|VAMPIRE MEN OF THE LOST PLANET
|Copyright 1970 Independent International Pictures
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 2 May 2001
- Dr. Rynning - John Carradine! Brilliant scientist with few social skills besides an impressive repertoire of completely incomprehensible scientific-sounding sentences.
- Captain Bryce - Seems like he is one step away from going postal; it's very effective at getting people to do what you want.
- Willy - Funny little guy that finds it easier to date below his level on the evolutionary chain.
- Linda - Hi! I'm the Captain's little strumpet!
- Bob - Big happy fool until some missing link sticks a spear into him.
- Valerie and Manning - Ground control operators, they don't mind taking their work to bed.
- Malian - Cavewoman or plot device? In other words, she's just here to keep the audience from getting lost.
- Ramir - Brave warrior who protects the good cavemen from their many enemies.
- The Crawfish Men - Not really threatening enough for the "Lobster" prefix.
- The Snake Men - Let's see, they wear spotted skins and make hissing noises, plus little rubber snake symbionts are sticking out of their bodies. Why did I give them this nickname?
- The Bat Men - This movie has everything...
- The Fanged Men - Also called the "Tubatan" (or something like that), they appear to be cavemen infected with vampirism.
|Movies are expensive these days; even going to the matinee is going to cost you five bucks. It is a crying shame, just to see the matinee takes over an hour of work at minimum wage. One solution is to make double features, largely an extinct ideal in the present, but another is to mash films together like some weird clay golem. Besides having forty hit points, it makes for an entertaining show if the editors have some imagination. Al Adamson had plenty of that trait, your main problem will be scrounging up enough imagination to watch the movie on his level. What he did was start with some footage of vampires doing their thing in back alleys. Mix with a no-budget science fiction film about a rocketship landing on another planet and make it into sausage. Finally, wrap the entire thing with unleavened Filipino caveman film pieces and bake. You now have a work of art detailing NASA's battle against vampires as they study primitive culture on a distant world.
For some odd reason I had a craving for pigs in a blanket. Having consumed said foodstuffs, I am now sated and will continue.
The only part of the film that has anything to do with bloodsuckers is in the first five minutes. Adamson and some other actors run around with pitiful plastic fangs in their mouths menacing the camera. Over this we are informed that vampires came to Earth from a galaxy far, far away! I much prefer the idea of them being Caine's descendants, but whatever floats your boat.
My previous paragraph was intended to explain why a rocket is launched to investigate the vampire's home planet. I don't know why I even bothered, because even the script largely ("entirely" would be a better fit) ignores this basic premise. Valerie and Manning have a single purpose in mind, trying to fix all the problems with that POS rocket they launched. When you are having problems with the video feed from your spacecraft and it is still sitting on the launch pad then "piece of shit" is a good adjective. The situation deteriorates when an accident knocks all of the astronauts unconscious following liftoff. This is due to the astronauts' own stupidity. See those weird things attached to your seats? They're meant to restrain your body and deny inertia her due. Wear your seatbelts you morons!
Off course and lost among the stars, the crew manages an emergency landing on the set of a Filipino caveman film. Joking? Who is joking? In addition to being populated by numerous men with clubs, the planet is subject to strange shifts in chromatic radiation. That's slang for "we gave an escaped mental patient unrestricted access to the editing room and a full array of filters." Ground control is kind enough to inform us the radiation is very dangerous. So when Willy collapses later in the film we, the audience, all know it's from radiation poisoning. Er, no. Dr. Rynning launches into a tirade about the planet's indigenous virus that slowly wears you down. Not adapted to survive in a human body, it will die off after they repair the ship and return home. How in the heck it affects you in the first place is ignored. Would whatever madman controlling the script please decide which is dangerous, the radiation or the virus? Please?
Bryce and his crew watch the heroic Cro-Magnon tribe fight a losing battle (despite having better weapons, like spears and bows) against their enemies. When Malian goes running by with some generic cavemen in pursuit they kill the aggressors with their boom sticks. Having saved her from being clubbed to death they decide to perform some experimental brain surgery and implant a translator. Unskilled people sticking electronics into the cranium of a primitive. I spend nights wishing it made her stutter uncontrollably. Oh well, their new guide wanders around with them, pointing out various interesting scenes in the caveman film.
Obviously the humans are envious of the movie those other people are in. The grass is always greener on the other side of the celluloid. Still, they are the only characters equipped with guns in any of the three movies. Firearms are wonderful and the explorers could probably rule this world if they so desired. Unless gorillas had evolved and had rifles, but then John Carradine would be awesomely amusing as a museum exhibit. Bryce wearing a mailman uniform would be good stuff too.
Few films can inspire the open mouthed stare on my part, but this is one of them. Not only do we have the perennial footage from "One Million B.C." with the lizard and caimen fighting, there is also a midget caveman and John Carradine spouting techno-babble. Mmmmmm, techno-babble. Nobody could pull it off like that man; he was a true master. I love hearing stuff along the lines of "We're merely rearranging her brain waves electromagnetically." Add to that a caveman flick from the Philippines and mission control on Earth having a stately view of the moon for some reason. Very tasty.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Vampires are from outer space.
- Always wear your seatbelt when traveling at escape velocity.
- Solar flares can happen in deep space.
- Having someone place a model spaceship on a pile of rocks is hardly realism.
- Cavewomen shave their pits and legs.
- NASA engineers have equipment to make "science" noises in their bedrooms.
- Red radiation is the most dangerous.
- Dinosaur is Latin for "stuff glued on lizard."
- Primitive bows were accurate enough to shoot the hatchet out of an enemy's hand.
- 4 mins - This woman is taking her son for a walk, at night and in an alley. She deserves to get bitten.
- 14 mins - How are they seeing a third person view of the ship?
- 21 mins - Is that the Gulf of Mexico?
- 39 mins - I always break down laughing at the arrow sticking into the fanged dude's head.
- 57 mins - Either they are really fast at filling fuel bladders or oil occurs naturally like that.
- 61 mins - They are using a small military ammo can for the "alien artifact!" Hehehehe!
- 71 mins - Interesting way to break someone's neck.
- 73 mins - Willie has morning sickness? She must have impregnated him with her fertilized seed, just like a sea horse.
- 80 mins - Need to speak with Manning about personal hygiene, he is wearing the same clothes as yesterday.
- Dr. Rynning: "Can't get top speed for reentry, and can't keep the hull cool. Outside of that, we're in pretty good shape."
- Dr. Rynning: "I believe we're on a planet completely identical to Earth. I believe there's a possibility that intelligent life at one time inhabited the land. Bring me samples of soil, rock, flora, and fauna!"
Willy: "Okay doc, but the animal life is just a little big for my knapsack."
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Narrator (a vampire): "And as our cult of vampires spreads out only knowledge learned from studying the original Tubatan vampires can save the planet Earth from bloody ruin!"
||Dr. Rynning: "I have an idea; use the communicators!" |
Bryce: "Those are for animals, we can't use that on her."
Dr. Rynning: "It's dangerous, but you can use them. We're merely rearranging her brainwaves, electromagnetically."
||Willy: "Oh, this is funny. I find a girl I could really like and it has to be a million miles from Earth. Yeah, that's really funny."
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Ramir is fighting a losing battle against this fierce Crawfish Man, but he finally turns the tide and defeats the creature. Genetic blueprinting marks him as the first identifiable Cajun in man's history.
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