Wild, Wild Planet (1965 Italy)

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Wild, Wild Planet (1965 Italy)

Post  BoG on Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:09 pm

What's Happening: Corporate criminals plan to create synthetic super-race
Famous For: First of Margheriti's "Gamma I" space operas
Weird, weird movie. Promoted in the US as a space-bikini campfest, the Italian-made Wild, Wild Planet plays more like James Bond in outer space. It's a mystery, with lots of exposition, and bit-by-bit discovery of the sinister "corporate" plot. The original title - "The Galaxy Criminals" - is less exciting but more accurate. Everything feels stern and serious, quite different from the lighter tone in most of Margheriti's 1960s sci-fi films. Space station Gamma I commander Halstead and his police officers must stop a secretive army of androids (or are they?) led by the cold-hearted Mr. Nurmi. The male androids are bald, with dark jackets and sunglasses. The female androids are sexy with skimpy clothes. Nurmi kidnaps Halstead's girlfriend Connie, whom he proclaims a "perfect specimen." The androids shrink their victims and steal their body parts. The shrinking felt out of place - there was no reason for it. But I liked how the future super race was created directly through skin/ organ/ body conglomeration rather than indirectly through cloning or genetic engineering. The whole movie feels more physical than intellectual. As in Dr. No (which seems an obvious influence), the good guys win not by tricking the bad guys or using some kind of high-tech gadgets; they win by just busting the hell out of their confines and fighting to the finish. Besides the action, the appeal is the retro-future look of the film: sleek models and miniatures in the Chesley Bonestell style, and future-cars with bubbles and fins. John Stanley calls it "dull" but probably didn't watch the whole film, because the last half hour is filled with action. The first hour is slow.

Goldweber, David Elroy (2012-06-14). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film: A Complete Guide: 1902-1982 (Kindle Locations 77202-77233). David E. Goldweber. Kindle Edition.
Wild Trivia:
Next up among films based in and around Gamma I: War of the Planets, War Between the Planets, and The Snow Devils. War Between the Planets is the best of the four. Before these, Margheriti made Battle of the Worlds. Another 1965 film with androids is The Human Duplicators.

Goldweber, David Elroy (2012-06-14). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film: A Complete Guide: 1902-1982 (Kindle Locations 77236-77244). David E. Goldweber. Kindle Edition.
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