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Planet of the Vampires (1965)

Terrore nello spazio (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 27 October 1965 (USA)
After landing on a mysterious planet, a team of astronauts begin to turn on each other, swayed by the uncertain influence of the planet and its strange inhabitants.

Director:

Mario Bava

Writers:

Renato Pestriniero (story "One Night of 21 Hours"), Ib Melchior (screenplay) | 8 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barry Sullivan ... Capt. Mark Markary
Norma Bengell ... Sanya
Ángel Aranda ... Wess (as Angel Aranda)
Evi Marandi ... Tiona
Stelio Candelli Stelio Candelli ... Brad / Mud
Franco Andrei ... Bert / Garr
Fernando Villena Fernando Villena ... Dr. Karan
Mario Morales Mario Morales ... Eldon
Ivan Rassimov ... Carter / Dervy
Federico Boido ... Keir (as Rico Boido)
Alberto Cevenini Alberto Cevenini ... Toby Markary / Wan
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Storyline

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 <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THIS WAS THE DAY THE UNIVERSE TREMBLED before the demon forces of the KILLER PLANET! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studios [United States]

Country:

Italy | Spain | USA

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

27 October 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Planet of the Vampires See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$251,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,031,617
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Susan Hart was originally cast as Sanya, but upon arriving in Rome immediately following her honeymoon with AIP co-founder James H. Nicholson, she was locked out of production due to Samuel Z. Arkoff's enforcement of a new anti-nepotism company policy. Hart also suspects that Barry Sullivan's on-set arguments with an unidentified production member was another factor in her dismissal. Norma Bengell was not cast as her replacement until halfway through shooting. Hart would later appear in another Mario Bava film, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966), although her only scene in the film was recycled from its prequel, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965). See more »

Goofs

When the 2 astronauts are peering through the door to recapture the Meteor Avoider; a film crew's shadow can be seen, and retreating on the left wall. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Mark Markary: One entire crew lost; two of our own crew gone. Bert dead, Eldon disappeared. And this unknown enemy keeps getting closer!
Dr. Karan: The enemy is also becoming visible.
Capt. Mark Markary: What do you mean by that?
Dr. Karan: Well, you saw something. Something not quite identifiable out of the corner of your eye.
Capt. Mark Markary: Ah, yes. As if it were composed of little globes of light, something fleeting, nothing definite. And the minute I looked at the things directly, they were gone.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original Italian version runs 88 minutes long. The US version runs 86 minutes long. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ghosts of Mars (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Diablo Marooned
22 December 2001 | by robotman-1See all my reviews

In the film PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, there is an undeniable creeping dread, a very real sense of terror, in every scene. Despite the obvious lack of money, Bava wrung some eerie, disturbing imagery out of his sf schlock piece. Considering this is an Italian production of the mid-60s, director Bava infuses some real originality into his story, taking a 1950s crew of square-jawed astronauts and forcing them to confront the future of horror: a horde of gore-streaked zombies, an omnipresent supernatural force invading the crew's minds, and a nihilistic ending.

What is great about POTV stems from Bava, his dynamic camera, and his framing. The marooned spacecraft atop a craggy hillside, approached by rescuing astronauts, looks like a haunted house against the black-clouded sky of the planet. When the living dead begin stalking the pitted, fiery surface of the planet, intent on killing the astronauts, Bava effectively uses the new horror icons of fear: not of fear, but of zombiefication, of characters who could be us, once just human, but now horribly returned as mutilated living corpses set to kill friends and family.

PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES is exciting, arresting in places, and nuanced in small ways even by the actors involved, all of them physically fit with numerous fight scenes. Sullivan and Bengall aren't creating their

characters, but they react realistically as human beings in an increasingly hopeless situation. The final scenes, of the

astronauts attempt to escape the planet, set upon by the living dead, have a psychological edge to go along with the action, as these noble travelers overcome their fear of the planet, of the zombies, and the horrible prospect of becoming zombies themselves, in order to end the hungering menace all around them. These scenes predate the best of George Romero's DEAD films or any John Carpenter flick, where a group of survivors are whittled down to just a few, and then to one, by a wave of seemingly unstoppable supernatural force.

It should be noted that "vampires" refer to parasites, not classic monsters, and truly this is more of a "zombie" film than a "vampire" movie. The film Bava made is gory and violent for 1965 when it was released, and as interesting as it was then, it's just as interesting now to see how POTV influenced later horror-film greats, not only in theory but in execution. And it's still better than 95 percent of the recent Hollywood sf-horror films of the past decade, bar none.


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