Mario Bava’s 1965 Italian science-fiction film Terrore nello Spazio (“Terror in Space”) is, along with Queen of Blood, The Quatermass Experiment, and It! The Terror From Beyond Space! one of the films that Dan O’Bannon took plot elements from for his screenplay for Alien.
Starring Barry Sullivan and Norma Bengell, the movie follows the crews of two unfortunate ships which crash land on a distant planet only to find they’re not the first visitors to the harsh, inhospitable world.
Reportedly the movie is based upon a short story called “One Night of 21 Hours” by Renato Pestriniero, but if this is available anywhere to actually read, please let me know.
Not the most lavishly-budgeted film, the most memorable aspects are the striking designs of the world and the spaceships, not to mention the head-to-toe leather suits of the explorers. It was bafflingly retitled Planet of the Vampires in the United States, considering it doesn’t feature any vampires. If you’re an Alien super-nerd like me it’s an important film to catch to see exactly what O’Bannon was “inspired” by.
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