Planet of the Vampires. 1965. Italy . Directed by Mario Bava. DCP. 88 min.
“Visionary Italian filmmaker Maria Bava was always a favorite of the cineastes at Club 57, because he could make something stylish out of very little (one of the club’s own aesthetics). The plot of Planet of the Vampires sounds like a Euro mash-up of Alien and Night of the Living Dead: astronauts of the future go part-time nuts and become killer zombies. But come for the Bava visuals. From Blumhouse.com: ‘Bava’s in fine form as he pulls out all of his magician’s tricks. [He] shoots entirely on cleverly designed sound stages…minimal and colorful, resembling the garish look of pulp magazines and 1960s comic books. Elaborate set pieces…were not constructed full size. Amazingly, the live action actors move seamlessly within the imaginative, expressionistic sets.’” (film notes by John Epperson).