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Queen of Blood
Planet of Blood / Planet of Terror / Planet of Vampires / The Green Woman

USA 1966
produced by
Samuel Z. Arkoff, George Edwards, Roger Corman (executive) for AIP
directed by Curtis Harrington
starring John Saxon, Basil Rathbone, Judi Meredith, Dennis Hopper, Florence Marly, Robert Boon, Don Eitner, Virgil Frye, Robert Porter, Terry Lee, Forrest J. Ackerman
written by Curtis Harrington, music by Ronald Stein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

Queen of 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).

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD