Robinson Crusoe on Mars  [DVD]Paul Mantee (actor)
Victor Lundin (actor)
Format: all-region dvd (worldwide)
Runtime: 110 min
Once you get passed the ridiculous title this is a wholly satisfactory and intelligent slice of pulp sci-fi from Byron Haskin, director of The War of the Worlds. Shot in the bleak hostility of California's Death Valley, this is an innovative retelling of the classic Defoe tale, centering on astronaut Paul Mantee's survival challenges following a crash-landing that leaves him stranded on the red planet.
Haskin wisely bypasses flashy effects to concentrate on the human element, notably the growing relationship between Mantee and the alien he rescues from a slave ship, although the harsh planet landscape, with its craters and hovering fire balls, offers a visual feast. By the way, that's Adam West, TV's Batman, as Mantee's doomed astronaut companion.