A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.
International man of mystery Diabolik and his sensuous lover Eva Kant pull off heist after heist, all while European cops led by Inspector Ginko and envious mobsters led by Ralph Valmont are closing in on them.
John Phillip Law,
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>
I saw this film in it's 1965 American release, and at the time I was not overly impressed. It was obviously made on a low budget, the dialog dubbing is bad (although far superior to some other Italian imports I have seen), the acting alternates between wooden (Barry Sullivan) and outrageously overdone (i.e., "gravity effects", the reaction of the actor who smashes the "meteor deflector", numerous fear reaction shots of crew members). Time has proven that it has become a trend setter for numerous subsequent sci-fi films (most notably Ridley Scott's "Alien" (1979)). I recently viewed it again 37 years after it's release, and the similarities to "Alien" are unmistakable. The attentions of the crews of both films are attracted by mysterious radio signals originating from an unexplored world. The horseshoe shape of the ships in POTV resembles that of the wrecked alien spacecraft in "Alien". There are similar shots of the ship's landing gear in both films. Both crews find ancient wrecked spacecraft and skeletal remains of giant aliens on the planets they land upon. There is an unknown predatory alien presence in both films. Lots of gore footage exists in both films too, although POTV unarguably started this trend (alas, is there any recent sci-fi film that does not fall to this temptation?).I cannot believe that all these similarities are coincidental, and I suspect that Dan O'Bannon must have been heavily influenced by POTV, whether he realized it or not.
The use of lighting and color are also noteworthy. POTV still looks good today due to colorful exterior scenes (forgive the somewhat clumsy use of composite shots of the crew in a few scenes set against an obviously miniature landscape). Please also forgive the overzealous use of the zoom lens, which had just been developed at the time. One big demerit in set design comes from a scene inside the wrecked alien spacecraft. A prominently-featured prop appears to be the taillight lens from a 1957 Packard, complete with the backup light lens below it. It is positioned vertically in the shot, and perhaps the set designer was hoping that Italian audiences would not recognize it. Another detractor is the almost unlimited amount of area inside the ships. No ceilings are visible, and the various compartments look as big as football fields when compared to realistic spacecraft design criteria.
I found this to be an entertaining if somewhat flawed film, certainly more enjoyable than it was when I first watched it in 1965. It deserves a vote of 6/10.
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