The Earth is once again in peril. United Nations scientists, as part of the Sigma Project, are trying to send a manned satellite into orbit but they keep exploding. So far they have sent ten satellites and all of them have come in contact with a mysterious space barrier. The UN representative Mr. Jason ibn Akad (Michael Fox) wants to stop the project. The cost in money and lives is too great.
Some time later a small missile shaped capsule lands on Earth. It is seen by a young couple. They report it to authorities. The capsule is examined and a message is found. The UN holds a meeting to relay the message. It states that is from alien from the Spiral Nebula Ghana. The aliens are not happy with the Earth sending stuff into space. They consider us an infestation and tell us that if we don’t stop sending up satellites, they will stop us.
In response the US doubles down and prepares another satellite. The aliens kill the scientist who is head of the project Dr. Pol Van Ponder (Richard Devon) and send a doppelganger to take his place. The doppelganger's mission is to sabotage the next manned satellite mission. Dave Boyer (Dick Miller) and Sybil Carrington (Susan Cabot) are two of the crew members assigned to the mission. They figure out that Van Ponder is not who he claims to be. They now must stop this doppelganger and destroy the satellite shield.
"War of the Satellites" was released in 1958 and was directed and produced by Roger Corman. The special effects are decent for your basic “B” movie. Richard Devon does an excellent job as an emotionless alien. This is not one or Roger Corman’s most well known movies but it’s a decent example of what can be done with a small budget. It’s a good drive-in sci-fi classic. There’s a little comic relief with the couple in the car on lovers lane. Other than that it’s played serious and there is a build up of tension all through the movie. It’s a good late night flick for 50’s Science Fiction fans. I was happy with it.
Staring Roger Corman. Not really. He has a cameo as a ground controller.
Special effects expert Jack Rabin suggested that Roger Corman make a film about satellites since it was a big topic in the news. That's probably why Roger called the movie "War of the Satellites". The only satellites are the ones Earth kept sending up into the alien barrier. Anyway, Corman convinced Steve Broidy at Allied Artists to distribute the film. Roger promised that he could "deliver the movie in eight weeks", and he did. Broidy claimed in interviews that when Corman delivered the finished product on time, "he gave him $500.00 to throw a cast party. They're still waiting for the party..."
Corman's art director on the film, Dan Haller, in an interview, said that the budget for the interior of the spaceship was so low that it consisted of. "four arches to make the hallways in the spaceship...and two lounge chairs. That was the entire ship".
Dick Miller who plays Dave Boyer is suppose to have a fight with the alien played by Richard Devon. Dick is 5-foot-5 inchs and Richard is six-foot-two. At the time Dick said he felt that his part should have gone to a more powerful-looking actor, such as "William Lundigan or Richard Carlson". He said, "I looked up at Dick Devon...and said 'Jesus Christ, I gotta beat him up'"?