War Between the Planets (1965 Italy)

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War Between the Planets (1965 Italy)

Post  BoG on Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:08 pm


What's Happening: Gamma I space station must stop stray planet from disrupting Earth's gravity
Famous For: Gorgeous Italian-made space opera; Margheriti's best film
Also known by the more creative and more fitting title of "Planet on the Prowl," this is the primo exposition of 1960s space opera: Werner Von Braun/ Chesley Bonestell-inspired model rockets and space stations, spacesuits, spacewalks, takeoffs, landings, dockings, rescues in space, blinking control panels, and more. Some viewers seem disappointed that there are no laser guns or monsters, or that the plot is derivative, or that we never see any of the space babes in their space underwear. But those things are not the point. The point is the atmosphere and the beauty. How could sci-fi fans not love watching the little models of futuristic buildings, speeding spacecars, and rockets with firecracker jets? How could they not love the spacey costumes and uniforms that even include a checkered space helmet? Italians are always good with costumes and uniforms. It's also nice to see the women treated with respect - and women are half the crew of Gamma I.
As for the story, characters, and dialogue... these are not the main point, but the actors are trying hard. The conversations in the first half give way to action in the second. You could take it seriously, as an urbane and realistic "disaster in space" drama where a multinational crew must overcome differences and rivalries. Or you could watch for camp, enjoying phrases and lines such as "united democracies," "asteroidal manifestations," "According to your TOV, you've got anti-matter bomb packs on this cruiser!" or "This thing is obviously determined to crash its way through the universe!" There's even a stern omniscient narrator, a glowing theremin score, and visible strings during zero-grav sequences. I watched mostly for camp, but I loved the whole thing. See also The Green Slime.

Goldweber, David Elroy (2012-06-14). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film: A Complete Guide: 1902-1982 (Kindle Locations 75396-75433). David E. Goldweber. Kindle Edition.

War Between Trivia:
Though few fans watch the various Gamma I films in order, the "quadrilogy" technically starts with Wild, Wild Planet (see below). After that comes War of the Planets which, understandably, is perpetually confused with War Between.

Goldweber, David Elroy (2012-06-14). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film: A Complete Guide: 1902-1982 (Kindle Locations 75434-75439). David E. Goldweber. Kindle Edition.
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