Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cosnos:War of the Planets

This 1977 Italian film (originally called Anno zero - guerra nello spazio) reminds me a lot of Space: 1999 -- the sets, the themes, the special effects and especially the costumes all seem drawn from it. In fact, I'd swear the makers of this film went to the Space: 1999 yard sale when the series ended and picked up everything they could. It makes sense that Space: 1999 would be influential at this time -- it was the biggest thing in SF in least until Star Wars came out in May and showed everyone how it was done.
An earth spaceship is ordered to investigate a strange planet. Although his ship has a near-sentient computer nicknamed Wiz, Captain Hamilton (played by John Richardson) has an intense distrust of computers. His ship is attacked as it approaches this rogue planet, but they manage to land safely. They investigate and meet the inhabitants: green men with pointed ears in loincloths. They are being subjugated by computers, so this is right up Hamilton's alley. He vows to help the aliens destroy the computers. He destroys the head computer, as in 2001 (another clear influence), which also results in the destruction of the planet. And there's a neat little twist at the end.
There's some interesting ideas in this film and if you can stand watching a cheap, derivative, wooden and obviously 1970s-style film, this might be worth searching out in a video store.

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