Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Boarding Prometheus

As Prometheus prepares to land in theaters this Friday, let’s take a look at some non-”Alien” franchise science-fiction films that you might be interested in viewing. 

Planet of the Vampires
Mario Bava directed this B-movie classic about astronauts who land on a mysterious planet and encounter many bizarre discoveries -- like corpses that have risen from the grave! Despite the fact that this was made on a shoe-string budget, Bava makes the best of it by creating a genuine sense of mystery and disorientation. If you can get past the atrocious dubbing and some bad performances, you’ll find that this is a fairly eerie film from the 1960’s. Those familiar with Bava’s other films, like “The Evil Eye,” “Black Sabbath,” and, my favorite, “Island of Terror” will know what to expect. Many critics have joked that “Planet of the Vampires” plays out essentially like a Star Trek episode, which actually is an accurate description when you break the film down beat-by-beat; it’s not too far off.  I’ve never heard anyone from the first “Alien” mention this film, but I’m convinced they drew some inspiration from Bava’s space thriller. If you go into the film expecting actual vampires, you’ll be quite disappointed, since it’s more of a virus that is infecting the crew, rendering them more like zombies than blood-suckers.
“Planet of the Vampires” is available on Netflix instant and Amazon Prime. 
FUN FACT: This film had more than 15 titles before it was decided to be “Planet of the Vampires.” 

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