Wizard Of Mars, The (1964)


aka’s: Alien Massacre/Horrors Of The Red Planet/Journey Into The Unknown

In 1974, four astronauts, silver shoe-clad Dorothy (Eve Bernhardt), overweight Doc (Vic McGee), goofy Charlie (Jerry Rannow) and wooden Steve (Roger Gentry), crash land on Mars with only four days of supplies. They now must try to survive on the surface, which is barren except for some canals with huge maggots and fins. After embarking through a golden igneous cavern, braving a storm and finding an unmanned Earth vessel, they discover a golden road which leads them to ruins of what was once a beautiful Martian city. The Martians are modeled after the Flatheads of Oz and their collective consciousness, the “Wizard” (John Carradine), forbids them to leave until they perform a very small task. Film editing by Tom Graeff.

In 1957 Tom Graeff finished production of his most famous film, Teenagers From Outer Space (1958), but could not get a release for it until it was sold to Warner Brothers for a fraction of its $14,000 budget. Warner Brothers released the film to drive-ins in 1959 but Graeff saw no money from the deal. He suffered a nervous breakdown and took out ads in the Los Angeles Times proclaiming that he was the second coming of Christ, calling himself Jesus Christ II. He attempted to legally change his name to this but was denied the request, which made national news. He moved to Pennsylvania but returned to Los Angeles in 1964 to work on The Wizard Of Mars (1965), a cheap take-off on The Wizard Of Oz (1939). After about five years of not being able to find film work, on December 19, 1970, he committed suicide in his car by breathing in carbon monoxide. He was 41 years old.

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The Wizard Of Mars aka’s: Alien Massacre/Horrors Of The Red Planet/Journey Into The Unknown


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