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Abbot and Costello Go to Mars (movie review)

If you‘ve read my review (OK, more like a recommendation) for the Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film by Michael Weldon, there‘s a thing to know. Abbot and Costello Go to Mars opens the listings. So obviously, my OCD or whatever it is commands to follow it from A to Z exactly as it is. Well, here we go.

Fortunately, as it was funny, albeit naive (definitely from our point of view, not so much back then, of course), 65 years ago, it‘s still funny even today, which is a good thing, because you can‘t say that for many movies of old.

Lou Costello (left) and Bud Abbot (right) as astronauts

The year it‘s 1953 and this feature was one of the later ones for the comedy duo of –you‘ve guessed it – Bud Abbot and Lou Costello. This time they end up as a duo against their will, so to speak, but we do witness a fair dose of funny jokes. They might be silly, they might be repeated from earlier routines, but I‘ve seen this movie twice now, and I‘d laughed every time.

Lou Costello plays Orville, a guy entertaining orphaned children with a model of a jetplane, crashes the plane into the window and running before apoliceman, he hids in the pickup driven by Bud Abbot, who works in the aerodrome, where a new spaceship is getting ready to get launched to Mars. And as you might guess, it‘ won‘t be anyone but these two who get the rocket flying…

Abbot, Costello and Robert Paige

But I won‘t spoil the movie further (although I guess many of our readers already seen the movie themselves) I only add our heroes never made it to Mars…and I’m not saying anything else! But if you‘re a fan of a good ole comedy, where you don‘t need brainless fart jokes, this one is for you, folks.

Japanese poster for the movie (with Mari Blanchard in the role of Allura)

Now let‘s have a look at who‘s responsible for this movie. Director Charles Lamont was no newbie in the field, he‘s already filmed a few Abbot and Costello‘s comedies, besides a shitloads of other movies, majority of them comedies. According to IMDB, he‘s responsible for the career of Shirley Temple-Black.

As for Abbot and Costello, for those of us ignoramuses who don‘t know anything about American showbusiness of yesteryear, it suffice to say they were extremely successful comedy duo, although, as it‘s more than often the case, their output at the end of their career was less then stellar, but they still manage to star in more than 20+ feature movies. And their „Martian“ adventure is definitely not the only one we‘re gonna visit (just sayin‘).

Robert Paige (in the middle)

Dr. Wilson, the scientist behind the spaceship construction, is played by handsome Robert Paige, who was also with Abbot and Costello in Pardon My Sarong (1942), but his filmography is also pretty impressive.

The duo of villains our „heroes“ meet is played by Horace McMahon (Mugsy), a veteran actor known for roles of various villains, bouncers and thugs, and Jack Krushen (Harry), up to his death a prolific T.V. actor.

Anita Ekberg

From other actors one interesting to any exploitation/horror/cult cinema fan is, of course, Anita Ekberg, this movie being her first she was credited (as a Venusian Guard). Of course, she was in movies like Sheba and the Gladiator, La Dolce Vita, The Mongols, Fangs of the Living Dead, The French Sex Murders, Gold of the Amazon Women and many others.

I don‘t need to add anything else, these movies spells „nostalgia“ like nothing else and I do enjoy watching them every time I have the chance to do so. I hope you will join me as well!

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Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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