War of the Planets (1966)

aka I Diafanoidi vengono da Marte
Article 2614 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-1-2008
Posting Date: 10-9-2008
Directed by Antonio Margheriti
Featuring Tony Russel, Lisa Gastoni, Franco Nero
Country: Italy

Gaseous beings from outer space attempt to take possession of earthlings.

Yes, it’s another sixties Italian space opera, which is to say it’s another compendium of colorful sets, a whole slew of poorly differentiated characters, non-stop verbal science-fictionese, and a maddening dearth of exposition. I’m not sure whether it’s something in the English dubbing, or if it’s something inherent in the movies themselves that make them so frustrating, but I never feel like I know what’s going on, and not in the “mysterious suspense-inducing” way but rather in the “we’ll tell you everything but what you need to know to enjoy the movie” way. You can figure them out if you watch them three or four times, but I really don’t think that should be necessary. Apparently, this was part of a series of four movies called “The Gamma 1 Quadrilogy”; I’ve seen the other three movies in the series, and I would have never guessed they were part of a series, partially because not a single character from any of these movies stands out in my mind, but also because these movies seem so confused that I never really see them as being attached to anything at all. Still, the “He’s gone galaxy!” line is memorable. Incidentally, one of the alternate titles of the third movie of this series is WAR BETWEEN THE PLANETS; now, how are you supposed to tell the difference between these movies and still tell them apart from other titles like BATTLE OF THE WORLDS?


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