In 2116, Ray Peterson (the wonderfully-named Rik Van Nutter), a reporter for the Interplanetary News, is assigned to write a story aboard a space station.
Tension mounts between Peterson and the station’s commander (David Montresor), who think he’s in the way but has orders to leave him alone.
The rogue, pilotless spacecraft, Alpha Two enters the solar system with its photon generators radiating enough heat to destroy Earth as it approaches. It falls to Peterson to try to figure out a way to enter the spaceship, disarm the generators, and escape before suffocating.
It’s a poorly produced straightforward space opera – resembling a 1950s American sci-fi movie, with spacewalks, gliding spacecraft and starfields – but it’s entertaining and you can clearly detect the enthusiasm of both the director and the cast members.
Director Antonio Margheriti also created some of the models and diorama used in the film, notably Mars’ bubbling, misty satellite Phobos and the interplanetary base on Venus.
Assignment: Outer Space was distributed by American International Pictures in the US in 1961, as part of a triple bill that included the East German/Polish co-production First Spaceship on Venus (1960) and the Japanese production The Mysterians (1957).
Released in some markets as Space Men.
Rik Van Nutter
Al – X-15
Archie – Y16
King – 116