Sci-Fi December: Planet of the Vampires

Planet of the Vampires Illustration by Jeff Schwartzbauer

Planet of the Vampires – 1965
Dir: Mario Bava | Starring: Barry Sullivan, Norma Bengell
Year: Not disclosed in the film
Review: If you are a fan of practical effects and creative set design you should find a lot to enjoy in this film. It is just oozing atmosphere thanks to dense layers of constant fog, craggy rocks, and a rainbow of burning substances glowing from below. There isn’t one exterior shot that isn’t a technicolor feast thanks to all of the fantastic cinematography, forced perspective, and split focus techniques. The audio is also almost entirely atmospheric natural sounds, very little score exists, which feels unique for the time. The plot isn’t anything far beyond an episode of the original Star Trek but the concept, atmosphere, and some scenes feel as though it must have been a direct influence on Ridley Scott’s Alien and Prometheus. I picked this film out at random and was extremely pleased.

2 thoughts on “Sci-Fi December: Planet of the Vampires

  1. Thanks! Yeah, trailers were a different beast back in those days. I have a feeling the odds of seeing one was much more limited to just at theaters so the repetition of TV wasn’t an option as much so they just loaded it up with as much content as they can.

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