War of the Satellites (1958)

“War of the Satellites” is a better than average science fiction flick; which, just means, it is not achingly awful. Roger Corman did some genuine stylish and engrossing Edgar Allen Poe films and the cult classic “Little Shop of Horrors,” an amazing film, especially when you realize it was shot over a weekend. However, except for this and “Attack of the Crab Monsters,” virtually ever other Corman sci-fi is garbage,largely because of the incredibly kitschy special effects. Here the special effects are passable and the set decoration is fairly good. However, what really distinguishes “War of the Satellites” is actor Richard Devon’s mostly dignified performance, mindful of Michael Rennie in “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. Even more fascinating about Devon’s performance is the subtle bisexuality of his character. Watching Devon is far more interesting than anything else going on around him.

Not to say Dick Miller and Susan Cabot do not contribute a lot. Miller, a stalwartly reliable character actor who worked a lot, has his moments and Susan Cabot, a fine, beautiful actress who never got her due, keep the film moving nicely. I am not certain of the of the young actor who first accuses Devon, but he is effective in a very small role. Actually, the acting and fast pacing are what keep “War of the Satellites” from being a total dud. That and the very good black and white photography.

All and all, a pretty entertaining movie.