War of the Satellites (1958)

5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 5/10

Classic Sci-Fi/Fantasy B-Movie style

Rather dull story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  War of the Satellites

Studio:  Allied Artists

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  May 18, 1958

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Uh, yeah…you just really screwed up your hand, dude.

The Earth is on the verge of escaping the planet and something in space doesn’t want them to.  When a warning comings to end the space program, Dr. Pol Van Ponder (Richard Devon) chooses to push on.  Dr. Pol Van Ponder is killed in an accident and secretly replaced by something inhuman.  Despite his efforts to sabotage the launch, his friend Dave Boyer (Dick Miller) and Sybil Carrington (Susan Cabot) proceed with the experiment which could mean death for all the astronauts involved.

Directed by Roger Corman, War of the Satellites was released just half a year after Sputnik took to orbit and was an attempt to capitalize on the whole space craze.  The movie was met with mostly average to negative reviews.  It has been released on DVD in a special Corman triple pack with bonus material and the films Attack of the Crab Monsters and Not of This Earth.


This picture is way more exciting than the movie.

To say War of the Satellites is about satellites is pretty much a misnomer.  The story is about launching rockets to reach space and the idea is getting away from Earth.  Yes, the ship would be a satellite of Earth, but really it is your standard space movie.

The alien issue is really underdeveloped.  It is brought up by the characters that they can’t tell the aliens that they mean them no harm by leaving Earth, but the aliens never give any reason for their attack.  They just want the humans on Earth or dead…there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground or negotiation.  Once the prime alien is overpowered and they breach that barrier they act like everything is ok…It seems to me that the aliens could just try to sabotage them again.


Got to make the donuts….

I do kind of like the whole mirror aspect of the Dr. Pol Van Ponder (ridiculous name).  Dick Miller’s character realizes that the character is completely asymmetrical down to his fingerprints and it is how he proves he’s an alien (it is pretty convenient that the alien put his hands both down clearly on a removable piece so they could be checked).

War of the Satellites is a pretty dull sci-fi movie.  I don’t think I could really add horror to the descriptive list of this movie because there is little horror involved in this Corman title which is weird.  Besides a burned hand and a couple of dead guys, there isn’t much scary in the film.  With tons of great sci-fi and sci-fi/horror films from this period, War of the Satellites probably can be skipped.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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