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The far, far future (1990, to be precise): Another planet has promised
to send an ambassador to earth, but the ambassador's ship crashlands on
Mars. A spaceship goes on a rescue mission, which is somehow botched up,
but ultimately, the spacemen (and -woman) - Commander Brockman (Robert
Boon), astronauts Paul (Dennis Hopper), Laura (Judi Meredith) and her
boyfriend Alan (John Saxon) - manage to save the ambassador - a green
woman (Florence Marly) - from her wrecked spaceship and take her aboard,
where Paul is to teach her about earth customs ... and is sucked dry of
blood as a thank you for his efforts. The crew has to come to the
conclusion that the alien is a vampire - but in order to save her for
science, they feed her blood plasma to keep her tame, fed and contained.
Once the plasma is gone though, the alien feeds on the captain, killing
him as well. Alan and Laura now tie her to her bed, but that doesn't stop
her, and she soon starts to feed on Alan, when Laura scratches her ... and
kills her that way actually. But it only seems the threat is gone now,
because the alien woman actually was something comparable to a queen bee,
and she has hidden her eggs all over the ship. And while Alan and Laura
try to warn everyone of the danger of the alien eggs, earth scientists
(led by Basil Rathbone) couldn't be happier.
In the 1960'S,
production company AIP bought quite a few Russian big budget sci-fi
movies to salvage them for their special effects and make new, American
science fiction flicks out of them, and director Curtis Harrington's
previous Voyage to
the Prehistoric Planet is only one example for this.
Blood, borrowing quite freely from Mechte Navstrechu/A Dream Come True
is one of the more subtle examples of this costcutting technique since it
only uses the Russian footage for the framing story and actually focusses
on a new, original story (that of the alien queen), which has its virtues
and its disadvantages. The biggest virtue of the film is without a doubt
that it actually tells an original story that's far enough removed from
the Russian source to not for a second suggest plagiarism (something not
necessarily true for other movies of AIP's "Russian"
period). However, due to the fact that the new story and the Russian
source material have rather little in common, a whole new subplot was made
up to blend the two narratives, a subplot that contributes little to the
main narrative and actually hampers pacing.
All this said though, Is Queen
of Blood a good movie? A bad one?
Well, yes and no on both accounts:
The story about the alien vampire is of course pulpy as can be and pretty
silly, too - and very entertaining because of that. Yet the main
attraction of the film (besides the rather excellent Russian effects) is
its art direction: The interior sets of the film are great in a pop-art
kind of way, and especially the whole appearance of the alien queen is
just wow - something to be seen to be believed (though quite different
from what you might think now I feel obliged to add).