Cosmos War Of The Planets (1977) Anno zero - guerra nello spazio
A strange signal arrives on the Earth disturbing all communications, while an ufo appears above the Antarctic sea. Captain Alex Hamilton is sent with his spaceship and crew to the space outside the Solar System to find the origin of that signal. They reach an unknow planet where a giant robot enslaved a whole population of humanoids by taking their psychic energies. The robot's got his eyes on the Earth, too...
John Richardson ... Captain Alex Hamilton
Yanti Somer ... Meela
West Buchanan ... Richard
Katia Christine ... Greta (as Kathy Christine)
Vassili Karis ... Peter Segura (as Max Karis)
Eleonora King ... Oko (as Elly King)
Percy Hogan ... Max
Giuseppe Fortis ... Marseille (as John Fortis)
Daniele Dublino ... Jack (as Dan Dublin)
Romeo Costantini ... Commander Armstrong
Charles Borromel ... McIntosh (as Charles Bromey)
Massimo Bonetti ... Member of Hamilton's team (as Max Bonus)
Malisa Longo ... Halla
The Italians are at it again. Crippled by an incoherent script, this Italian-made space opus is lost in the vacuum of space. The title, minus the word "Cosmos," was used a decade earlier during the very 'mod' 60's. The runaway satellite in that film was child's play compared to this leaky albatross. This film deals, badly, with a more lethal out-of-control planet. The man in charge, the director, had to have been on a three-day coffee break. The extras rush and jump around in a swirl of confusion. Some high school productions are more organized. One actor pronounces the word data as "da-da." When the landing party finds living beings on the planet, they all resemble an army of metallic "Mr. Cleans." Crazy. A few of the female crew members are painted into their threads. And the ridiculous skull caps are definite turn-offs. Future technology is represented by scratchy video monitors and blinking boxes of gyros and lights. Organ music saturates the soundtrack with grunts and groans, piped in from a very dark place. The final showdown pits a rabid crewman against the lead Mr. Clean. Both souls are jettisoned out an air lock. Have a nice trip.
Deserving of a place on anyone's list of the worst films ever made, this hopeless sci-fi rubbish has to be seen to be believed. Made the same year as Star Wars and yet still setting the genre back 30 years, this must surely be the worst film ever to be written by two guys named Al.
Most of the fun the film has to offer is to be had reading the credits at the beginning, with a host of hilarious names including Max Bonus and Charles Really. Many of the contributors are only identified by their first initials - undoubtedly a testament to their shame at having participated in this atrocity.
A hotshot space captain (introduced punching someone) and his crew are sent on a dangerous mission to investigate a mysterious signal discovered in deep space. They encounter a planet ruled by a malevolent robot who has enslaved the people who created him. Turns out he sent the signal so that someone would come and fix his dodgy circuit board.
Mysterious space signals and psychopathic technology are not the only nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey. War Of The Planets even boasts a space walk gone wrong, and it's set to some homemade Strauss.
Desperately amateurish performances abound, and are made even sillier by the ridiculous costumes the entire cast wears, although I'll concede that the women do look good in their figure-hugging outfits. Crammed full of some of the most abominable "special effects" I've ever seen in a film, this is well worth a look if you're into truly awful cinema.
Am I the only person who enjoyed COSMOS: WAR OF THE PLANETS? I mean, it's not STARCRASH, but it made for an enjoyable 90 minutes or so.
The film was clearly inspired by SPACE: 1999, from the costumes to the ship's layout and even the story. How many SPACE: 1999 episodes were there where somebody goes crazy and stalks through Moonbase Alpha, forcing open doors and throttling crewmembers who don't have sense to run? The 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY swipes were already, mentioned, but how about the homage to Woody Allen's 1973 sci-fi spoof SLEEPER (or, to paraphrase Tony Roberts in STARDUST MEMORIES, "they just outright ripped it off")? Remember the Orgasmatron where you can satisfy all your baser needs fully clothed with the help of a computer?
Remember COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT? It was a pretty good science fiction movie from 1970 starring Eric Braedon that dealt with the topic addressed in COSMOS: computers becoming sentient and running amok. STAR TREK tackled the topic a few years earlier in "The Ultimate Computer" episode with William "Blacula" Marshall and his M-5 computer which, like WIZ in this movie, was designed to make man's reasoning and initiative obsolete. COSMOS' Captain Hamilton shares many similarities with Captain James T. Kirk, among them a distrust of machines and a power of seduction over beautiful but icy women. (One more TREK reference: that ancient two-pillared structure sure reminded me of the "time doughnut" from "City on the Edge of Forever").
One character that really intrigued me and he was gone too soon was Ytor. When he came on board the bridge in uniform I sat up, thinking things were getting even more interesting. But after some really wild kung fu fighting he was gone.
Yes, the movie is confusing. I was paying very close attention and still was left confused at points, but it really didn't matter. This was a very episodic movie; in fact I wondered if this wasn't several episodes of an Italian sci-fi series spliced together.
It's worth watching, one of those movies where the sum of its parts exceed the whole. The lampooning of the media's distorting and sensationalizing what the military is trying to cover up was fantastic and timely.
I saw COSMOS as one of the films in Treeline's 50 SciFi Classics box set and while the print is reasonably clear and colorful the framing is way off. This was obviously a widescreen picture and here it is presented full-frame but with the top and bottoms of people's faces sometimes chopped off as if the image was enlarged and just the center of the frame shot (no pan and scan).
One word on the possibly confusing ending (hey, why should it be different from the rest of the movie?). I believe only Hamilton is hearing the ominous voice of the computer. Everyone else is celebrating Crewman Peter's becoming a Dad and their soon arrival back on Earth. But Hamilton hears in the ship's computer the coming of the technophilia that ravaged Ytor's planet. He experiences an epiphany that Earth is following closely in the footsteps of that doomed planet. It's a strong thought-provoking ending.
There's something very captivating about this movie. It's not because of high quality, quite the opposite really: you very seldom see lack of quality in this level. I mean scene after scene, you think that the low point has been reached, but it really isn't. There's always a new line of dialog or some random bad cut, or then it just might be the absolutely horrendous, yet in some ways fascinating soundtrack, which is most of the time totally inappropriate for the mood or just plain weird.
I couldn't help but to watch, how this ceremony of incompetence unfolded before my very eyes. Like a mouse, who knows he's going to his doom, I couldn't help but to watch it through, unable to witch it off. There was this ticking in the back of my head, that whimpered: It can't be that bad all the time. Surely there must be something good about it. But there wasn't. The acting got poorer and poorer by the minute, while the script kept flowing from sheer silly to borderline mental.
A word about the plot: A strange signal from space is received and a stubborn, machine hating captain Hamilton (John Richardson) is sent to investigate. Sure enough, he and his crew encounter some UFO's and are soon forced to land in a barren world. There they encounter some savages and of course, because remember our captain who hates the machines, their computer lord, who is planning the conquest of whole universe. Muaha ha haa. And that's pretty much it.
So yeah. Watch it if you like bad movies, which are funny in totally all the wrong reasons. But while watching, keep this in mind: sex is to be had with a help of huge glass ball, and requires no touching (hey, kinda like in Demolition Man", and if you get infected by malicious artificial intelligence you'r face looks like you have leprosy and your fangs will grow into vampiric proportions. Go figure.
Verdict: 1 out of 10. For all the reason given above. There really is very little in it actually resembling a movie.
Camp score: 7 out of 10. I mean really, I was laughing even tough I watched this film alone. And usually camp films require some amount of assistance in a form of huge crowd of people. The score is lowered only because of horrendous sound effects and soundtrack.