Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968)

Back in the early 1960s Roger Corman bought the rights to a Soviet science fiction epic called Planeta Bur. He decided it was a tad too serious for the audiences he was aiming at, got a director to shoot some additional scenes and combined them with footage from the original. In fact Corman used footage from this Soviet film in no less than three sci-fi movies. For the third of these he hired a young director named Peter Bogdanovich to shoot the extra scenes, and the result was Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women. He came up with the idea of creating a movie about a rescue flight to Venus, where personnel from a previous mission were stranded, and his extra footage shows us the inhabitants of Venus. Who are, in fact, prehistoric women. Why prehistoric women? Because prehistoric women don’t wear as much clothing as modern women, obviously. And because it’s well-known that prehistoric women were blonde and glamorous, and wore tight-fitting flared stretch pants and bras made from sea-shells. The prehistoric women worship a pterodactyl. Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women works for two reasons. Firstly, the footage from the original Soviet film is fabulous – it features some wonderfully odd scenes on a space station, an absolutely fantastic space car, and a very cool robot. Secondly the footage Bogdanovich shot is so outrageously camp that you just can’t help loving it. What you end up with is a movie that is really remarkably entertaining. For cult movie fans, an absolute must-see.

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