Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968, Peter Bogdanovitch [as 'Derek Thomas'])

Samey Van Doren

Well... where to begin? Any remarks about the bulk of this film's content, i've already made in my review for "Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet", for in true no-budget tradition, Roger Corman and chums basically re-released the same movie (which was in itself a redubbed cannibalisation of the Russian space opera "Storm Planet"), with some newly-shot additional footage.

This new stuff entirely concerns the titular (in every sense!) women, the scrumptious Mamie Van Doren and assorted other leggy lovelies, lounging around the rocky shores of Venus in shell bikinis, eating raw fish, and emitting a curiously familiar siren song. If i were in a kinder - or drunker - mood, i might try to compare the way in which this film occurs 'in the wings' of the earlier movie to Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead". But i won't, for that way lies madness.

This was all enjoyable enough, if very familiar apart from the half-baked clam-shelled clambake. However, i became unduly concerned towards the films conclusion when Ms. Van Doren psychically told her telepathic friends that their heretofore deity, the great dinosaur god Ptera, was no longer good enough, because "there is a greater god!". As they hurled stones and tore down their effigy of the late pteranodon lord, i got a sinking feeling. Surely brief exposure to human (Russian dubbed-as-American) spacemen hadn't suddenly converted the Venusians to the Judeo-Christian god? The idea of them "seeing the error of their ways" and becoming merely spaceborne Americans had me groaning internally. If they were to suddenly convert to an Earth religion, why not Buddhism, or Shintoism? Or, indeed, any at all?

I need not have worried. As they pulled the magma-petrified remains of John the Robot from the mud and set him up as a shrine, i began to smile. One god's as good as another, after all. As another spaceborne robot, Marvin the Paranoid Android, said at the end of "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish":

'You know... i think i'm quite happy about that'.


  1. I like the mercenary nature of this redo, basically add half naked women = profit!

  2. I thought that i'd prefer the 'added bikini clad chicks' version of the film to the more straight SF one, but my brain took a swerve and went in the unexpected direction of liking the one without the clam. This is a reference to the shells they wear, not a vulgar slag for female genitalia, obviously. Cough.

  3. You're a vulgar slag :-P

    We should all pray to John the Robot when we can't get a phone signal, or the wi-fi's down.

  4. :) That was an actual genuine mistake, honestly. Usually it isn't, but it was there.

    John the Robot will save us all. Or chuck us into a Venusian magma flow. He is an unpredictable deity.

  5. Bit like all the other deities, then.

  6. At least he isn't a jealous or vengeful god. Those kinds of things aren't in his programming.

  7. Oh yeah? Then why did he chuck those blokes into the magma?

    Stuff your theodicy! I'mma worship Terry the Pterodactyl instead :-P

  8. The pic above of the prone Ptera is proof of Nietzsche - God is indeed dead. Awww.

  9. Not just dead, but extinct :-P