Thursday, September 05, 2013

Planeta Bur (1962)

The other night there wasn't much on TV so I hopped on Youtube to look around to see if there was anything worthwhile.  I've been watching these YT videos over in the vinyl community about these people that go to thrift stores and find some interesting vinyl records and then show what they have found to viewers.  I guess this would only be of interest if you're a big music fan or vinyl collector, but they are fun to watch, and sometimes someone might spotlight a musician or band I've never heard of, in someways I find it nostalgic.  But while on YT,  I ran across a SF movie I had not seen, so I decided to check it out.

Just like everything else on the web some people are going to say Planeta Bur is a semi-masterpiece, while others will criticize it for being too slow, boring, or too old or whatever.  I thought it was interesting.  I didn't think it was any slower than any other SF film from that time period.  SF in the 50's and 60's didn't rely on special effects to carry the story, it was the other way around, they let the story carry the story.  A pretty novel idea if I might say so.

At any rate, Planeta Bur is a Russian SF movie that came out in 1962.  Oddly enough it appears that some of the space suits and a few other things, like one of the vehicles they were driving was a bit of an influence on the more recent SF film, Prometheus by Ridley Scott.  Another thing about Planeta Bur is that it has been retitled and edited and recombined more times than Jeff Goldblum in The Fly.  So far I've read about it being called Planet of the Storms, Planet of Storms, Planet of Tempest, Storm Planet, and Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (which is the title I found it under on Youtube).  This later edition, Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet, was acquired by Roger Corman Productions and re-edited, cutting out a number of scenes and released in 1965.  I would actually like to see the original film with all the scenes in tact. It would be nice if someone like Shout Factory or Criterion would release it in that manner.

Also not to merely rest on his laurels of making it into one movie Corman  sucks a few more strands of DNA out of the movie, and created the movie, Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women.  The production designers on Planeta Bur were V. Aleksandrov and M. Tsybasov. The film itself deals with a stranded Russian landing party on Venus, comprised of six men, a woman and a robot - an almost identical configuration to Alien, incidentally (which had 4 men, 2 women and an android). In terms of conflict and genre, it's probably nearer to relatively recent 'pure' sci-fi films such as Contact (1997) and Brian De Palma's Mission To Mars (2000).  I enjoyed seeing the robot in the film, the film sets, and space suits and all that stuff.  There were a few monsters and encounters as well, which I won't spoil here.

If interested in watching the film, under the re-edited version of Corman, you can see it here.  Sometimes the movies on YT seem to load slow or don't match up with the dialog, but in this case the dialog is Russian anyway, so it's easy to overlook. 


At 8:48 AM, Blogger SFF said...

That is a really interesting piece El Vox. Never heard of it. The comparisons are fascinating too.

But I agree, this sounds ripe for a Shout type release.

Excellent entry. Thanks for that information.sff

At 9:03 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

SFF--do check out the movie, even thought it's the re-edited version I found it worthwhile. I love it when I run into a SF film I'd never heard of before--heck, I've seen worse modern SF films (which I won't name). This is one of the things about the web that I find so interesting. There are a few other SF films in other languages I like to see, maybe over time they'll make their way to YT or disc. I hope so.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

I try to avoid plugging my blog on other folks blogs, but I did a review of the "Corman-ized" version of this film (and a later re-edit as well). You can see the makings of a fun flick in there, and some pretty cool ideas as well.

Feel free to check out my review here:

At 5:42 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Thanks Roman and you are welcome to piggyback. I'd be interested on your take on it, as others might be. I plan to check it out.


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