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3.4 out of 5 stars19
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Making bad movies can be tiring work, especially when you're Roger Corman and make a practice of filming a second film, usually made up entirely on the spot, at each shooting location. One fateful day Roger had an epiphany - why make a completely new bad movie when he could just steal someone else's? So it was that, in 1965, Corman bought the rights to a 1962 Russian film called Planeta Burg. Add a few new scenes, mix in a lot of bad dubbing, and slap some fake credits on that puppy - and Voila! you've got yourself another Roger Corman masterpiece - and all without breaking a sweat. (Personally, I would have edited out the big CCCP logo on the main spaceship, but Corman chose not to.) Who cares if the Soviets don't like your mucking around with their movie? What are they gonna do - declare a Cold War over it? Set up missiles in Cuba? Of course, continuing his 2-for-1 moviemaking practice, Corman didn't stop there, scavenging Planeta Burg once again to make Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women in 1968. Here's what really gets my goat, though. I actually sort of enjoyed Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. I can't imagine why, but I did.

This film takes us back to the good old days, when you didn't have to worry about weightlessness in space and you could gallivant around Venus in a space suit. Watch out for those meteors, though, as one-third of the potential cast learns just after the fake opening credits. Fortunately (or not), the other ships make it to Venusian orbit and decide to head on down without waiting for the go-ahead from Professor Hartmann (Basil Rathbone) back on Lunar Base 7. The first ship apparently crashes, leaving our three burly Russian friends in the second ship to execute a rescue mission upon landing. Meanwhile, Marcia (Faith Domergue) remains alone in orbit, so that she can perform such crucial functions as forgetting to tell the search party where the lost astronauts are located on the planet.

You'll cheer as Andre (who really belongs on a short leash) is attacked by a gigantic spider-plant, but all too soon you realize that nothing is going to happen to any of these annoying characters (Andre even jabs a needle into a brontosaurus at one point, without the big guy even noticing). But what of our lost astronauts, you ask? Well, they have Robot John (obviously a cousin to Robbie the Robot) to look after their puny hides while they wait to be rescued. Personally, I would rather have the hovercar that the second crew of astronauts uses to traverse the planet. The Soviets really did a good job on the special effects for this thing, as it looks just as good as Luke's hovercar in the original theatrical version of Star Wars.

Indulge me as I insert my MST3K-inspired John! Marsha! John!! Marsha!! non sequitur here. Thanks. Well, Robot John pretty much gets the shaft toward the end of this thing, while Marsha almost ruins everything yet comes out smiling. The only reason she's even in the movie is Roger Corman, who chose to add her and an aging Basil Rathbone to the film he ripped off to make it look like his own. Neither character serves any real purpose, which is sort of sad in Rathbone's case, as he deserved better.

The only thing missing from this Corman classic is a few buxom blondes, an oversight Corman corrected in 1968 when he used the same Russian footage to show us what was on the other side of the "red city" that attracted Andre's attention in particular - Mamie Van Doren and friends. If you're going to watch Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet, you might as well check out Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, too. After all, Roger would have wanted it that way.
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on 31 March 2012
I bought this film for my husband as he's a fan of Basil Rathbone, unfortunetly he gave up watching it after 10 minutes with a severe headache, as the picture & sound quality was that bad.
Also he said Basil Rathbone shouldn't have bothered with his role in it as it was so wooden a local jobing actor from a local stage school would have been better cast, what a waste of a great talent.
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on 4 August 2012
Any dvds by elstree studio will be the worst quality picture and sound on any dvd you have ever watched (trust me) dont buy or you will regret it big time , all any dvd by elstree is good for and thats the bin ( thats a fact )
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on 22 September 2013
"Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet" is something as strange as an American remake of a Soviet science fiction film. A few scenes with English-speaking actors have been added to what is essentially a dubbed version of the Russian original.

The plot revolves around a group of astronauts and their robot, investigating the planet Venus. As usual in films of this kind, the alien world turns out to be pretty similar to Earth during the Age of the Dinosaurs. The explorers run into a Brontosaurus, a Stegosaurus, a pterosaur and even a somewhat anachronistic Dimetrodon. They are also attacked by a kind of lizard-men, but these too are really dumb animals. Only at the very end do the astronauts realize that Venus is inhabited by intelligent, human-like creatures.

"Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet" is boring, dragging and not very interesting. The producer, Roger Corman, must have realized this. Three years later, he was involved in a second remake, "Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women", in which we finally get to meet the mysterious Venusian aliens, who turn out to be telepathic females!

Despite being substandard, "Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet" must have been popular in its day. I remember several scenes from this film from my childhood, despite never seeing the film itself. Presumably, I saw them in books about *real* astronomy.

Unfortunately, however, this long-winding exploration of tropical dinosaur haunts only deserves one star. Still, it's good to know that B-movies were made on both sides of the Iron Curtain...
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on 3 January 2013
A rocket in the year 2020 is journeying to the planet Venus to explore this, one of our neighbours in space. After a promising opening, the film descends into cheapness personified. I'm a fan of low-budget 'so bad they're good' sci-fi films, but really this is just slow and soon becomes tedious. Basil Rathbone appears, yes, but he is wasted in a minor role which sees him playing a cardboard scientist. Scenes from this movie were lifted straight from a Russian sci-fi film, which means some dreadful dubbing and some strange switches between colour and black-and-white.

When they arrive on Venus the spacemen, who have no kind of personality whatsoever, are accompanied by a clunky-looking robot which lacks any of the charm or character of Robbie the Robot or the robot from the "Lost in Space" series. The team soon find briefly-seen "lizard-men" (people in tatty-looking ceratosaurus costumes), a bronotsaurus, a hilariously bad pterodactyl, the soundtrack from "Dinosaurus" and some giant man-eating plants. The female voice and the reflections in the pond are never explained, and the 'monsters' have very little screen time. Oh, and the picture quality is dreadful. Not that there's really very much of interest to see.
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on 14 November 2014
Liked this film a lot pictures not as bad as some make out no its not state of the art looks like some thing put back together from the scrap heap very rusticated gives it a charm not a head ake and the sound's OK to look I come from the age when the best vhs films had lines going up and down in them you was just happy to find a copy of whot ever the film was and this is a fine example for one pound twenty stop complaing as far as the film it self it looks way ahead of its time for 1957 I say wow better than most of the stiff rubbish si fi at the time before the great 2001 and planet of the apes this is about as good as it gets and the space suits look fantastic as well I think alian wins for best design space suits of all time but yet again thay look ahead of there time and last thing that floating car looks good to its like a predated starwars speeder gos under water as well how cool is that
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on 4 April 2011
I was disappointed with this one. Being a "fan" of Basil Rathbone for many years I thought the part he played could have been equally played by any unknown "bit player". Faith Domergue's talents and looks were not very evident either and the poor colour of the film did not help. The story was acceptable. I can't say more.
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on 6 December 2015
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on 21 April 2012
This is a Z-grade B-movie. The acting is wooden (or in the robot's case, metallic) and the plot creaks along. An interesting concxept, though. Try it- you may like it, like me.
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on 11 December 2014
if you like old B movies you must be from the same generation as me they seldom make ducks like these any more but at the time I often had my hands covering my eyes
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