Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women

Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women is a 1968 American science fiction film, one of two which were adapted from the 1962 Soviet SF film Planeta Bur (Planet of Storms) for Roger Corman. The original film was scripted by Alexander Kazantsev from his novel and directed by Pavel Klushantsev; the adaptation was made by Peter Bogdanovich, who chose not to have his name credited on the film prints, and included American-made principal scenes starring Mamie Van Doren. The film apparently had at least a limited American release through American-International Pictures Inc., but is best known from subsequent cable TV showings and home video sales. The film contains no footage from Planeta Bur that was not used in Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet.

Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women
Voyageplanetprehistoricwomen.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byPeter Bogdanovich
(as Derek Thomas)
Written byHenry Ney
Produced byNorman D. Wells
Roger Corman
StarringMamie Van Doren
Mary Marr
Paige Lee
Irene Orton
Narrated byPeter Bogdanovich
CinematographyFlemming Olsen
Edited byBob Collins
Music byKeith Benjamin
Production
company
Distributed byAIP-TV
Release date
  • 1968 (1968)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

PlotEdit

Astronauts landing on Venus kill a creature that resembles a pterosaur which is worshiped by the local women. They attempt to kill the astronauts by means of their superhuman powers, but fail. The astronauts eventually escape from the planet, and their robot, damaged in a flow of volcanic lava and ultimately shut down by his human companions for their own survival, becomes, in a plot twist ending, the women's new god.

CastEdit

Venus womenEdit

  • Mamie Van Doren as Moana
  • Mary Marr as Verba
  • Paige Lee as Twyla
  • Judy Cowart
  • Margot Hartman as Mayaway
  • Irene Orton as Meriama
  • Pam Helton as Wearie
  • Frankie Smith as woman of Venus
  • Robin Smith
  • Adele Valentine

Earth menEdit

  • Aldo Romani as Astronaut Andre Freneau
  • James David as Capt. Alfred Kern
  • Roberto Martelli (Vladimir Yemelyanov) as Capt. William Lockhart
  • Ralph Phillips (Yuri Sarantsev) as Astronaut Howard Sherman
  • Murray Gerard (Georgiy Zhzhonov) as Astronaut Hans Walters
  • Robot John

ProductionEdit

The movie was known as Gill Men at one stage.

It was the last film made by the Filmgroup company.[1]

Of the production, Bogdanovich has stated:

[Planeta Bur] was a Russian science-fiction film that Roger [Corman] had called Storm Clouds of Venus that he had dubbed into English. And he came to me and said, "Would you shoot some footage with some women? AIP won't buy it unless we stick some women in it." So I figured out a way to work some women in it and shot for five days, and we cut it in. I narrated it, because nobody could make heads or tails of it. Roger wouldn't let me add any sound. It was just a little cheap thing we did, and people think I directed it when I really only directed 10 minutes of it.[2]

Bogdanovich said he had to paint out the red star on the spaceship, "in every frame. We painted in some obscure symbol that might pass for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration."[3]

Bogdanovich hired Mamie Van Doren and several other blondes to play Venusians "because I thought everyone should be blonde on Venus. I dressed them up in rubber suits, bottoms only and put shells over their breasts. I had them traipsing around Leo Carrillo Beach for a while shooting inserts that might relate to Venus".[3] Bogdanovich says he gave the girl characters "South Sea movie names" because "it seemed right".[3]

One of the girls was afraid of sharks and when she was in the water they threw her a rubber fish; she got hysterical, grabbed the fish and bit its head off. He said that people did not understand the film and its new sequences when first cut together so he added narration. He decided one of the astronauts, "the best looking one", should narrate the film. Bogdanovich wrote the narration and provided the voice; it was the one credit he took on the film.[3]

Bogdanovich also stated he did not claim credit as director, because "such a small piece of it is mine",[4] although in fact his adaptation of the Planeta Bur material had much more original material than the other, made by Curtis Harrington. His then-wife Polly Platt worked on the film as a production designer.

ReceptionEdit

In a retrospective on Soviet science fiction film, British director Alex Cox compared the movie to Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet and called Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women "equally classic".[5]

Moreover, footage from the film is used in music videos, such as "Cibarù" by Mauk Tenieb[6] illbient producer.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ray, Fred Olen. The New Poverty Row: Independent Filmmakers as Distributors, McFarland, 1991, pp. 56–58.
  2. ^ Rabin, Nathan. The AV Club, Interview with Peter Bogdanovich, April 17, 2002. Accessed: August 1, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Diehl, D. (Apr 2, 1972). "Q & A PETER BOGDANOVICH". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 156995779.
  4. ^ Lowe, Barry. Atomic Blonde: The Films of Mamie Van Doren. McFarland, p 191, 2008. Accessed: August 1, 2013.
  5. ^ Cox, Alex (June 30, 2011). "Rockets from Russia: great Eastern Bloc science-fiction films". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-09-07.
  6. ^ "Cibarù". Mauk Tenieb. Retrieved 2021-09-07.

External linksEdit