"I speak for the great coordinator of the Moon. Return to Earth at once."
The International Space Order has organized the first manned trip to the Moon. The goal of the trip is to claim the Moon as “International” territory. The space ship is the Lunar Eagle 1. There are 12 people on board, 10 men and 2 women. All have specialties that make them vital for the trip. Along with them are some test animals. Two cats, a dog, a monkey. The commander of the ship is an American named John Anderson (Ken Clark). Personality issues abound right from the start.
Of course the first thing they run into is the obligatory meteor storm. They manage to avoid being hit. Just before they get to the Moon they run into a meteor storm cloud. They destroy that with a rocket. There is more bickering among the crew members.
The team finally lands on the moon. More meteors. More bickering. They plant the international flag and begin to explore the surface. A couple more meteors hit near by. Two of the explorers find a cave and enter. They find there is air in the cave. They take off their helmets and kiss. It appears they have been lovers for awhile. A wall of ice instantly forms behind them and they are trapped. The others set an explosion to mine for ore samples. The explosion exposes a liquid. One of them touches it and is burned. He is taken back to the ship. Another team member steps in quicksand. The others try to get him out but he sinks to his death.
The remaining team members are low on air and the lunar night is coming. The temperature is dropping. They return to the ship. Once there the lights dim and a message in a strange language crawls across the console. The message is in a language similar to Japanese. It is from the inhabitants of the Moon. They live underground. They want the Earth people to leave or else. But they are going to keep the two lovers. And they want the cats? Not knowing if all this is real or not the astronauts do as they are told just in case.
They leave the Moon but find out that the Moon people have done something that has caused the northern half of the United States to freeze over. The only plan they have to stop this will result in a suicide mission.
I found all of this to be a little confusing. First, I realize that meteors are a part of most space movies but this was a little over kill. Then there are a bunch of things just thrown in. Rocks that burst into flames. Little patches of quicksand. Liquids that burn. And why do they want the cats? It seems to me that all this extra stuff was to try to make the movie interesting because the main theme of the movie is so boring.
The Moon people think that Earthlings are violent and that human emotion is bad. Through love and sacrifice the Moon people learn the Earthlings are not all bad and that there may be some hope for them yet. They tell the Earthlings that the next time they come to the Moon they will be treated as friends. But they’re still gonna keep the lovers and the cats. It’s a theme that has been in many a science fiction movie and TV show. You’ve seen it in everything from “The Day the Earth Stood Still” to several Star Trek episodes. But none of them had meteors. Or cats.