A U.N. space expedition to the planet Uranus discovers a bizarrely familiar world right out of their own heads, featuring places and people the crew members recall from their past. It's all part of a fantasy created by the planet's master, a giant, pulsating brain that can also turn their worst thoughts into reality. Written by
Jeremy Lunt <email@example.com>
The major contribution made to the American International version by Jim Danforth and Wah Chang was the giant cyclopean rodent monster. The monster's roar was actually Rodan's roar taken from Rodan (US title: "Rodan"). See more »
The spider attack used footage borrowed from Earth vs. the Spider, and is in black and white. As such, the spider attack scene goes back and forth between black and white and color. See more »
Capt. Don Graham:
How do you know the solution to everything isn't right here, right in front of us?
Because nothing in front of us is real. It doesn't exist.
See more »
I saw `Journey to the Seventh Planet' as the lower half of a double bill, with `X-15' (Does anyone remember THAT one?). At that time, I saw `Journey ' sans opening and closing credits. I thought it was pretty good, but it received atrocious reviews (`Another John Agar trash science fiction movie') Recently, when I read writer-editor-director Ib Melchior's comments in FILMFAX, he crucified the movie (`almost unreleasable). Pretty strong language from the man that cowrote (with `Journey ' director Sidney Pink) and edited the movie. I recently purchased `Journey ' and, I am happy to say, I haven't changed my original feelings about the film. Certainly, the mind-matter plot wasn't new. It had been used both in `Forbidden Planet' and `Fiend Without a Face'. It was also used again in `Twilight Zone,' `Outer Limits' , most of the `Star Trek' franchises, and, regrettably, `Sphere'. However, `Journey ' is the first film I recall that used an entity whose most powerful weapon was our own desires and fears.
The earth, controlled by a world government, sends international space crews on a search for extraterrestrial life. The searches have come up empty with the first five planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn), and our intrepid crew is about to land on Uranus, when they receive a message that Uranus is emitting a strange radiation. In his criticism of `Journey ', Melchior claims this `motive' was deleted; but, there it is, plain as day, a message being read by John Agar. Could Melchior be guilty of `sour grapes' because Sid Pink gets directing credit? Since this is a much better movie than two of Melchior's other efforts (`The Angry Red Planet' and `Reptilicus'), one can have legitimate suspicions. Anyway, as the spaceship enters orbit around Uranus, they are possessed by an alien entity, that threatens to control their minds in order to populate the earth with its slaves. A similar scene is used, to much poorer effect, by Mario Bava in `Planet of the Vampires'. Awaking from their `trance,' the crew discovers that `two hours' has past. However, one crew member, Barry O'Sullivan (Ove Sprogøe), who had been holding an apple, discovers the dry, rotted remains in his hand. `Two hours and HOW MANY DAYS' he asks.
Arriving on the planet, the crew expects to find a uninhabitable landscape of rock and frozen ammonia. Instead, they find themselves amidst beautiful greenery and gentle brooks. The time lapse decoration of the minature set is pretty good. Most of the minatures in this film are better than `Total Recall,' while done on a fraction of the budget. Soon, the crew discovers that the landscape (including people) is created from their own thoughts.
Excellent sound effects, set decoration and color photography in this movie. Much of the film appears to be shot outdoors, unusual at the time, and quite commendable. Agar is pretty effective, as is Ove Sprogøe. The other actors were apparently reciting their lines phonetically. I understand the beautiful `fantasy women' are beauty contest contestants. That seems very reasonable, considering both their physical assets and acting limitations. The only subpar elements are some of the special effects and the editing by Melchior. In the FILMFAX interview, Melchior complains that American International Pictures gave him virtually no money to replace the `horrible' special effects in Pink's first cut. Nevertheless, Melchior proudly boasts that he improved the effects the best he could. Yet, if one sees some of the `lobby cards' published by FILMFAX, the `horrible' puppet is much more frightening looking than the silly-looking stop-motion cyclops Melchior uses. Also, the most horrifying scene, in which one of the crew is killed, the skelaton of his legs at the burned bottom of his suit, was cut by Melchior, probably deemed too `grisly'.) That's pretty stupid, considering the explicit gore in many of the British horror films predating `Journey ' as well as a few of AIP's own releases (`Earth Vs. the Spider comes immediately to mind). Oh well, at least in one instance Melchior did the right thing in the release print I originally saw. By cutting the end credits Melchior spared us some really silly-looking minatures and optical effects, money that would have been better spent improving on effects within the film. Nonetheless, `Journey to the Seventh Planet' is a pretty good film, a `must see' for hardcore space movie fans.
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