#253 Planet of the Vampires/Terrore nello spazio

Watched: January 15 2020

Director: Mario Bava

Starring: Barry Sullivan, Norma Bengell, Ángel Aranda, Evi Marandi, Stelio Candelli, Franco Andrei, Fernando Villena

Year: 1965

Runtime: 1h 28min

planet

Source

Back to civilization after winter break, we dive into the magical and stylish world of Mario Bava with Planet of the Vampires (pronounced vampyres, like Andrew’s documentary in the Buffy episode “Storyteller“. At least in our minds).

planet5
Unfortunately, despite a good start, the female heroes in this this movie tend to scream, faint, and/or run away at the first sign of the undead. Buffy would not approve.

Source

Argos, a spaceship filled with beautiful people in fabulous leather outfits, approaches an unexplored planet together with its sister ship Galliott. Both ships are sucked into the planet’s atmosphere and go in for a rough landing, and then the crew members try to kill each other once they wake up from the crash.

planet1
“I’m sure glad someone designed these high necked and traditionally vampire proof outfits for our space journey. Their reliance on perfect peripheral vision is exactly what has gone wrong with earlier expeditions.”

Source

A knock on the head is enough to bring them back to themselves, and the Argonauts go out onto the new planet to see if they can find and rescue the crew of the Galliott. However, strange things start to happen – voices are heard, dead and living bodies both disappear, and massive skeletons are discovered. What is going on?

planet2
“I wonder how these giants died…” “Isn’t it obvious? No high necked, sexy leather outfits anywhere! It was only a matter of time before they perished.”

Source

Bava always hits the spot for us, although we have never seen this particular movie before. The costumes are amazing, the concept is great (and clearly an influence on later works in the genre), the sets are awesome and there are some very cool shots and visual effects.

planet3
The planet looks eerie and fantastic

Source

It’s a fun and slightly campy sci-fi-space-adventure which will make you develop trust issues on par with The Thing (1982). Loved it!

planet4
“Plastic is not good for the ENVIRONMEEEENT!!!”

Source

What we learned: We’re so cosplaying this later. Peripheral vision and ability to turn our heads be damned!

Next time: Repulsion (1965)