Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wild, Wild Planet: Not Exactly A Movie Review

Now that the presidential chasserei is over society can return to more important matters.  Like movies that amuse us, movies that are wildly entertaining, movies that are, as Norman would say, "nuts."  ("I like any movie that's nuts," said the Great Man.)

Movies like "I Criminali della Galassia," Italian, 1965.  Thank you, TCM, for delivering this great movie into our living rooms.

The "corporations" are growing spare body parts on Space Station Gamma One, but one of the corporations' scientists is not satisfied.  He sets up his own private underground Dr. No style laboratory on another planet.  His  plan, no less, is to create a race of supermen and re-populate the galaxy.

Sets and costumes are Star Trek influenced.  The uniforms, the drapery, glasses and other vessels of colored plastic, all very low-budget Star Trek style.  This world of the future still has venetian blinds, both horizontal and vertical.  It's a good thing too, they come in so handy for sending signals to low flying space ships.

The cars are very "Jetsons."  Here's a nice red "Rent-All."

There are plenty of identical cloned hit-men to do the dirty work.  They have four arms, a nice mad-scientist touch.  And dirty the work is, one of these guys kills a little girl by strangulation.  The dialog is not so tough, at one point a bouffant chick supervising the hit-men tells them, "we must be careful, we do not wish to be forced to use harsh words."

This is not a great movie, but let's face it, the academic pursuit of great movies is useless to most of us.  For the target audience, people who like to watch movies, there are only movies that are boring, or mildly diverting, maybe enchanting, or somewhat interesting, or, ideally, wildly entertaining.  This movie is interesting, for sure, and also definitely entertaining.  It's the same with novels.  "Finnegan's Wake" etc are probably great in their way, but they are of little use to most readers.   

The space ships are definitely not Star Trek style, more like Captain Video filtered through those Wally Wood E.C. Comics.

The story of the "criminali" herein is far out in a rather pleasant way.  The bad boss is a rogue corporations' scientist whose ultimate goal is to join himself and the beautiful Connie (girlfriend and karate instructor of the hero/commander) into "one dual person."  Well, that and re-populate the universe with his creations.  These bad guys have good taste, in the conference room back at the lab they have a print of Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights."  They are very bad though.  Besides strangling the little girl, minions who make mistakes are "taken to rejection."  That sounds like a one-way trip.

In the end, the commander prevails and Connie is saved.  The evil lair is flooded with picturesque red water from somewhere, lots of it.  The good guys contrive a way to float to the surface.  There are lots of non-specific explosions of the cheapest special effects type, and all of the bad guys die.

Cut to the happy ending back on earth, with Connie in a bikini and all of the men drinking.  The big joke at the end is the presence of one of their scientist buddies whose process of miniaturization by the bad guys was interrupted.  He's still three feet tall, and it looks like he's going to stay that way, and the guys tease him severely.  No special effect here, they found a dwarf who looked like the guy, slapped a beard on him, and dubbed in the full-sized actor's voice.

The movie is fun, the pace of it is good, the girls are pretty, and I'd recommend it to anyone who is even slightly disposed to such things. 

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