Sunday Matinee: Planet Of The Vampires

Planet of the VampiresTwo spaceships in deep space receive a distress signal from an uncharted planet. Trouble arises when the ships try to land on the planet. Something tries to possess the crew and crash the ship Argos. Fortunately Captain Markary (Barry Sullivan) manages to resist and help his crew. They land safely on the misty planet but their sister ship Galliott isn’t as lucky.

They investigate the planet and find the Galliott. They discover that everyone on board is dead, having killed each other. They start to bury the bodies but some of the corpses disappear. Some of the Argos’ crew are found dead and then later seen walking around. While exploring some more, they find another spaceship, one that has been on the planet for a long time and inside are the large skeletal remains of that crew. Clearly things are bad for the survivors. Something is killing them and possessing their bodies. They might not make it off the planet alive.

Based on a Italian sci-fi short story One Night of 21 Hours. this 1965 Italian sci-fi horror is directed by horror master Mario Bava and featured an international cast of English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese speaking cast members. Despite the low budget, Bava manages to create suspense. The film, although Ridley Scott and Dan O’Bannon denied it, clearly influenced Alien. Heck it’s still influencing Hollywood sci-fi movies. Pitch Black, Mission to Mars and obviously Prometheus.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka spends most of his life watching movies and reading comic books, using his vast knowledge of genre culture for evil instead of good.

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