You know what I always enjoy, watching a Roger Corman movie, especially when it is one you didn’t know was a Roger Corman movie. Now I watched this movie a few years ago when I first bought the Classic Sci-Fi box set and thought it was your typical low budget 60’s movie. Turns out, it was originally a Soviet sci-fi movie that was reedited and dubbed for the purpose of making it a new movie for American audiences. So now the question is, does this new knowledge make this movie any more enjoyable? Only one way to find out and that is to go ahead and watch today’s movie, Voyage To The Prehistoric Planet.
The plot: In the year 2020, mankind has colonized the moon and now seeks to start exploration of the planet Venus. An international team sends three rockets, Capella, Sirius, and Vega, to Venus but the Capella is destroyed by a meteorite during the journey. The crews of the other ships radio back to Lunar 7, the space station they left from, and are told to maintain an orbit around Venus until a new spaceship arrives to assist them. Some of the astronauts are impatient to explore Venus and don’t want to wait for the new ship to arrive. They come up with a plan to send Allen Sherman, Dr. Kern, and John, Kern’s robot, to Venus in the Vega’s shuttle, leaving Dr. Marsha Evans on board to monitor the situation. Marsha contacts Professor Hartman on Lunar 7 and he gives the go ahead for their plan. The shuttle make’s it’s descent, with John piloting it when the situation got too rough, but they soon lose contact with the shuttle. Marsha gets concerned and Commander Brendan Lockhart, Andre Ferneau, and Hans Walters from the Sirius decide to take their own shuttle down to locate them., with Hartman giving them permission to carry on. The three men land on the surface and Andre goes off to explore the nearby terrain while Lockhart and Hans try to figure out where they are in relation to the other shuttle. As they prepare to take their hovercar out to look for the others, Andre is attacked by a tentacled plant. Lockhart and Hans hear a voice telling leading them to Ande and they think it was Andre calling for help at first but he swears he never was able to cry out for help. Meanwhile, Sherman and Kern had landed in a swamp and are attacked by some lizardmen but are able to fend them off. Kern sends John to shore with a cable, and they are able to make it through the swamp but due to tears in Sherman’s suit, he starts feeling sick and they send John to find shelter for them. Meanwhile, Lockhart and the others continue on their way when they spot a dinosaur and take a blood sample from it. As they continue searching for the others, they hear that strange voice again and Lockhart says it sounds like a woman’s voice calling out. Elsewhere, John finds a cave for Sherman and Kern to take shelter in and as they both start to faint, Kern tells John to help the others find them. Lockhart and the others are making their way across a large body of water, maintaining contact with Marsha to keep her appraised of their progress when they are attacked by a pterodactyl. When their blaster has no effect on it, they decide to submerge the hovercar in order to escape it, losing contact with Marsha in the process. Marsha contacts Hartman and asks permission to land the Vega on planet’s surface to help them but Hartman refuses, telling her to remain in orbit. Under water, Andre chooses to explore the area some and finds a cave that appears to be carved into the rock, finding a strange stone which he brings back with him. The eventually push the hovercar up to shore and as they work to drain the water from it, they check to make sure the batteries are dry. Meanwhile, Sherman and Kern have recovered and, with John’s help, they begin exploring the area near them. As they take readings from the area, a volcano starts to erupt and they find themselves trapped with no choice but to get onto John and have him carry them across the lava. As they make their way across, John suddenly starts speaking out their position and they realize that Lockhart and the others must be close and trying to locate them. Suddenly, John says the weight is too much and starts to grab Kern and remove him from him but Sherman is able to disconnect the power source, freezing John in it’s place. Lockhart and the others arrive and Hans and Andre get out of the hovercar so Lockhart can save Kern and Sherman, reaching them before John falls over and is carried off by the lava. As the group rest by the beach, they discuss whether there is intelligent life on the planet and several of them believe there is evidence of it, but they just haven’t found it yet. The group decide to continue making surveys and taking samples of the area. As they head back to the ship, they hear a recorded message from Marsha, saying that due to losing contact with them and not hearing further instructions from Hartman, she decided to bring her own ship down to the planet to try and help them. Lockhart, Sherman, and Andre work on removing some of the supplies from the ship so they can mount a rescue mission but Kern has Hans try contacting Marsha, believing she might still be in orbit. They are able to reach her and Marsha explains that Hartman had contacted her before she started her descent and told her to remain in orbit. Kern relays the news to the others, who are happy to hear that she is safe and get ready to leave and rejoin her in orbit. As he is about to leave, Andre discovers something that he says is proof that there are people similar to them on the planet and tries to convince the others to stay but they drag him aboard the ship so they can leave. After they blast off back into space, the reflection of a nearby puddle shows a figure approaching where their rocket was and bowing down.
This is honestly one of those movies that is best watched for the sole purpose of laughing at it. Since this was dubbed, it’s hard to really determine the acting but the voice overs were ok. The story was confusing, as it was kind of hard to tell what all they were trying to do (of course it could be that I’m not 100% awake yet). The special effects were kind of on the cheap side and a didn’t do much to help move the story along. The good news is that this is a relatively short movie so you won’t have to suffer too much. This is more or less a time killer of a movie but it could have been better with a better plot.
Rating: 2 out of 5