Thursday, May 23, 2019

Planet Of Storms!

Planet of Storms is a Russian sci-fi movie which was picked up by Roger Corman and his team and transformed into not one English-language movie but two. The look of this movie is really sharp, or at least distinctive and conformed quite well with the pulp notions of space travel.

The story takes place on Venus or very near it when three spaceships from Earth approach. At the very beginning of the film one of three ships is utterly destroyed by meteors and the plan to land on Venus appears to be in jeopardy until a replacement can travel from Earth. I'm not all that certain what this plan was but it creates the need for innovation and as a result two men and a really smart looking robot descend  to the planet leaving a lone woman in orbit to effect their later removal. That goes haywire and then the other ship descends completely in order to help the first party. They then work to find one another, traveling across a landscape of rocks, steam, water and dinosaur-like creatures. They also fight off lizard-men of a sort but almost no attention is paid to the nature of their society if any. The two teams finds one another and eventually lift off, though there are casualties. They find evidence of sophisticated life, but miss living creatures by just this much.

This movie gets lifted by Corman and has some Earth-control scenes added with veteran Basil Rathbone who doesn't really add to the narrative and how could he really. But his name is a lure. Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet is still mostly the same movie, with the same dudes struggling on the same planet, but this time in delightfully dubbed English.

Then the same movie is lifted by Corman's team again and framing scenes featuring a tribe of mute women led by an aging blonde bombshell Mamie Van Doren which attempt poorly to give the story a fresh context by adding the oddball allure of a telepathic romance between a character from the original and the added Mamie.

All three of these variations can be found on The Roger Corman Russian Sci-Fi Collection. It's got a fantastic cover and presents the movies more or less in their raw forms. There is a commentary on one which is quite informative. But there's still one to go.

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