PLANETA BUR (1962)
aka Planet of Storms
Article 2265 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-1-2007
Posting Date: 10-25-2007
Directed by Pavel Klushantsev
Featuring Vladimir Yemelyanov, Georgi Zhzhyonov, Gennadi Vernov
When a Russian spaceship gets stranded on Venus, a second spaceship lands on the planet to rescue them. They encounter dinosaurs and monsters, and search for signs of intelligent life.
Even if you haven’t seen this Russian science fiction epic, you may have seen several scenes from it; it was pillaged for footage twice by AIP, once for VOYAGE TO THE PREHISTORIC PLANET and again for VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF THE PREHISTORIC WOMEN . I’ve only seen the latter of those two recently, and the original movie does not have any of the shell-bikini clad all-female tribe headed by Mamie Van Doren. Instead, we get a lot more speculation on life and evolution and a subplot about the lone female cosmonaut waiting in space to hear from the two parties on Venus. I find this one easily the better of the two movies, though I’m sure that a number of people would prefer the Mamie Van Doren subplot (for obvious reasons). The movie is good, if not great; the special effects are strong for the most part, though some of the alien creatures are unconvincing and even a little silly (like the bearded octopus). The most memorable scenes here are ones that were borrowed for VTTPOPW; the robot’s trek through the lava while saddled with two human passengers, and the revelation of what is hidden in the triangular stone. The stone scene works much better here as well, since the presence of the Mamie Van Doren tribe in the other movie gives it less impact, and it has a moment here (involving a reflection seen in a small puddle of water) that was not included in the other movie; it is quite eloquent.