Terrore nello spacio / Planet of the Vampires (1965)

Spanish Blu-ray edition


Text below written 2021-01-22


Made in 1965 with a young Lamberto Bava as assistant director to his father and based on the pulp fiction Sci-Fi story "One Night of 21 Hours"
by Renato Pestriniero this is a very low budget marvel of a film. Mario Bava made it on a shoestring budget and yet made it look visually stunning
using his whole bag of tricks with matte paintings and the colors of Bava etc. and, YES, this is the film that the makers of the 1979 "Alien" didn't
acknowledge borrowing from .... Space travellers receives a distress signal from an unknown planet where they find a gigantic fossilized alien in
an even more gigantic spaceship. Hmm, let's see, does that sound familiar ?

Argos is a spaceship from a Space Fleet with a crew wearing black leather uniforms with symbols slightly reminiscent of Nazi insignias, as the
Wolf Hook. Along with it's sister ship Galliot they have been receiving emergency signals from the planet Aura for many years.
Both ships land after having trouble with the gravity and with meteors, but blinking lights and with the crew grabbing their control panels and
some shaky camera solves that (and surely the makers of the legendary TV series Star Trek saw that and used it some 2 years later).
Hey, Captain Markary also keeps an audio log (as later also Star Trek Captain Kirk) and the crew communicates by talking into wrist cameras.

They land on a foggy planet with Bavaesque colors everywhere and with an atmosphere to breath without using helmets. As soon as they land
the crew starts attacking each other as if being under some strange influence. The other ship, Galliot, has landed close by and the captain of Argo,
Mark or Markary (Barry Sullivan) sends out a group to reach Galliot and to cross a dangerous lava field to do so.
They find the crew of the Galliot lying dead as if having battled each other and then the bodies to mysteriously disappear. Not far from the ship
they also find an old crashed alien spaceship, an ancient huge ship with enormous fossilized aliens in it (no eggs though ...) .

The old US MGM DVD edition (widescreen and with english audio 2.0)

The lava field, the colors, the fog and the volcanic terrain looks like something out of his 1961 "Hercules in the Haunted World" and the two
scenes that I found the most impressive were:

1. the one where the dead crew members rises out of their graves in a very early Zombiesque style (Bava using stop motion here?), and

2. the visually amazing scene where Captain Mark and Sanya (Norma Bengell, Brazilian actress says wiki) enters the enormous alien ship and
finds the fossilized aliens and many of the unknown controls still working. What a Genius he was Mario Bava - The Master.

The "Meteor Rejector" plays an important role if someone will escape alive from the planet of Aura, any serious space traveller knows that.
Some other crew members are played by Evi Marandi as Tiona, Angel Aranda as the tech guy Wess and in a small role Ivan Rassimov, and
there's a nice twist at the end. The Cinematographer was Antonio Rinaldi (and probably with help from Mario Bava) and the fine soundtrack
by Gino Marinuzzi, Jr. And, here's the Spoiler, sorry .... SPOILER ALERT !

Parasite spirit aliens wants a ride out from their planet embedded into the crew members (in Alien there was a parasite creature)

The Bluray presents the film in anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 and with english audio 2.0, region B or region ALL, no extras