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Rik Van Nutter,
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(U.S. Version) A mysterious magnetic spool found during a construction project is discovered to have originated from Venus. A rocket expedition to Venus is launched to discover the origin of the spool and the race that created it. Written by
Leo L. Schwab <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What's wrong with this picture? This movie is neither highly regarded by critics nor IMDB voters. Yet, it contains some striking visuals; thoughtful comments on the "human" condition; an attractive, multiracial, coed international cast (daring for the time); and a pretty good storyline, to boot.
Excavators at the site of the 1906 mystery explosion in Tunguska, Siberia, discover evidence that the explosion was the destruction of an alien spaceship. Evidence includes a "memory spool." Scientist determine the alien spaceship came from the planet Venus, and cryptographers and linguists begin to translate the memory spool.
Before translation can be completed, an international crew is assembled and an enormous nuclear powered spaceship constructed (a stunningly beautiful piece of matte work) for a flight to Venus. The ship begins its voyage before the on-board linguist makes a startling announcement. The memory spool contains plans for a Venusian invasion of earth!
The ship lands on a eerie, vapor-cloaked Venus (Striking art direction; just how did they do those strange, microbe-like vapors?). The crew discovers, a burned out, uninhabitable planet. The Venusians, apparently attempting an invasion to escape either overcrowding or an impending nuclear war, have destroyed themselves, leaving only the shadows of their disintegrated bodies. Further exploration discovers a strange, living amoeba-like organism and a damaged, super-gravity beam weapon aimed toward earth. Many members of the crew are lost, and the ship is eventually deflected back to earth by the accidental discharge of the gravity beam.
The movie IS choppy, without a doubt because the American distributor, Crown International, cut the film by over one half hour. I'd certainly LOVE to see the excised footage; however, since the film is East German, I doubt if a complete print still exists. Besides, we Americans are having enough trouble finding obscure fifties and sixties from ENGLISH-speaking countries, including our own.
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