Dedicated to the memory of K. H. Scheer and Walter Ernsting, who first gave us Perry Rhodan in 1961 and of Forrest J and Wendayne Ackerman, who first brought his adventures to the United States in 1969.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Special: The Perry Rhodan Movie ... Mission Stardust (1967)

With classes over for the semester, grades turned in, and my courses for the summer all set up, I took a day off yesterday for myself. On a whim, because it had been on my mind since referring to it several posts back, I found the Perry Rhodan movie on YouTube.

Yes, it's as bad as they say. I'm not going to post a full synopsis. For one thing, I didn't take notes and a perfectly good overview is available through the Turner Classic Movies website. Here are just a few comments.

Actually, despite the obviously low budget special effects from the very beginning, and an early scene introducing a James Bond-esque master villain – complete with his purse-dog in one scene – the first half hour or so seems to follow #1(a) Enterprise Stardust fairly closely. Then suddenly Thora and Rhodan go into her bedroom so she can change into her “flight suit.” She reveals her and Khrest's mission, to revivify the declining Arkonide race by merging with a younger, more energetic people. Humans are not, of course, advanced enough for Thora's purposes … she believes. They are only Level 4 to the Arkonides' Level 9. Before long, however, Rhodan has pulled her forcefully to himself and planted a big wet kiss on her lips just before he stalks out, with the parting shot that she will find he can easily slip to a Level 3. Whereupon Thora falls back dreamily onto her bed....

And the wheels really spin off from that point forward as the story departs further and further away from what I guess originated as not just the first German issue, but the second and third as well. In the end, however, Thora and Perry Rhodan are locked in a deep embrace and obviously about to set about merging their races ….

All in all, though, I can't say this movie is much worse than many other B-movie sci-fi flicks of the era (or later), or even as an adaptation of the source material than was, say, the 1975 Doc Savage movie of that great pulp hero. I imagine that, like the latter (in which case I myself am an example) the Perry Rhodan movie, no matter how bad it was, did have the effect of introducing someone to the saga itself.

Now, for your enjoyment, here are some pictures that I found here, there, and yonder on the internet:

The Italian title
The German title

Various promos and packaging - yes, it's available in English on DVD (see the TCM link below).

Perry Rhodan

I think this is Rhodan, Thora, Flipper, Manoli, and Bull.  I could be wrong.

The actor who played Khrest, from another movie because I could find no image of him from this movie.

A couple more pics of Thora - changing into her flight suit before Rhodan, and immediately post Rhodan-kiss.

An Arkonide robot's innards, the Arkonide space sphere (the auxiliary craft looked the same only smaller), and the robot's normal appearance.
Cheers, and Ad Astra!


  1. the actor who plays khrest is australian john karlsen. steven smith, adelaide, south australia.

  2. I saw it on late night TV around 1975. I didn't even catch the PR references at the time. In those dark days before George Lucas' movie, you had to be grateful for ANY SF movie. MS wasn't any better or worse than the GAMMA ONE or other Euro-SF from the time period. And the plot was fun.
    Of course today we look at the horrendous special effects and cringe.