I Saw A Film!
A delightful bit of lunacy, looking much like the remains of two separate films that were shoddily edited together to create a sci-fi adventure (because that’s what it is). Directed (cobbled together) and narrated by Peter Bogdanovich (under a pseudonym).
You see, friends, Venus isn’t the hot mess of a world we think it is, apparently, it’s a kind of resort planet where hippy mermaids in skin-tight flares and seashell bras lounge in the sun, each of them a blonde cutie (Mamie van Doren among them). They worship a rubbery monster god, and spend a lot of time swimming, and eating raw fish they catch by hand, the seven or eight of them. Meanwhile our investigative team of astronauts land and find themselves terrorized by tentacled plants and ride around on a clumsy robot.
Eventually, the astronauts foolishly shoot one of the ladies’ favorite creatures, and they–the hotties– call on a volcano to erupt, which seems a little self-destructive. The astronauts are forced to ruin their robot (which goes into a very non-Asimov self-preservation routine) in the lava and finally, never meet the Venusian mermaids. What a drag. Of course, the reason is that they’re not in the same movie. The astronauts are from an older Russian film (full of forced perspective shots of smooth toys posing as full sized, impressive rockets), and the lovely ladies added by Bogdanovich.
Throughout we have whiny para-theramin music, and plenty of shots of the ladies staring at the sky, and delivering lines like they’re practicing sounding like Native Americans. From an era when product, bad as it was, was received gladly by a television hungry public, so many hours to fill, and so much crappy unlicensed product available to play with.
This is running free on Prime (USA) and they honestly have a lot of nerve offering it at all, I mean, we do pay for Prime! I mean we can work out a film per price if we are so inclined. For every reach back into the barrel for a beautiful old Dark Star or Silent Running, we’re outfitted with a dozen or more of these films that were better as posters.