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In the 21st century, aliens (weird, green, lights which sometimes manifest themselves as large clouds of smoke) invade the solar system. Using Mars as their base, they steal all of Earth's space stations then brainwash or kill the crews. Next stop: Earth, unless Tony Russel and his crew can stop them. Written by
David (Voards) Lee <email@example.com>
Italian SF 60's style from Il Maestro Antonio Margheriti
One of the four GAMMA series SF films from Italy's Antonio Margheriti. Not as "wild" as WILD WILD PLANET, but still fun in colorful low-budget vein. This time, the space crew has to battle a race of aliens who turn men into mindless slaves via a green gas. Reminiscent of stuff going back to INVADERS FROM MARS and IT CONQUERED THE WORLD, not to mention the loosely concurrent STAR TREK pilot "THE CAGE", it has a visual flair that helps it move past a very slow middle act.
But, all cult film fans will at least want to tune into the First act with what is certainly cinema's most bizarre New Year's Eve celebration with space-walking astronauts literally spinning and floating in formation! And wait 'til you see the big finale! All this to Italian 60's lounge rock courtesy of Angelo Francesco Lavagnino. The film shares with other Euro SF films of the period decidedly 'mod' music sequences (the famous STAR WARS 'Cantina' sequence has nothing on this stuff) - I.E. Germany's SPACE PATROL and even something as sober as the Czech classic VOYAGE TO THE END OF THE UNIVERSE.
Far from classic, but it was a fun period in Italian SF. Though one has to be careful when attributing dialog to the dubbed USA versions, this one has a doozy -- An astronaut has been "taken over" by the aliens, which sparks the comment: "He's gone Galactic!" Too bad the TCM print you are most likely to see isn't Letterboxed (as so much of their vault is). (the closing credits are letterboxed)
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