Cosmos: War of the Planets (1977)
aka Battaglie negli spazi stellari
BMovie Central Review
Oh man, this movie could only be described as a train wreck. It took me ages to get through this review because this movie throughout much of the first half of it or so can only be described as tedious. The story is lame, the acting sucks, the character names as listed on IMDB are totally wrong, there's way too many people in the movie, and generally it just flat out sucks. However, I chose this movie for the Rogues "Cheese From Outer Space" roundtable because, well, you've seen the screenshots. Need I say more? For all the crappiness that exists in this film, the one thing that redeems it and makes it a totally worthwhile is the cheese. I guarantee you've never seen anything this bad and this cheesy in all your born days.
Now this part here is where I would normally tell you all about the story. Truthfully though, I don't know what the hell was going on. I can give you the basics, but there were so many side things going on and stuff that didn't really have anything to do with anything, that it made it hard to follow at times. Basically, there's a space command on Earth where they have this computer system called Wiz. What do you think of when you hear the word wiz? Taking a leak right? Yeah, me too. Anyway, they let this computer make all their tactical and command decisions for them and Captain Hamilton don't like it. He ain't shy about showin' it either. Naturally with all the Wiz reliant bureaucrats he has to deal with, this don't go over well so he's put in charge of a spaceship and sent on a mission to find out the origin of some signal that was coming from deep space. So they go out there, get attacked by a couple of drone ships and forced down onto this planet by a robot controller that was built by the alien race that lives there. Now this brings us to the stupidest thing about this whole story.
The giant controller robot lured the humans there to repair it because all the locals had long ago forgotten how to do it. Once they got in there though, the only thing the robot had them do is to remove one circuit board from a slot and replace it with another one that was sitting off to the side there in the same room. Yes, I said the replacement card was literally just sitting there in the same room. They didn't have to configure it or build it or do anything to it other than to just slide it in the slot they pulled the bad one out of. Now why the hell couldn't the controller have brought in one of the locals and explained to him how to do that? Why go through all this hassle with the humans, when with just a few words, it could have told one of the locals how to do the repair? Anyway, once they replaced that one card with another card that looked like an old modem or something, the controller bot was suddenly working perfectly again. The whole thing was incredibly stupid and they should have made the repairs a lot more complex to at least give some sort of a legitimate reason as to why it had to lure the humans there in the first place. They do end up destroying the controller bot after they fix it, but it gets its revenge when its consciousness possesses a few of the crew members and goes on a killing spree after they escape in their spaceship.
One of the major problems with this film is the huge number of throw away characters. There's so many people in this movie that the few characters that actually have a real part in it seem to get lost in the shuffle. Basically, the captain is the only real character in the whole movie and pretty much everyone else is completely expendable.
Even when you take into account the fact that this was an Italian film that had the voices all dubbed, the acting is simply atrociously cheesy. You can just tell from the way they act physically and the doofy looks they get on their faces and such. I can only imagine how much funnier it would be with the original voices instead of the dubbed ones. As with many Italian films from this era, everyone in this movie is actually speaking english, but the accents were so thick that they just dubbed all the voices after the fact using different voice actors so the dialogue would actually be understandable.
Basically, if you're looking for great acting and a great story, this ain't the movie. However, what does redeem this movie is the pure and unadulterated cheese factor. I have never seen a movie as cheap and as completely and utterly cheesy as this one. If you love watching cheesy movies and you find things like this funny, then you're definitely going to love this film.
Speaking of cheese, I have to talk a little about the music. The music is horribly cheesy and totally inappropriate in almost every case and in almost every sense of the word. I mean, how appropriate is it to play Bach's Toccata and Fugue at several points in the same film, much less a sci-fi film? They even played it while they were walking through underground caverns on the alien planet. For those that aren't familiar with the music by name, it's the organ music you hear around Halloween every year. I'm sure you'd know it if you'd hear it. This was followed up by some horrifically bad and out of place harpsichord music, and at one point in the film there was even some disco music that was thrown in there for no apparent reason during an outside shot of the spaceship. I'm just at a loss as to what they were thinking when they were putting this all together.
Now there's probably several different versions of this film floating around out there because the character names listed on IMDB are completely different than the names used in this version movie, so I'm assuming that the names were changed when they did the dubbing. Why they changed the names is beyond me, but that's apparently what they did unless someone entered wrong information on the IMDB listing. Just as an example, on IMDB, the character played by Yanti Sommer is listed as Diane, while in this version of the film, her name is Mila. I went with the names that were used in this version obviously because that's the version that's available here in the US.
So who is this film for? Well, if you like great sci-fi, big budget special effects, and great acting, then you probably won't enjoy this film. However, if you can appreciate the cheesiness of bad acting, bad special effects, bad costumes, and horrifically low budgets, then you're gonna love it.
Cosmos: War of the Planets is an Italian film directed by Alfonso Brescia and starring John Richardson, released in 1977. It is renowned for its nonsensical plot, unintentionally comical dialogue, and terrible camera work.
A team of astronauts led by Mike Hamilton (Richardson) is sent to investigate an unstable planet, which turns out to be inhabited by a race of green people under the control of an evil computer. The astronauts pledge to help the inhabitants of the planet escape their enslavement and succeed in destroying the computer. Unfortunately, the ensuing explosion takes out the planet as well. The spaceship crew and one surviving alien set off for Earth only to face further difficulties when a member of the crew is possessed by the computer and goes on a killing spree. The alien eventually manages to subdue him, heroically sacrificing his own life.