Sep 23

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Jimmie Comments: MOON
Many Authors, not a good sign
Oh god, it’s a novelization
of a screenplay of a story idea
written on cocktail napkin

And it’s a HAMMER FILM
rated Moon Zero Stars

Published 1969

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.00 out of 10)

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27 Responses to “Moon Zero Two”

  1. Leak Says:

    Not depicted: the lander rolling downhill after trying to land on the steep incline…

  2. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Jimmie summed up my thoughts upon looking at this.

    Not even based on the screenplay! It probably wasn’t finished by the time this book had to go to the printers. Or possibly ever.

    The cover seems to have as much text as the poster did. Did anyone really care who released the movie, save the lawyers? And couldn’t that have been in a box on the back cover like novelizations usually have?

    My brother and I used to watch the Hammer fillums on afternoon TV, and save for the horror ones, they were… not good. I think the only ones we saw that were worse were those sicced on an unsuspecting public by Samuel Z. Arkoff. Who knew our commentary would stand me in good stead decades later when I found GSS?

  3. THX 1139 Says:

    Hey, I’m not standing for this – what’s wrong with Hammer Films?! Are you trying to tell me Holiday on the Buses is rubbish?! For shame, sir!

  4. fred Says:

    Another film w/ Hammer character actor deluxe Michael Ripper as 1st card player.

  5. Bibliomancer Says:

    Which astronaut is Christopher Lee?

  6. Rick Deckard Says:

    “Stop playing with your toys. Pan Books called again and they want that cover finished by tomorrow!”

  7. Tat Wood Says:

    The film is wonderful and don’t believe IMDb or those arseholes on Mystery Science Theater 3000. What makes it fun is that it mixes three sets of rules unwisely: space-procedural (those 60s pseudo-documentaries about a moon-shot where the launch comes at roughly half-way – ‘Countdown’, ‘Marooned’, ‘Journey to the Far Side of the Sun’ et al) plus old westerns (Cati Schell plays a miner’s sister called ‘Clementine’, the buggies are rented by ‘Moon Fargo’) AND British character-actor semiology*. Sam Kydd as a barman ought to be saying things like ‘don’t ee be a-goin’ to Caastle Drac’ler, ’tis ‘auntid’ but instead he’s offering cactus-flavoured redeye to prospectors. Warren Mitchell’s just got himself typecast as Alf Garnett** so he’s having fun with a beard and a monocle; he plays the dodgy Big Shot but is dressed as the Burgomeister. (And Bernard Bresslaw’s his henchman. Of Course.) Adrienne Corri is Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty rolled into one, in a late-60s get-up making her look like the Sherriff of Carnaby Street. Familiar faces in what they think we’ll be wearing in 2028 abound.
    The only major thing wrong with it is that, as a relatively-costly British film, it suffers from Random Yank Syndrome, where they had to cast the first American they found sleeping on a park bench as the lead. See also ‘The Quatermass Xperiment’, ‘Behemoth, the Sea Monster’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘They Came from Beyond Space’, the love interests in ‘Summer Holiday’ and ‘The Italian Job’ and dozens of others…
    (@Fred: if you think Michael Ripper was only in Hammer films you need to broaden your horizons. He’s everywhere for twenty solid years and was originally a song-and-dance man. In this one, he’s the info-dump about the dodgy claim-jumpers.)
    And it has the coolest theme-song and groovy animated titles that are nothing to do with the film.

    But, yes, the cover of this book sucks.

    (*Almost: Roy Evans plays a character who doesn’t die horribly to establish the threat to the lead. It’s confusing the first time you watch it.)
    (**I imagine you knew that ‘All In The Family’ is a knock-off of ‘Til Death Us Do Part’ and that the ‘randy scouse git’ became a Prime Minister’s awkward father-in-law.)

  8. A.R.Yngve Says:

    They should have settled for “Now a major motion picture!”

  9. Raoul Says:

    OK, let’s jumpstart this LEM and vamoose!

  10. Anna T. Says:

    Apart from anything else, that LEM looks like it’s going to crash because there’s not a reasonably level landing site to be seen.

  11. JuanPaul Says:

    Nice thought, bringing a case of beer to the moon, but you forgot the straws.

  12. Clifford Walk Says:

    This movie has a great theme song sung by Julie Driscoll

  13. B. Chiclitz Says:

    You can tell by his expression and his pose that the white-suited astronaut just relieved himself on that pyramid crystal. Hey, that moon-beer goes right through you!

  14. Bibliomancer Says:

    @B.C. – Must be freezing cold on the Moon. That astronaut’s nipples are rock hard.

  15. Hammy Says:

    @B. Chiclitz (#13):

    Which pyramid? The bluish one poking Mr. White Suit in the groin or the white one on the far side of the crate of whiskey (or is it sherry)?

    I wasn’t sure the white pyramid was really a pyramid until I zoomed in on the larger picture. At first glance, I thought is was some of the astronaut’s urine sublimating into space – as you’d expect when it’s as cold as Bibliomancer claims….

  16. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Hammy—I am guessing it was the pyramid closer to hand, as it were.

    @Bibliomancer—It’s so cold, his nipples aren’t only rock-hard, they’re concave! (Nice new avatar, btw.)

  17. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Tat: So what do the pyramids have to do with any of that? And the crate of booze?

    I daresay this novelization of the cocktail napkin isn’t any good, though, without appearances by beloved British character actors in fun costumes to liven it up.

  18. Tat Wood Says:

    @GSSxN: They’re outcroppings of the pure sapphire that makes up the entire asteroid Alf Garnett’s trying to steer towards his ranch. See, they’ve found a way to combine claim-jumping a mine and cattle-rustling. There was a sort of a good idea in the first draft of the sript but then people added bits.

    Novelisations can paper over the cracks of inadequate budgets, ropey effects, duff performances or cut scenes (RIP Terrance Dicks) but not always. ‘Zardoz’ manages to make even less sense in print.

  19. Francis Boyle Says:


    You forgot the zero-g bar fight. How can you not like a film that features a zero-g bar fight?

  20. Francis Boyle Says:

    Low-g but actually slo-mo.

  21. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Tat: I must have missed this one, as I’d certainly have remembered it! You’d think it would have been on my local TV station, but perhaps it showed on a Saturday when my brother and were actually outdoors doing something, or away from home. Back in those primitive pre-VCR days. Maybe I’ll find it somewhere.

    So at this point, they aren’t on the eponymous Moon, but on an asteroid? Cover makes even less sense, but that explains the pasted-in LEM.

    This book can’t be from the original story; it’s got 3 writers listed and a photo from the fillum, so there must be added bits.

    @B. Chiclitz: I’m quite chuffed B’mancer took that cover I found and used it for his avatar. It makes him look so swashbuckling! Not as macho as yours, of course.

  22. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Even as I type, I’m watching MST3K re-riff their 30 year old riff of this movie. Reading social media jokes and comments from people working in COVID care.

    The music is particularly dire. The pace is glacial.

    And the guy who wrote the screenplay isn’t on this cover — even more writers!

    Warren Mitchell has a grand time chewing the scenery in monocle and beard. He’s swell as the villain. Named Hubbard! Brief appearance by Carol Cleveland.

    Several of the MST3K lot say it’s grown on them in the past 30 years. One says it should be a musical like “Starlight Express”.

  23. Tor Mented Says:

    @GSSxn: Where are you watching MST3K re-riff this? I’m a big MiSTie.

  24. Ray P Says:

    NASA clearly realised that this footage would fool no one and palmed it off on a small British film studio. Suckers. A bit of a come-down from James Bond for Catherine Schell who followed her role in this turkey by getting a regular gig on Space 1999 then a role in Doctor Who. She knew good sf. It also features Bernard Bresslaw who was a Carry On film regular which does nothing for the film’s non-existent pretention to seriousness. MZT almost is a musical what with the Pam’s People/Legs & Co dancers. Some of the colourful space suits look like British sweets for children (jelly baby astronauts). It would have been great to see them dancing on the lunar surface.

  25. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Tor: I was watching on their YouTube channel, but they also had FB Live, and have a 24/7 Twitch stream. They’re everywhere, I guess.

  26. Lars of Mars Says:

    I saw Moon Zero Two at the Capital Theatre in Montpelier, Vermont early 70’s, then mostly forgot about it until someone on a panel at CapriCon here in Chicagoland mentioned it as the first example they ever saw of a ‘used future’.

  27. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Lars: It’s so forgettable that I’d completely forgotten I watched it less than two years ago, until I came back to this thread! And even that only pulled up the vaguest memories.

    So I probably did see it in the early 70s, but it simply doesn’t stick in my head.

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