Journey To The Seventh Planet (1962) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Journey To The Seventh Planet (1962).rtf
Journey To The Seventh Planet (1962)
A U.N. space expedition to the planet Uranus discovers a bizarre world right out of their own heads, featuring places and people the crew members recall from childhood. It's all part of a fantasy created by the planet's master, a giant, pulsating brain that can also turn their worst thoughts into reality.
John Agar ... Capt. Don Graham
Carl Ottosen ... Eric
Peter Monch ... Karl
Ove Sprogøe ... Barry O'Sullivan
Louis Miehe-Renard ... Svend
Ann Smyrner ... Ingrid
Greta Thyssen ... Greta
Ulla Moritz ... Lise
Mimi Heinrich ... Ursula
Annie Birgit Garde ... Ellen
Bente Juel ... Colleen
What a plain, unexciting and psychedelically goofy Danish b-grade Sci-fi clunker. Its kiddie stuff all round, despite the enthusiasm (drop off acting) and the intriguingly unusual concept. Think of "Solaris", but only bare bones. Nothing about it seems to gel and the execution is ponderously weak by Sidney Pink. The fractured story is laughable mumbo jumbo that doesn't slow down, but just doesn't get up too much. The astronauts' hunger for knowledge… uh, well what the alien created leaned more towards girls being on mind. Sure, there's nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't do a lot when the same repetitive actions occur one after another. But despite that there are some imaginative (if somewhat droll) ideas amongst some very trippy visuals. It's purely a mind trip. It's too bad the performances are extremely wooden, as they could have camp this one up for a better affect. John Agar and Greta Thyssen were okay. The best of the lot would have to be the giant green brain (the ruler of Uranus) and its hilarious voice over. At least the corn that came from it raised a smirk, compared to the expressionless and quite stiff dialogues that spewed out of the mouths of the astronauts. The effects used; animation. Was quite tacky and bottom of the barrel stuff, but at least it was colourful and the cardboard sets are one-note.
An incredibly cheap space adventure foray that has a few moments and a smoothly laced title song, but despite an injection of good will, it's quite dour for most part.
When it comes to that touchy topic of remakes, I've always strongly felt that you should leave the proven classics alone. It's those uneven 'interesting misfires' or intriguing 'wasted opportunities' that should be redone.
JOURNEY TO THE SEVENTH PLANET is an ideal candidate for possible updated improvement. There is an intriguing premise here, but the finished project does leave much to be desired.
I felt the initial idea of the lone unseen alien menace, probing the minds of the explorers to Uranus, had some compelling possibilities.
First mistake occurs before they are about to land. They are suddenly frozen in a suspended state, which is an eerie foreshadowing of their impending fate. So far, suspenseful. Unfortunately, we then hear the melodramatically villianous voice of the alien announcing its malevolent intentions; which kills any necessary sense of mystery. We should have just seen them in their suspended animation, and left to wonder what is really transpiring. Viewer is left knowing too much now, and far too soon.
There are some novel touches after they land. Instead of a dead world, there is a lush forest paradise and breathable atmosphere. However, the plants and trees have no roots, and one of the crew members remembers it as a place from his childhood. There's a certain unsettling Twilight Zone/Outer Limits quality here that gives the film some innovativness. Still with me? Don't zone out yet.
Next, they discover a few beautiful women (Awake now?) in a small European-style village (from the commander's past); and they turn out to be former girlfriends of the crew, representing their lost human desires and passionate fantasies. Seduce and Annihilate?
Then, they go through a strange encircling barrier to the real Uranus, and encounter bizarre creatures that sybolize their most dreaded fears and nightmares. As you can see, there are some interesting and thoughtful plot elements at work here.
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS - They are finally able to deduce that there is a lone being whose supermind can function at full force (humans are known to only use about 5% of their mental potential, and in too many sad cases, far less). It knows the characters' every thoughts and human weaknesses. Invasion of privacy at its most insidious. Now that is truly disturbing when your paranoia turns out to be true. Ever been there?
Essentially, the alien's (revealed in the end as a huge one-eyed brain) plan is to destroy all the astronauts but one, by deviously exploiting their human fears and desires (and guilty pleasures). Also, it's hostile aim is to return to Earth in the body of the one 'survivor', for the purpose of (guess what?) world conquest.
Granted, the taking over of good old Planet Earth is the oldest Science-Fiction Alien Menace Tale in the movies, but at least this beloved cliche is somewhat reinvented with a few creative variations of the ancient invasion theme.
As is, JTTSP is hampered by the low budget, bland performances and, of course, somewhat hokey monsters.
I hate to say it, but this could almost be ideal MST3000 fodder. Don't misconstrue, I was quite fond of MST, but I personally thought they should not have mocked the admirable misfires, but gave it to the real irresponsible and irredeemable stinkers. R-E-P-T-I-L-I-C-U-S?
Also, it is burdened somewhat by an uneven script (typical problem with many B Films). Uneven, in the frustrating sense of the dialogue; sometimes intelligent and other times utterly ridiculous. (How many examples of that can you come up with?).
Also, you certainly wouldn't chase the gorgeous babes off your property with your shotgun, but they definitely weren't graduates from The Meryl Streep Theatrical Academy. However, we do have our old friend John 'Tarantula' Agar as our tough, smarmy gigilo captain, representing the only American on board (Snicker! Snicker!) so all isn't completely lost. (Snicker! Snicker!).
So, all quips aside, considering JTTSP's potential merits, it would be the ideal 'interesting failure' to remake, as long as the writer and director take these pertinent points into inspired account.
SEE IT & see for yourself. And try to imagine how it could be fixed-up and improved.
I never wanted to believe all the bad things that I heard about this movie -- I mean John Agar is the star, the spaceships and spacesuits look cool, the title is cool, etc. But Sidney Pink has got to be just one of the worst directors to ever try to foist a movie on the general public. There's absolutely no imagination in any of the set-ups, although the film's color is beautiful (the print I saw in the theater looked brand new, probably because nobody would order this movie except my friend Will Viharo) the film's look ultimately becomes just as dull as its story. As for the story, it's such a tired affair that I can barely remember it 2 days after seeing it. Basically it's a knock-off of "Forbidden Planet", which means it feels a lot like Star Trek in the early parts. Agar is the horniest member of a crew that flies to Uranus, as the title would have you believe. When they get to the planet, it looks just like the Pacific NW basin. Evergreen trees, etc. This cheapness is explained away by the fact that, like in "Forbidden Planet", a lot of the things that the crew are seeing seem to be created by some kind of omnipresent intelligence. The effect used for the "alien" is incredibly inept, basically it looks to me like they just shone a light through some lenses and thought that would qualify as a special effect.
Sid Pink has his fans but I'm not one of them. His movies are ugly and there is very little intelligence in them. This is the kind of bad movie that makes me realize how actually good people like Roger Corman and Ed Wood are. At least their movies had some imagination and were watchable. This movie was just a trick, I can't imagine audiences not being disappointed by the poor quality of the production. Poor John Agar really looks like a lost soul, surrounded by all these Scandinavian actors. Interestingly I didn't notice any dubbing issues, so I think Pink had the actors speak their lines in English despite the fact that this was obviously a European production. This isn't a movie that's aged poorly, it's a movie that would have deserved derision at the moment it hit theaters.
The only positive aspect of the production is a sequence that lasts about 1 minute with a really bizarre and well done stop motion animation. I wasn't surprised in the least to see it was Jim Danforth's work, it's really excellent. If the movie had a few more monsters like that, I would even tend to forgive its many faults. But as it is it seems like they just commissioned Danforth to do that one really brief sequence so they could put it in the promo trailers and make the movie look more expensive. One of the other monsters in the movie I recognized as the same monster from Bert Gordon's "Earth Vs. The Spider", cheezy scratchy sound effect and all (Gordon said in interviews that he didn't think monsters were scary unless they made noise, so even his snakes and spiders growl and roar). I mean, that monster was barely even viable in the first place in Gordon's movie. I guess they thought they could get away with this because VCR didn't exist yet so the movie might have faded from people's minds -- that doesn't excuse the extreme cheapness and lack of imagination that recycling footage that was bad in the first place entails.
If the movie didn't have a few amusing moments with Agar and the one really neat animation by Danforth, it would be a total waste of time. This movie actually makes me sad. It's a rip-off, and it's movies like this that gave "science fiction" a bad name with movie audiences. With so much fascinating sci-fi coming out in literary form in the 50s and 60s it boggles the mind that Pink couldn't come up with something better than this. Shame on him and shame on AIP for distributing it as a movie, I hope they stuck it on a double bill with something that was at least watchable.
* When officials at American International viewed the completed film, they decided that some of the Danish-produced special effects were so poor that they needed to be replaced. Two members of the independent special effects company Project Unlimited, Jim Danforth and Wah Chang, shot new footage to replace some of the Danish special effects. Some of the deleted footage was also replaced with tinted black and white monster footage from _Earth vs the Spider (1958)_ .
* Among the replacement footage used in the American International version was a brief special effects shot from The Angry Red Planet (1960).
* The major contribution made to the American International version by Jim Danforth and Wah Chang was the giant cyclopean rodent monster. The monster's roar was actually Rodan's roar taken from Sora no daikaijû Radon (1956) (US title: "Rodan").
* Actor Ove Sprogøe claimed that he never participated in the movie, claiming he was sick the week it took to shoot the movie.