The Lost Missile (1958) – By Duane L. Martin

Ever peel an apple, and keep the peel all in one long piece as you went around the apple with the peeler? That’s the basic premise of this film. A missile (or some kind of a rocket ship), suddenly breaks through the Earth’s atmosphere and begins to fly around the planet in a slightly off, circular orbit, leaving a five mile wide swath of devastation in its wake. As it travels around the planet at five thousand miles per hour, cities are destroyed, countrysides are devastated and people burned to ash by the millions. Repeated efforts by the military to shoot the runaway missile down fail. Because the the massive speed, the missile has a super high temperature shield around it that no munitions can penetrate.

So how do you stop it? Well, Dr. David Loring (Robert Loggia) has a plan. He was the lead on a project to develops an advanced rocket with a nuclear warhead payload. If they can just complete the project in time and get the nuclear material to the warhead in the rocket, they might just have a chance to destroy the missile, as the rocket is the only thing they have that can travel fast enough to penetrate the missile’s heat shield and deliver the nuclear payload that will destroy it. Will it work? Will Dr. Lorring get to the launch pad in time with the plutonium? Will his unbelievably annoying nag of a fiance ever get him away from his work long enough to marry her? You’ll have to watch to find out.

Now, I absolutely love the classics. My personal review site, B-Movie Central is dedicated to reviewing only classic b-movies, so I was excited to get this one. Cheezy Flicks has released quite a few classics, but so far they haven’t sent me many, which I wish they’d do because those are really my forte. Regardless, I have one here right now. So what did I think of it? Well…

When I started B-Movie Central, I came up with a rating system from one to five Bees. For movies that were absolutely bottom of the barrel horrible, they got a Bat rating, because a film that bad deserved to be buried under a big, steaming pile of bat guano. Eventually, I came across a film that didn’t deserve a Bat because it wasn’t a bad film, but it was so boring, I didn’t really feel right about giving it a Bee rating either. It was at this point that I invented a new rating called Snoozer. Basically, a Snoozer film is a film that there’s technically nothing wrong with. All the elements are there, the acting is good and the story is decent, but it’s just a generally boring film. It’s like the kind of a film that you’d watch late at night, pass out on the couch in front of it and drool all over yourself.

If I were reviewing this film on my site, it would get a Snoozer rating. Sometimes I can’t really put my finger on what was missing that would warrant giving a film this rating, but in this case, I know exactly why. There’s really nothing exciting about the missile that’s destroying the Earth. All it does is fly in a straight line. There’s no intelligence behind it, no malicious intent, no conscious effort to destroy mankind, etc…. It seems to have just been an accidental, random occurrence that it entered our atmosphere in the first place. The rest of the movie is all about the military forces of the world trying to stop the missile by shooting it down and Dr. Loring and his team trying to finish the rocket so they can make one last desperate attempt to stop the missile before it destroys the Earth.

Now this isn’t a bad movie, at all. The acting is good, it’s edited well, the visual quality is quite good, etc…. The only thing it’s really lacking is an exciting threat. Now if the missile had been controlled by an alien race and was purposely trying to destroy all life on Earth and actually got into battles with the military jets and what not, that would have been more exciting. Unfortunately, all it did was fly in a straight line…for the whole movie. It was actually the quality of the acting and the rest of the story that saved this film from being really bad. Those elements not only made it watchable, but actually made it a pretty decent film. I just wish the enemy element had had the same level of thought and quality put into it, because if it had, this movie would have rocked. As it is, it’s just decent.

Is it good enough to add to your collection? Sure. Despite whatever excitement it lacks with the missile, the rest of it makes up for it and delivers a pretty enjoyable film. I mean really, there aren’t too many classics that aren’t worth adding to your collection.

If you’d like to find out more about this film or to pick up a copy for yourself, you can check out its listing on the Cheezy Flicks website here.