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In the near future the two spaceships Argos and Galliot are sent to investigate the mysterious planet Aura. As the Galliot lands on the planet her crew suddenly go berserk and attack each other. The strange event passes, but the crew soon discovers the crashed Argos - and learns that her crew died fighting each other! Investigating further, the explorers come to realize the existence of a race of bodiless aliens that seek to escape from their dying world. Written by
Jeremy Lunt <email@example.com>
"Terror in Space" (I try to avoid using the most popular a.k.a "Planet of the Vampires" as it is quite misleading) is a very creative and trend-setting sci-fi milestone from the hand of the almighty Mario Bava. With an extremely modest budget, Bava put together a colorfully stylish and unsettling adventure in which two collaborating spaceships investigate mysterious signals coming from the planet Aura. Strange events occur when the ships approach the planet and some sort of very powerful and vile force awaited the astronauts. Visually, this certainly isn't Bava's most impressive work.... The effects are dodgy, the cardboard sets are goofy and the flashy light bulbs all over the spaceships are too kitschy! And yet our marvelous director manages to create a claustrophobic tension and an eerie Gothic surrounding. The "aliens" are in fact a breed of body snatchers and when the host bodies rise up from their tombs again (still wrapped in icky plastic) this gives an immensely creepy effect. Bava emphases this neatly with the use of fogs and ominous sounds The ending is brilliant as well and it fits perfectly in the apocalyptic/paranoia/takeover trend that ruled in sci-fi plotting around that time.
I know this film will definitely not appeal to the new generation of sci-fi buffs who're only impressed by boisterous alien-fights but if we, Bava fans, can only get them to realize that THIS was a fundamental film for the further development of the genre! Not surprisingly, many of my fellow reviewers refer to Ridley Scott's "Alien" (perhaps the most accurate definition of SF) as being inspired by this overlooked and neglected little space-masterpiece. I will not go as far and claim that Scott's film stole some of Bava's credit but I do think it's about time that Mario is acknowledged as one of the most influential directors of all time. Highly recommended film!
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