- OPERATION GANYMED
- Film (1977). Pentagrama/Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen. Written/dir Rainer Erler, starring Horst Frank, Dieter Laser, Uwe Friedrichsen, Jurgen Prochnow, Claud Theo Gaestner, Vicky Roskilly. 126 mins, cut to 120 mins. Colour.This grim German film emerges as a realist response to fantasies like PLANET OF THE APES (1968). On their return to Earth, 5 survivors of a 3-ship, 21-man mission to Ganymede crashland off the Gulf of Mexico and,lost in the desert, turn to madness, murder, cannibalism and guilt-ridden introspection as they wonder whether humanity has been wiped out by a nuclear war. During the mission, as we discover in flashbacks, the astronauts discovered ALIEN microorganisms which caused a plague among them, but it turns out that Earth is the harshest environment of all, as the final survivor straggles back to an unchanged, uncaring civilization. Concerned with the ethical issues of space travel-whether the expenditureresults in an improved earthly standard of living or not - this is a talky and melodramatic film, but intermittently powerful. Erler's other sf films, mainly for the German tv company ZDF which cofinanced this one, include Das Genie ("The Genius") (1974), Plutonium (1978) and Fleisch("Flesh") (1979).KN
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.