First Spaceship on Venus (1960)

Article 2149 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-2-2007
Posting Date: 7-1-2007
Directed by Kurt Maetzig
Featuring Yoko Tani, Oldrich Lukes, Ignacy Machowski

When a strange object is discovered to be a spool with a recording from another planet, scientists discover it must have come from Venus. Attempts to contact the planet prove unsuccessful, so an expedition is planned to take a spaceship to the planet.

With at least fourteen minutes missing, so-so dubbing and an altered soundtrack (it sounds mostly like stock music), it’s really difficult to judge what this movie was like in its original form. It’s confusing on first watching, but it proves more interesting on rewatching, and I suspect that it is somewhat better than its reputation would lead you to believe (it’s currently sitting with a 3.3 rating on IMDB). Still, though it’s interesting, it never quite becomes compelling, and the actual trip to Venus is full of cliches about weightlessness and meteor showers. The high point of the movie is seeing the landscape on Venus; it’s a surreal skeleton of a world, full of bizarre little pieces of technology and other touches, such as a seemingly sentient piece of slime and little hopping metal machines which apparently serve as some sort of tape recorder. I’ve heard that the original version of the movie is also out there, and I may just have to pick it up one of these days; I suspect that it’s a lot more interesting than the USA release. And I do find it an interesting touch that the cute little robot turns dangerous at one point in the proceedings.



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