Let the experiment begin!Experiment #111 ~ MOON ZERO TWO (1970)
Original Air Date: Approx: 1/90
Studio: Hammer Films Productions ~ (Distributed by Warner Brothers/Seven Arts)
Starring: James Olson, Catherina Von Schell, Warren Mitchell, Adrienne Corri, Ori Levy, Dudley Foster
Directed By: Roy Ward Baker
Theatrical Running Time: 100 Minutes
Tagline: "THE FIRST MOON WESTERN... AN ASTEROID WORTH MILLIONS! A ROBBERY! A MURDER!"Film Synopsis:
It is the year 2012. A teeming society of human beings live on the Moon in... (where else
), Moon City! The first man to set foot on Mars, Bill Kemp (James Olson
) and his co-pilot Korminski (Ori Levy
) run a salvage and emergency transport operation, using Kemp's independently owned moonship (christened 'Moon Zero Two'), rather than piloting the now routine task of shuttling passengers between the Moon and Earth.
After salvaging a damaged communications satellite and returning to Moon City, Kemp is approached by Clementine Taplin (Catherina Von Schell
), who asks for his help in finding her missing brother Wally, who never returned from his 'claim-stakers' private mining operation on the 'farside' of the Moon.
While knocking back a few drinks at the local watering hole, Kemp is pressed into a meeting with wealthy entreprenuer J.J. Hubbard (Warren Mitchell
), who proposes to give Kemp a new ship if he will use his salvage skills to retrieve a 6,000 ton asteroid made of sapphire, and deposit it (read...crash it
!) on the farside of the Moon to be processed for Hubbard's own financial gains.
Kemp agrees to the scheme, but not without a certain degree of doubt.
Accompanied by a pair of Hubbard's hired thugs, Kemp and Korminski successfully 'lasso' and prepare the asteroid gem to be delivered to the farside lunar surface. Upon returning to Moon City and heading to the 'saloon' for a well-deserved drink, Kemp once again encounters Clementine who implores him to fly her to farside, hopefully to finally determine the fate of her brother and his claim.
After flying to 'Farside 5', the closest base to Wally's claim, Kemp and Clementine drive to the site in a 'Moon Bug' and sadly find Wally's remains. There, they are ambushed by three of Hubbard's hired assassins. After dispatching of the malevolent trio in a violent gun-battle, Kemp and Clem take the victim's ailing 'Bug' and barely make it back to Farside 5 only to be arrested by Elizabeth Murphy (Adrienne Corri
), a Moon Bureau investigator who also happens to be Kemp's ex-girlfriend.
It is summarily determined that Hubbard had Wally murdered for the rights to his claim. Hubbard and two more of his hired muscle enter the base and a brief fight ensues. Elizabeth is shot and killed. Hubbard threatens to kill Clementine unless Kemp takes the entire group out to the asteroid and completes his part of the deal, depositing the giant gem upon the surface of the Moon.
Kemp, Clem and Korminski transport Hubbard and his thugs out to the asteroid . One of the goons is shot, and in dramatic fashion, Hubbard and the other tough guy are shot off into space, stranded on the asteroid, and left to die upon it's impact on the lunar surface (slightly reminiscent of Major Kong in 'Dr. Strangelove').
Kemp, Clementine and Korminski head back to Moon City, with a now suppossedly wealthy Clem, legally owning the territory where the precious asteriod has come to rest. Intro:
Joel explains the premise of the show and hopes that "...By the way if you're going to, during the commercial break, make a snack... while you're digging in the refrigerator, think of me. Get something delicious and nutritious because I'll be eating vicariously through you!".Invention Exchange:
Larry is having a bad hair day. Joel presents 'Teleportation Foods and Liquids'. Dr.'s F and E present 'Celebrity Mouth-to-Mouth Toothpaste'.Host Segments:Host 1: (Tom Servo)
: "On July 22, 1969 a man first stepped foot on the surface of the Moon. His name... Vince Lombardi! Hee, hee!--- um---.>ahem<... no, it's Neil Armstrong!"
Well, you can already see where this sketch is headed. Joel and the Bots present a tribute to "The Men who Brought Him to the Moon!" Crow will portray Neil Armstrong. Joel will play two roles as the second man on the Moon, Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin and
President John F. Kennedy. Plus, Servo will take on double duty as Mission Control and Astronaut Michael Collins. Joel locks the keys in the LEM!Host 2:
Joel and the Bots speculate what board games of the future might be like. Twister
might be played on your tongue (get it?!). Nintendo
would be Moon
tendo, starring the Super Lunar Mario Brothers. Risk
would be riskier, and Sorry
will 'seem to be the hardest game'. Parchisi
will be Green
-chisi. Skittle Bowl
will be the same, but just take a lot longer to set up because of no gravity. Chutes and Ladders
is replaced by vacuum tubes (like on The Jetsons', cause that's the way they get around...), and Candy Land
stays the same, except for all the cool new flavors. Kaboom!
is called 'Don't Smoke on the Ship', because it's an oxygen rich atmosphere... . Etch-A-Sketch
will probably be able to draw curved lines. There won't be any mice, because they're needed for experiments so... no Mousetrap
won't exist because people won't have any. Trivial Pursuit
will be called Trivial Moon
suit and Win, Lose or Draw
will be called Win, Lose or Draw Oxygen
will be replaced by games higher in fiber. Joel has a game from his past, is in his present and sure to continue into the future... Rock-Em, Sock-Em Robots
! Crow knocks Servo's block off!Host 3:
Crow and Tom Servo come to blows about their preferences in women in today's experiment. Joel lets them duke it out... in 'Zero-G'!End:
Joel has the Bots do a 'Good Thing/Bad Thing' about the film for a ram-chip reward. Joel reads a fan letter. The Mads insist on the SOL reading the fan club address. Larry 'files this'.Items of Note:
~ The use of different colored spacesuits was obviously inspired by Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey".
~ Actor James Olson is one of those character actors whose face you recognize, but can't pull his name. Lots of roles in '70's TV series.
~ Actress Catherina von Schell, aka (Catherine Schell
) is probably best known as Maya on 'Space:1999', and The Countess on 'Doctor Who' (1979), as well as numerous film roles.
~ Crow's jaw is still being operated using a thick piece of twine. BBI will later employ a piece of thin black thread, a marked improvement.Personal Notes:
~ The film reminds me of something Gerry and Sylvia Anderson or Sir Lew (low
) Grade might have cranked out around this time period.
~ If one can get past the ultra-mod fashions and hair-styles (which we obviously will all be sporting in the next few years), the film is really not that
~ Don't get me wrong. It's bad... but forgiveable.The 'Riffs':
: "Hey, nice bar! Really crummy ATMOSPHERE, though!"
: "Moon Zero MOSTEL
: "Fourth floor. Tyrannical tycoons, loose women!"
: "Hey, it looks like Liza Minelli and Lola Falana had a garage sale!"
~ Pop culture references spanning such subjects as Petula Clark, 'Fawlty Towers', Glasnost and Esther Williams. The film doesn't stink on ice but...Rating:
2-1/2 'Lunar Claim-jumpers' out of 5.
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