February 03, 2006
After last weekend's Mummy jag, I started watching a series of prehistoric women flicks. I'll post a review later of classics like Wild Women of Wongo and Mesa of Lost Women.
So last night I started watching a movie and things seemed *very* familiar. About halfway through I started laughing when I realized that I'd already seen much of the movie under a different title, but there were serious differences in the plotlines.
It was time to do a little research. VideoHound's Cult Flicks & Trash Pics gave up this gem:
Communism met a most ignominious humiliation at the hands of Yankee capitalist pig Roger Corman when the latter purchased the 1962 Soviet feature Planeta Burg (Planet of Storms), a serious-minded feature (with groundbreaking and costly special effects) about a collection of brave, bland cosmonauts exploring a hostile planet.
What Corman did was to use the acquired Russian film as the basis of two different movies. By adding english dialogue and extensive editing, the original film was rearranged into 1965's Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. Scenes were added starring Basil Rathbone as an Earthbound professor and Faith Demergue as Marsha, the lady astronaut who stays in orbit as the mission doormat while the commander patronizes the hell out of her. The basic plot involves a rescue mission for two explorers and a robot on the surface of Venus. I've seen it mentioned in more than one place that the film credits were invented to disguise the fact that it was a Russian movie.
In 1968 Corman did it again, again re-editing and rearranging the original movie to create Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women. This time, Mamie Van Doren stars as the leader of a telepathic group of mermaid Venusians who can control volcanos and the weather. When the exploring astronauts kill their pteradactyl "god", the women get pissed and try to destroy the alien invaders.
About 70% of the two movies duplicate each other, and I was greatly amused when, in the second movie, it's explained that "Marsha" is the code-word that everyone uses to refer to Earth. Silly, but it saved money by letting them share more of the dialogue between the flicks.
Posted by: dogette at February 04, 2006 08:04 PM (0ckUk)
Posted by: BLUE at February 06, 2006 11:30 AM (4Xncc)
all those alien-invasion b-movies were about the red menace, weren't they?
Posted by: wegglywoo at February 11, 2006 08:15 AM (X6QVH)
And yep, a lot of those "alien" movies played on the underlying fears of the time. Just like there was a slew of 50's and 60's movies featuring giant creatures caused by radiation. In the 1930's it was mummy movies, after the discovery of the real Tut's tomb in the 1920's.
Posted by: Ted at February 11, 2006 03:10 PM (+OVgL)
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