Sunday, September 30, 2018

War of the Satellites, Greedy Aliens Attack

Roger Corman...the early days! Yep, before the master of horror had sultry women raped and impregnated by slimy aliens, he crafted many low-budget, and pretty straight forward, science fiction films. In 1958's "War of the Satellites," Mr. Corman puts together a great cast in a film that can be shown to the whole family. However classic the plot may be, Mr. Corman's 1958 film can be viewed today as a metaphor for the fate of our modern day space program.
The Sigma Project is a joint U.S. and United Nations space exploration program. Bad news, their first 10 manned missions have been blown out of orbit by an alien force. The U.N. is cowering and after a cryptic warning from some alien intelligence, they are bent on ending the project. The U.S. team led by Dr. Van Ponder (Richard Devon) are determined not to allow an alien race to dictate our space exploration efforts. Dr. Van ponder is aided by Sybil (Susan Cabot) who knows her place. When asked a question she reminds the team her only job is to gather and correlate information, and not to offer opinions...and she adheres to that strategy. Other than looking good, her role in this is pretty insignificant...until the alien race decides she's real pretty and seek to mate with her.
Another of Dr. Van Ponder's flunkies, Dave (Dick Miller) takes matters into his own hands and unilaterally decides the Sigma Project will continue. Now the U.S. team prepare an 11th mission. Uh oh, the alien intelligence takes over the body of Dr. Van Ponder. Unbeknownst to Dave and Sybil, their boss is now an alien force bent on their destruction. As the rockets for the 11th mission blast off and Dave, Sybil, and Dr. Van Ponder (no longer human) don some sleek space jumpsuits, the aliens move in to destroy those same rockets. Not only are the alien beams aimed at the rockets, the alien possessed Dr. Van Ponder tries to woo the nubile Sybil.
Will Sybil's beauty be enough for the aliens to spare the 11th mission? If the aliens were that smart, wouldn't they have foresaw that the U.S. space-shuttle program would have killed any effort to explore space in the decades to come? Does any project in which the United Nations is included have any chance at any kind of success? This Roger Corman film is an entertaining space science fiction tale. If this same film was made 30 years later, no doubt Sybil's fate would have been more horrific. For some fun Saturday afternoon 'Creature Feature' entertainment, see "War of the Satellites."


  1. I watched this movie on YouTube a few years back. Good story defiantly not what you would expect from Rodger Corman.

  2. Ah, a tribute to Von Braun, maybe the aliens were the Nazis in disguise. When the Americans wouldn't allow Von Braun ride one of his rockets to Mars, he collaborated with the aliens. The Space Shuttle, seemed inferior technology with too many moving parts, foam or an o ring took out two of them.