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First Spaceship on Venus (1960).

December 26, 2006

The Scoop:
Despite having the title and all the trappings of a B-grade cheesefest, this East German/Polish co-production actually provides a few compelling moments. Sometime in the near future (it’s that ’50s vision of the near future that looks hopelessly dated now), a construction crew unearths a strange metal coil. Extensive scientific investigation determines that the coil is really a log recording of a crashed Venusian spaceship, outlining the planet’s plans to conquer Earth. From there, an international expedition sets off to the morning star to get to the bottom of it all. What they find there offers a creditable anti-Cold War message and a few moments of genuine suspense. Of course, there are the usual B-movie moments, too, making an end result that is good for both a laugh and a little contemplation. Also commendable is the multi-racial cast, a rarity for the genre at that time.

Side Note:
The American release of the film (which is still the only one available in the U.S. today) is nearly an hour shorter than that original European release, which offers a tantalizing promise of an even more fascinating picture.

Best Bit:
All the alphabetized extras waving goodbye..

Companion Viewing:
“Rocketship X-M” (1951), “The Angry Red Planet” (1959) and “Forbidden Planet” (1956).


Take a Look:
Here’s the trailer for the original U.S. theatrical release in 1962:

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