Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women
Norman D. Wells, Roger Corman for AIP/Filmgroup
directed by Derek Thomas (= Peter Bogdanovich), Pavel Klushantsev (Russian footage)
starring Gennadi Vernov, Georgi Tejkh, Vladimir Yemelyanov, Yuri Sarantsev, Georgi Zhzhyonov, Mamie Van Doren, Mary Marr, Paige Lee, Margot Hartman, Irene Orton, Pam Helton, Frankie Smith, Judy Cowart, Robin Smith, Cathie Reimer, Adele Valentine, Peter Bogdanovich (voice)
written by Henry Ney, music by Keith Benjamin
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Two astronauts (Georgi Tejkh, Yuri Sarantsev) and their robot John are
sent to Venus, but once there, they re attacked by all sorts of creatures
and try to make their way across the planet ... and lose contact to earth.
So earth control sends up another three astronauts (Gennadi Vernov,
Vladimir Yemelyanov, Georgi
Zhzhyonov) on a rescue mission, and the three of them comb
the planet in their weirdly hovering vehicle, and are even looking for
them underwater, but when doing so, they eventually have to kill a
pterodactyl, not knowing that the pterodactyl is the god of the telepathic
mermaids (led by Mamie Van Doren) who live on Venus - but never show
themselves to the astronauts. Eventually, the mermaids make a volcano
erupt which threatens the lives of the first two astronauts and John, but
the astronauts just climb up on John who mechanically wades through the
hot molten lava - and eventually the rescue party in their hovering
vehicle arrives, saving the astronauts ... and only John has to be
sarificed in the process.
The mermaids are happy when the sea washes the remains on John ashore,
the astronauts though make it off their planet in their rocket, and upon
leaving they actually find the first trace of intelligent life on venus, a
face carved into stone ...
Not just in title, this film is very similar to Voyage
to the Prehistoric Planet from 1965, fact is that both films were
built around footage from the 1962 Russian science fiction film Planeta
Bur/Planet of Storms,
and the footage from the Russian film is pretty much the same in Voyage
to the Prehistoric Planet and Voyage to the Planet of
Prehistoric Women, with the difference that in the earlier film the
newly shot footage took place on a space station manned (and womanned) by
Basil Rathbone and Faith Domergue, while in the later film, it is about a
gang of mermaids who mostly lie around on the beach and communicate
telepathically ... but as with the earlier film, this one is good-natured
fun, silly of course, but fun nevertheless ... plus the effects of Planeta
are actually pretty well done given the year of production ...