THE THREE STOOGES IN ORBIT
With The Three Stooges in Orbit, the Stooges joined a number of other comics of the era who took on the Space Age. Other comics to venture forth included Abbott and Costello in Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953), Norman Wisdom in The Bulldog Breed (1960), Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in The Road to Hong Kong (1962), Frankie Avalon in Sergeant Deadhead (1965), Doris Day in The Glass Bottom Boat (1966), Soupy Sales in Birds Do It (1966), Jerry Lewis in Way ... Way Out (1966) and Don Knotts in The Reluctant Astronaut (1967). Indeed, The Three Stooges had previously ventured into space in Have Rocket, Will Travel (1959).
In The Three Stooges in Orbit, the Stooges essentially took on the alien invader film that 1950s B cinema became extremely paranoid and worked up about and put it through slapstick shenanigans. At times, The Three Stooges in Orbit could almost be described as an alien invader haunted house comedy. In spirit, the film harkens back to the Old Dark House comedies of the 1930s with Martians in the place of the masked lunatics/criminals who would usually lurk about a big old house in these films. The various gags hands appearing through cubbyholes, a Martian turning up in bed, the Stooges clonking the wrong guy over the head as they appear through a hidden door had all been done by Abbott and Costello in their horror films. The film involves much physical comedy running around in the professors laboratory, involving gadgets and a shower going amok, items pushed through holes in the wall and banging the two Martians in the eye ad infinitum.
There is much slapstick chaos involving the films central invention going amok at a military base including the inevitable scene where a line of pompous military brass are pelted with custard pies and an energetic, if eventually tiresomely drawn out, climax with the Stooges around the outside of the vehicle as it is flown by the Martians while the military (represented by stock footage) try to shoot them down. The vehicle does very briefly venture up into orbit in order to justify the title. As always, one ends up either loving or hating the Three Stooges exploits. I must admit I dont have a high tolerance for their lowbrow tomfoolery.
Edward L. Bernds other genre films include:- The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters (1955), Bowery to Bagdad (1955), Jungle Gents (1956), World Without End (1956), Queen of Outer Space (1958), Spacemaster X-7 (1958), Return of the Fly (1959), Valley of the Dragons (1961) and The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962).