

The musical score is minimal at best and not effective. In short, it would've been no worse without any music whatsoever.

The special effects--what there were--were horrid!

"Assignment: Outer Space" had plenty of cheesy melodrama but no suspense and almost no emotion. The acting made the characters seem so bored they were worse than a Vulcan with no logical work to do.

Some of the technology was so outright dumb, I wonder if anybody involved in making this movie had any idea what science and technology were...even in 1960.

The reporter supposedly had been on many trips to the moon and had taken training before he left earth. Still, he was scared stupid at the thought of being in space.

To get from one ship (or space station) to another they didn't use a transporter-type device or even a shuttle of some kind. So how do they do it? Simple. They just jump out of the ship and float toward their intended target. No guidence system of any kind, no booster rockets, not even a tether. Yet they always make it just fine. Maybe in 2116, we'll all have GPS imbedded in our brain. Yeah. That would work!

To travel to do "space work" they fly around in "Space Taxi's." In one scene, the reporter and Al are flying around in an asteroid belt so the reporter can get some pictures. These "Space Taxi's" do not have enclosed cockpits. They're Convertibles with the top down--in space!

Half of the dialog seemed to be there just fill in holes in the script. It didn't move the story along very well at all. However, there was one exchange between the reporter and Al, near the beginning, that I thought was amusing: 

Reporter: "The coffin was much too small. Couldn't you have found me a bigger one to sleep in?"
 Al: "We don't have one, Leech."
 Reporter: "Why'd you call me that?"
 Al: "No offense, kid. It just means out here you're a parasite."

Now that was funny! But I think the movie was supposed to be serious.

There were many inconsistancies in the plot but I don't want to bore you as much as the movie did me, so I'll leave them out.

Is there anything about "Assignment: Outer Space" that I particularly liked? Actually, yes. The ship was pretty cool!

Overall, "Assignment: Outer Space" was a boring, slow-moving movie with no real entertainment value. If you have the chance to yawn through this movie, trust me, you'd be better off watching "Plan 9 From Outer Space."

You wont fall asleep quite so fast.

My rating: 1/2 out of 5 (B-movie scale)


Anonymous said...

What a great resource!

Joey Phillips said...

Thanks! That is my goal with The Sci-Fi Dude be an awesome resource for Science Fiction fans from all over the world. Come back and visit regularly.

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