The Phantom Planet (1961)

The story goes from chapter to chapter with innocent exuberance. It’s a typical “meeting aliens in outer space” story. An astronaut meets barefooted Lilliputian aliens (who all wear Star Trek type mini-skirts) hiding inside an asteroid, and promptly shrinks to their size. They’re hiding not from Earthlings, but Solarites, creatures that use fire to attack the asteroid.

This is the luckiest dude in the cosmos; he meets raven haired beauty Delores Faith and if I were him, I’d stay on the asteroid with her. Meanwhile, there’s some interesting sub-plot action going on–jealous rivals, invaders closing in, court trials and what not. A captured Solarite breaks loose, attacks Delores, but then can’t decide if he’ll kill her or not, and wanders around carrying her for a while.

The special effects are cheap, but amusing, even interesting to watch. Rays, fireballs, a large-nosed creature with a big head, an asteroid that looks like popcorn chicken chunks; it’s just a lot of fun. The story is too abbreviated in several places (like the climactic battle with the enemy creatures), but I was actually involved with the characters, even the hastily developed astronaut/barefoot alien girl romance was somehow believable.

I don’t know exactly what it is about this film, it’s silly and absurd, definitely MST3K stuff (they lambasted it pretty well, lol), but it really is an OK thing to watch. It’s turn-off-the-brain stuff all the way, but it’s fun.