Thursday, November 27, 2008

Planet of the Vampires

Planet of the Vampires is a 1965 Italian science fiction/horror film starring American actor Barry Sullivan. It is directed by Mario Bava, better known for his horror films.

I'm always surprised when space ships have so much interior space -high ceilings, spacious control rooms... The uniforms are cool. It's hard to tell about things like color in these youtube videos, but I do like the use of color in this movie. The wind and fog are eerie. There are no vampires here. It's more an alien invasion story. I am impressed that the women serve as fellow crew members rather than romantic love interests and that they don't spend all their time needing to be rescued or tripping and falling while running away.

part 1:

part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9

Moria has a review. Images Journal's review calls this movie "a tour-de-force of otherworldly visuals, muscular comic book plotting and lean suspenseful thrills." 1000 Misspent Hours is enthusiastic about this one, saying,
I cannot overemphasize how completely blindsided I was by the sheer excellence of this movie. Mario Bava’s broody, methodical direction definitely won’t be to everybody’s taste, but to my way of thinking, it is exactly what the story of Planet of the Vampires calls for. The air of slowly but relentlessly escalating menace that pervades the first hour of the film resembles the best of Romero and Carpenter, and it’s easy to see why so much of this movie later ended up being recycled into the first act of Alien. In fact, in its best moments, Planet of the Vampires is almost as potent as its illustrious descendant.

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