Sunday, March 9, 2014

Battle Beyond the Sun (1959)

Original title: Nebo Zovyot

Directors: Mikhail Karzhukov, Aleksandr Kozyr, Francis Ford Coppola (re-edited with new footage)

Writers: Mikhail Karzhukov, Yevgeni Pomeshchikov, Aleksey Sazonov

Composer: Yuli Meitus, Carmine Coppola (U.S. version)

Starring: Konstantin Bartashevich, Larisa Borisenko, V. Chernyak, Viktor Dobrovolsky, S. Filimonov, Taisiya Litvinenko, L. Lobov

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Space-War in the Unknown!

Plot:  It tells of the "space race", with the USSR forced into competing with the USA to become the first nation to colonize Mars.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Roger Corman bought this Russian sci-fi flick and reworked it like he did to a lot of foreign films way back when  It was cheap and all that needed to be done was to re-edit it, add some English dubbing and a monster scene filmed and included.  I don't know how the film was in its original form (I'd like to see it, though) but this one suffers from a far too slow pace which leads to boredom.  The music is repetitive and there are some silent scenes that scream for a score.  I'm going to assume that this is due to the minuscule budget.  I dig Eastern sci-fi space movies from the 50s and 60s.  They had a great look to them and the models were really cool.

Besides the pacing issues, it's rather bland but having spots with some neat special effects, although primitive, helped a lot.  It wasn't enough.  But wait!  What's this?  An epic battle between a vagina with teeth monster and a one-eyed monster?  Hokey smokes!  Who will win?

One-eyed monster - 1, vagina with teeth monster - 0.  As you can see the print was really bad and these were the best screencaps I could get.  Each monster had an anus on the top.  The vagina with teeth monster was consumed by the one-eyed monster's top anus.  It was pretty fucking funny.  It's especially funny considering this was released in '62 here in the States with such an obvious resemblance to genitalia.  Classic.  The IMDb trivia says this is the one scene filmed by Francis Ford Coppola for this picture.  Great stuff.  It was his pop that wrote the music for the U.S. version.  I'm a sucker for outer space movies of the 50s, 60s and 70s.  This one's a little boring but at least the American version is only 64 minutes long so it's not that tough of a pill to swallow and there's some neat model work and effects along with the genital monster fight to keep you at least reasonably entertained.  I watched this with a full house of friends and we were straining to get through it even though we were giving it the MST3K treatment.

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