Trip To Moon


Trip to Moon

aka Chand Par Chadayee

1967
Written by Dr. P. Balakrishnan and T.R. Sundaram
Directed by T.P. Sundaram

Trip to Moon
How you boys like my new goldfish bowl?

Trip to Moon is another Dara Singh adventure, as the famous wrestler has become far too manly and powerful to be confined to foes just upon Earth, he has to search the stars for new enemies. Luckily the Moon and Mars both contain a sizeable amount of wrestlers and monsters for him to battle with, and then there is the little matter of the love of a Princess and adverting war between the Moon and Mars. As we get an experience that’s obviously heavily influenced by serials like Flash Gordon, the audience comes along for the ride in one of the few instances of Indian science fiction film. It’s also a bonus entry into the MOSS (Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit) Conspiracy Big Muscle Tussle, because I am awesome like that.

Trip to Moon
Rise of the Moon of the Apes!

Trip to Moon has several mysteries surrounding it. Though it was released in 1967, one of the actors – S. Nazir who plays a kidnapped scientist in the beginning – died earlier. He’s even listed as deceased in the credits. Theories abound as to when Trip to Moon was actually filmed, with guesses ranging from 1963-1967 – though it is possible additional scenes were added later. So why did it take so long for Trip to Moon to hit Indian theaters, if that was the case? Was it more distribution problems similar to what drove producers to start making stunt films in the first place, or was there something else going on? Or are these rumors all untrue and just made up by people with websites? Perhaps if you know Dara Singh, you can ask him. Tell him TarsTarkas.NET sent you! Then he won’t punch you as hard for bothering him.

Trip to Moon
Only in India do you get crowd scenes with Devo and a herd of Phantoms from Krankor…

Much like his other films King Kong and Samson, although he’s given a character and backstory, Dara Singh is just Dara Singh. Much like how Arnold Schwarzenegger is Arnold in every movie, even if he is a robot or a believer in Free Mars. By now Dara is headlining films himself, no need for pretty boys to share the spotlight. He still has a comic relief guy, because you can’t escape their goofy grasps. Dara’s wrestling opponents are less billed than before, and though some make appearances, many are under layers of makeup or costumes playing various space monsters. There is a feeling in the air that Trip to Moon is using whatever costumes the studio had lying around for use, along with possibly monster costumes.

Trip to Moon
It’s lonely out in space on such a timeless flight

The opening credits are filled with what look like stock scifi paintings as the credits role. Despite the trappings, there are relatively few Indian science fiction films. Others known or suspected to be (besides mythologicals or super hero films) include Dara Singh’s other film Rocket Tarzan (1963), Wahan Ke Log (1967), Rocket Girl (1962), Flying Circus (1965 – though that just has a robot), Flying Man (1965), Miss Chaalbaaz (1961), Atom Bomb (1949, dir. Homi Wadia), Kalai Arasi (1963), and Aditya 369 (1991). Thank MBarnum of Pedro the Ape Bomb for some of these titles. The either missing of unavailable status of many of those films prevents a good overview of older Indian science fiction. The more modern films are better known – Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish, Love Story 2050, Da.One, Aa Dekhen Zara, Endhiran (a Kollywood joint) and Krrish 2. But those are entries for new dawns and new days.

Trip to Moon
I’ll be He-Man, and you’ll be Bee-rah, Princess of Honeypots!

Yes, this unsubtitled, badly encoded vcd just doesn’t want us to know what is going on. But here at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!

Captain Anand (Dara Singh) – Space Captain Anand is the greatest fighter on three worlds, what with his kicking butts on Earth, the Moon, and Mars. John Carter needs to watch out! I thought from the context that Anand’s father was among the scientists kidnapped by the Moon, but he never shows up so who knows. For more Dara Singh, don’t forget to check out King Kong, Samson, and the Dara Singh Infernal Brains podcast
Princess Shimoga (C. Ratna) – The stunning Princess of the Moon, who quickly takes a shine to Captain Anand and his seriousness. Her costume looks like a flight attendant’s costume, which is sort of weird in itself. I could find no information about actress Ratna aka C. Ratna.
Bhagu (Master Bhagwan) – Comic relief buddy of Dara Singh, who is like Wayne Knight meets Abbott and Costello. is Anand’s paternal cousin. I originally guessed his name was Foruk, and kind of wish it still was. Bhagu has a double who is the assistant of the King of Mars, Isabel
Balti (Rajrani) – The kidnapping Moon girl that takes a shine to Bhagu, because annoying dumpy guys are irresistible to fabulous moon babes. It’s a fact, Jack! Her name as Balti is a guess (a bad one), and the actress being Rajrani is also a guess (though more of process of elimination.)
Simi (Padma Khanna) – The other space girl who accompanies Balti on her trips to kidnap people and other tasks. She doesn’t get to marry on of the two main castmembers, for reasons that will become apparent as you watch. Padma Khanna (here billed simply as Padma) is a Hindi and Bhojpuri actress who was mostly active in the 60s-80s. She has recently directed her own Bhojpuri film and runs a dance studio and produces stage shows in New York/New Jersey.
Barahatu the King of Mars (Anwar Hussain) – The evil King of Mars Barahatu totally wants to marry the Princess of the Moon Shimoga, but he’s old and gross and evil, so she snubs him. So he just kidnaps her, risking a war to try to make her marry him. That just annoys her even more.
Robot (man in suit) – This robot shows up suddenly and starts fighting captain Anand, until another robot randomly walks in and then the robots fight.
Space Rhinoceros (men in suit) – Mars also features dangerous Space Rhinoceroses that will totally attack innocent wrestlers who are chasing after kidnapped princesses nearby.
Trip to Moon
Things went ugly quickly when a robot played 7 aces during Fizzbin

Trip to Moon
E=mcsexy

The actual film opening is with fake rocket models on a moon mockup, but it is just done by some scientists, similar to the Team America puppet show opening. They totally ripped that off from this obscure 1960’s Indian film!!! I bet Trey Parker and Matt Stone thought they’d never get caught, but they didn’t realize that TarsTarkas.NET is on the case! The scientists see bright light, a so one scientist goes to investigate. It is of course a singing alien woman outside. Like it always is with those dastardly aliens!

Once she’s done with her song, suddenly she’s back in space girl uniform! Space helmet, space suit, space miniskirt, all that jazzy space stuff. This film is getting space good! We all know that scientist is as kidnapped as Patty Hearst, and off they fly in their very realistic spaceship

Trip to Moon
Why are the feeding tubes and the bathroom tubes the same color?
Trip to Moon
Rocket pushing was an Olympic sport briefly in the 50s and 60s, before being replaced by by donut stacking.

The police discuss the case, and in walks Space Captain Dara Singh, in full space gear! He and his comic relief buddy Bhagu are all set to go to the Moon and hunt down those space women because that’s what they do! The Moon ladies made Dara’s mom cry, the monsters! Anand’s mom is played by legendary actress Kanchanamala (I think!)

They get the go-ahead to blast off to the moon, so Dara and Bhagu get in their jeep…are they gonna freak in the jeep? Is Dara a California Gurl? Thankfully not, because Dara and Bhagu arrive at the rocket site, just in time to see that a squad of alien dudes have beaten up everyone there and are trying to smash the rocket. Dara now has an excuse to fight some alien jerks. It’s punching time!

My favorite part of this fight is when Dara rips off one of his sleeves and throws it at the aliens.

Trip to Moon
We’ll make sure those Moon mooks swim with the luna tuna!
Trip to Moon
Look, firetrucks gotta be red, because that makes them go faster!

Despite the mighty Captain Anand’s power of punching, he and Bhagu are captured by the female aliens who kidnap them and blast off for the moon! They force Anand and Bhagu to wear space suits which in no way look like ridiculous fireman outfits. Bhagu is given dinner, which is just a pill.

The evil King of Mars sends a rocket to shoot down the spaceship the ladies and our heroes are in, giving the effects guy a new scene to show off his great work as the two ships fight. The hero ship manages to eventually slip the pursuers and lands, where the waiting Princess of the Moon watches as the two guys disembark. Captain Anand and Bhagu walk goofily due to the gravity difference, so the spacegirls slip on some Dr. Scholl’s gel inserts on the bottom of their feet, and soon the guys are gellin’ like a felon eating a melon while beating Magellan with their normal and casual walking.

Trip to Moon
1960s FoxNews isn’t pretty…
Trip to Moon
So the town model that guy made in Beetlejuice was of the Moon!

The heroes are brought before some moon judges in moon court who yell at them about breaking Moon Law or something. You know the Moon, over-regulating everything.

An escape attempt later results in a humorous encounter with guards that morphs into a prolonged fistfight as Trip to Moon betrays some of its serial inspirations. The heroes sneak back onto the moon rocket after stealing some guard uniforms, but the moon ladies were waiting for them on-board and force them to land again. These are some smart moon ladies!

Trip to Moon
Welcome to Moon Princess Airlines…
Trip to Moon
We know we look ridiculous, but since you’re our prisoner, you look even more ridiculous!

The Moon Princess forces the pair to fight in the gladiatorial arena, the first battle is against a guy in an orangutan suit. I mean a Moon Monster that is TOTALLY NOT a guy in an orangutan suit. Captain Anand beats that, next horses attempt to pull Anand into pieces (or at least a mannequin of Dara!) But Captain Anand is far too strong for those guys and stays in just one piece. He and Bhagu get accolades, laurels, and uniforms from the moon people, which is odd that Bhagu shares in the glory despite doing absolutely nothing.


Bigfoot of the Moon!
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Next up is song time as the two spacegirls sing. They even kick up dust that makes a pattern of Captain Anand while dancing. The girls then show off their fencing skills with a long battle. After the fencing duel Bhagu visits Balti, who is bathing despite being clothed, and with a lion and a leopard in the room (Maybe she just watched The Hangover and decided she just had to have giant cats in her bathroom!) Anand plays the uninterested guy as the Moon Princess sings him a song about love and stuff.

Trip to Moon
Never under tip your monkey masseuse!
Trip to Moon
Lady Zorro and Lady Zorro are Lady Zorro in Lady Zorro!

Shortly after, we get a crazy awesome musical number with alien parachuting singing women dancing on clouds. This is my favorite musical number in the film.

The evil King of Mars has his very own Bhagu as an assistant, this Evil Bhagu hels the King of Mars kidnap the Moon Princess because he wants to marry her before she marries that Captain Anand guy. But The Princess of the Moon isn’t very fond of King of Mars. Eventually we get a dance sequence with some guys in dark face. I don’t know if they are supposed to be aliens or racist caricatures of black guys or what. But suddenly Helen comes out and sings. Helen is like the most popular random singer to show up in Indian film ever, thus making Trip to Moon an essential item on their Helen completion lists.

Trip to Moon
OMG he saw me steal the Cheetos!
Trip to Moon
Don’t touch me with those Cheetos hands!

Thankfully, the King of Mars was thoughtful enough to leave a kidnapping note declaring he stole the Princess, letting Captain Anand and Bhagu know exactly where to go to find her! The King of Mars virtually guarantees Captain Anand showing up when he sends someone to kidnap Anand’s mom and sister.

Bhagu and Balti have a song and dance number dressed in goofy costues that remind you of what they would wear on the cover of some Conan book or Princess of Mars, and then begin to look for the Moon Princess. Captain Anand is also going to look for the Princess, but he’s working on a device to help him.

Trip to Moon
The story of my life…
Trip to Moon
Let me tell you more about NBC’s Whitney…

Bhagu and Balti manage to get into the King of Mars’s palace because Bhagu looks like Evil Bhagu, and they discover the captives. They send a video message to Captain Anand, who by now is dressed up in full Commando Cody gear. He rocket jet packs away to Mars!

Before storming the castle, Captain Anand takes out his anger on the helpless citizens of Mars City and tosses firecrackers that explode like giant bombs. The painted cardboard boxes pretending to be major cities burn.

Trip to Moon
Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact it’s cold as hell
Trip to Moon
What is Avant Guard Zorro doing in 1960s Cuba?

When Anand lands, a whole host of wrestler pals are sent to attack him. You’ll probably recognize a few of them if you’ve seen several Dara Singh films. And you’ll know that Dara can easily defeat all of them, and he does. Evil Bhagu also gets shot, allowing for Bhagu to take his place permanently as they pretend Captain Anand was captured and take him into the palace.

Instead of getting to the rescue, there are some hijinks happening for a while until everything hits the fan and eventually Captain Anand is punching more giant wrestlers and then faces a huge robot! W00t!

And a second huge robot! Double w00t!

Trip to Moon
Mars has worse fog than San Francisco!
Trip to Moon
I’m gonna go John Henry on this bitch!

The two robots fight each other instead of Captain Anand, so Triple w00t! When giant robots fight, we win, unless Michael Bay is directing.

The Moon Fleet arrives and there is a battle upon a rocket ship as the King of Mars tries to escape with the Princess. Anand defeats him but the ship crashes, which means Anand must fight another wrestler who was right outside where the ship crashed. Do they keep wrestlers every 50 feet or so on Mars? I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many wrestlers outside of wrestling matches! Anand defeats the wrestler by drowning him in a pool. It’s cold blooded murder in the ring!

Trip to Moon
The mighty X formation!
Trip to Moon
And all this science I don’t understand. It’s just my job five days a week

Trip to Moon kicks it back to awesome as Captain Anand must next fight a Space Rhinoceros! It is guys in a rhino suit pretending to be real like in Ace Ventura 2. Except fakier and no one is born out of this Space Rhinoceros suit. But it’s still awesome we have a Space Rhinoceros battle.

It’s Rhino time!
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Captain Anand defeats the Space Rhinoceros, and Bhagu kills the King of Mars, saving Anand from his own murder. Everyone is happy because everyone evil is dead, even though Mars has been firebombed and raided by the Moon, and now has no real leader so expect lots of political strife. But forget all that and be happy that now the Earth hero can marry the Moon Princess.

Trip to Moon
The day the rhinos would have revenge against poaching had begun. Millions would die beneath their horns and hooves.
Trip to Moon
I told you, that isn’t a handle!
Trip to Moon
Point out my two extra eyebrows again, I dare you!

Rated 6/10 (Approved, King of the Moon, Pull that Dara!, chalk outline that Dara!, bridge fight, eyeglasses communicator)


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Poster for Dara Singh’s Rocket Tarzan:
Rocket Tarzan
Poster for Homi Wadia’s Atom Bomb:
Wadia Atom Bomb

Trip to Moon

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!

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