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First Man Into Space

Entry updated 18 January 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1958), also known by its original screenplay title Satellite of Blood. Amalgamated/MGM. Directed by Robert Day. Written by John C Cooper, Lance Z Hargreaves, based on the original screenplay "Satellite of Blood" by Wyott Ordung. Cast includes Robert Ayres, Bill Edwards, Marla Landi and Marshall Thompson. 77 minutes. Black and white.

This is the second of two sf films made by Amalgamated in the UK that pretend to be set in the USA (the other was Fiend Without a Face [1957]). First Man into Space seems to imitate The Quatermass Xperiment (1955; vt The Creeping Unknown): a test pilot ejects from his high-flying aeroplane and returns to Earth enveloped in a repulsive, crusty substance that turns him into an inhuman, blood-drinking Monster (the blood giving him the oxygen he needs!). As in the Quatermass film, there are moments of pathos, but First Man into Space is generally derivative and routine. Released around the time of the first orbital satellites, First Man into Space, with its deceptive title, must have lured audiences expecting something scientific and quasidocumentary; indeed, despite its lurid content, it is soberly and stiffly directed. [JB/PN]


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