Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Planet of the Vampires (1965)

Director: Mario Bava

Starring: Barry Sullivan, Norma Bengell, Ivan Rassimov

More info: IMDb

Tagline: This was the day the universe trembled before the demon forces of the killer planet!

Plot: In the near future the two spaceships Argos and Galliot are sent to investigate the mysterious planet Aura. As the Galliot lands on the planet her crew suddenly go berserk and attack each other. The strange event passes, but the crew soon discovers the crashed Argos - and learns that her crew died fighting each other! Investigating further, the explorers come to realize the existence of a race of bodiless aliens that seek to escape from their dying world.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Very doubtful.

#234 on Drive-In Delirium Volume 2 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)


As you can see by the trailer, it's a great looking 60s sci-fi flick with cool-as-hell outfits, giant, open sets and nifty special effects - especially for the alien world. The story's not that bad, either. I dig the concept of a dying alien race tricking our ships to land so that they can go live on our planet. Nicely done. That's about it, really. Slick production values and cool concepts can only go so far.

Space babes! Groovy!

One of the positives is the obvious influence it had on ALIEN (1979). Our heroes leave their ship to investigate an alien ship where they find the skeletal remains of some of its former inhabitants. Hmmmm...that sounds awfully familiar. Hell, even the rest of the story about the alien race killing off the Earthlings follows ALIEN to some degree. It just goes to show that even some of the greatest films stole from someone else.

The problem's in the pacing. There are too many spots where it drags. The two ship interiors are the same (shot from different angles) and that doesn't help curb the occasional numbness. It just needed some pep, you know, which is a real shame as it's got so much going for it. Oh, and if you go into this expecting real vampires you'll be disappointed to learn that they aren't the monster ones we have on Earth but vampires as parasites. It would have been cool to see a bunch of capes and fangs running around.

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