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
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
acknowledge borrowing from .... Space travellers receives a distress
signal from an unknown planet where they find a gigantic fossilized
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
some shaky camera solves that (and surely the makers of the legendary
TV series Star Trek saw that and used it some 2 years
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
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
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
Parasite spirit aliens wants a ride out from their
planet embedded into the crew members (in Alien there was a parasite
The Bluray presents the film in anamorphic widescreen
1.85:1 and with english audio 2.0, region B or region ALL, no extras