The Planet of Storms - 1962 Russian science fiction movie

Planet-Of-Storms


Here's a clip from a 1962 Russian movie called The Planet of Storms. The design of the vehicles and spacesuits is very nice. The information panel on the YouTube page has instructions for downloading the entire movie.

"The Planet of Storms" was one of the first Soviet fantastic films directed by Pavel Klushantsev, a screen version of the novel of Alexander Kazantsev about space travel. The film has been made with use of unique technologies of the combined shooting at times leave behind of advancing foreign analogues existing in those days.

On a planet Venus goes joint Soviet-American expedition on three spaceships. One of the ships perishes at collision with a meteorite. The remained crews make decision to make landing on Venus and left on an orbit only one person for support of communication with the Earth. The spaceship and a glider from other ship sit down far apart...

The Planet of Storms (Thanks, Mike!)

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  1. Oddly, I have two differently-cut and titled versions of this film on one collection of sci-fi b-movies. In one version, there is a woman on the planet and she calls to the astronaut telepathically. In the other, the woman’s name is used for the mother ship, so when he calls out the name he’s supposed to be talking to the spaceship. The big robot is very cool, and so is all the mechanical design. I always assumed this to be an Italian film, funny to see it come up here! Here’s a link to the collection on Amazon:
    http://tinyurl.com/moxg89
    Unfortunately, I don’t recall the exact name of each film version, I think one of them is “The Unknown World”. Great collection of cheesy flix though, esp “Blood Tide” with James Earl Jones saying weird stuff in a cave and breathing through a scuba regulator, making for a weird Vader sound homage, “Mesa of Lost Women” and Horrors of Spider Island” are also noteworthy.

  2. #3: Both of these also ran on Saturday morning TV. They both bored the crap out of me, but I watched them every time they came on because you took what you could get.

    Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet – Basil Rathbone
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059887/

    Basil Rathbone sits on a Moonbase set while stuff happens elsewhere.

    Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women – Mamie
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063790/

    Spliced-in Amazon babes!

    You might have thought it was Italian because they changed the names of the actors . . . possibly to hide the fact that they were Russian! This was also done on a Russian fantasy film that ran on MST3K.

  3. A pretty decent DVD print of this can be ordered from Sinister Cinema.

    The effects are fantastic for the time, and in fact some scenes were swiped and reused in American low-budget productions.

  4. #3: Dang, that collection is like a year’s worth of the crap played on WPIX on Saturday mornings during my childhood.

    I saw some of those in a movie theater, as part of 50 cent Saturday afternoon Sci-Fi matinee.

  5. On part 3 of 8 now and really enjoying it.

    Благодарю вас, товарищи!

  6. Found this on a $1 collection at Walmart (yeah, shame on me!) with “Cosmos War of the Planets” (astronauts visit unexplored planet, find alien civilization enslaved by giant robot) , “Assignment Outer Space” (interplanetary newshound must defeat alien spaceship radiating enough heat that it will destroy Earth), and “Warning From Space” (small planet enters collision course with Earth, giant starfish-like aliens — in stylish fabic costumes — warn humans, invent bomb which is promptly stolen by “rogue” group with its own agenda).

    Sure, they sound great, but just try to watch them!

    k2

  7. Planet of Storms is a highly underrated film with fantastic special effects and production values that outshone most American scifi of the time. It’s not too preachy for a Soviet film, either.

    I used shots from Planet of Storms in Nonlinear Theater, a random science fiction movie generator.

  8. BTW, if you’re having trouble spotting the American character — Note that the robot is named John.

    The thing that struck me about this film, actually, was how the “can/should I risk the data gathered so far to try a rescue” dilemma was treated. Different storytelling tradition from the “Of course I’ll do something impulsive despite direct orders and all my training” convention seen in most American action films. The mission comes first. Which is a much more accurate depiction of how astronauts actually behave.

    Re #7: Leather and wood are pretty darned good materials, strong for their weight and repairable with a tube of glue. Especially given when the film was made, I don’t find the idea of using ’em on a mission to another planet all that unreasonable.

    Especially for the Soviet space program, which was a lot more efficient in some ways than ours — lower tech is not always inferior. For example: Needing to write in space, America invented a pressurized pen that will write in vacuum and zero G. The Soviet space program just used pencils.

  9. If this is this movie I am thinking of, one of the cosmonauts is very proud of his robot, and hopes that the mission will prove its worth.

    At some point, the robot is required to piggy-back two or three cosmonauts through a lava flow. As the molten lava eats at his feet, the robot decides that the extra weight (the cosmonauts) degrades his ability to forge the flow, and starts trying to dislodge his passengers (my feet are killing me — kill the humans) . Fortunately the floating car shows up to rescue them.

    Definitely, a pre-3Laws robot.

  10. @octopod: No, but they did just make a Strugatsky adaptation, The Inhabited Island. Supposedly the most expensive film ever made in Russia, but I didn’t find it interesting enough to finish…

  11. @18
    shame, I think it’s my favourite of theirs, altho I’m reasonably sure I’ve got Inhabited Island (== Prisoners of Power?) somewhere around, but haven’t gotten around to reading it.

    >but I didn’t find it interesting enough to finish…

    sounds a bit in the spirit of a fearsome sleepy tarkovsky outing. I’ve seen Stalker, but don’t remember much of it.

    I ‘spose it was I had my idea of what roadside picnic the movie should be, and well, tarkovsky had his ideas.

    only thing of his I really liked was Nostalgia, but I’m not quite sure why.

  12. Well… this is a first. The Russian download site has bee boingboinged!

    The file can not be downloaded until September 17th at 05:30 Moscow time.

  13. Hey kids — we’re going to Venus in 2020! Yeah, it’s pretty bad, but my favorite line from this:
    “Must…keep…moving!”
    I have this as “Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet” in two collections: “50 SciFi Classics” from Treeline Films, and “Classics from Outer Space” by St. Clair Entertainment.

  14. #13 – For example: Needing to write in space, America invented a pressurized pen that will write in vacuum and zero G. The Soviet space program just used pencils.

    From Wikipedia Space Pen:

    There exists a common urban legend claiming that the Americans spent $11 million developing the Space Pen, and the Russians used a pencil.[1] In fact, NASA programs have used pencils (for example a 1965 order of mechanical pencils[1]) but because of the danger that a broken-off pencil tip poses in zero gravity and the flammable nature of the wood present in pencils[1] a better solution was needed.

    NASA never approached Paul Fisher to develop a pen, nor did Fisher receive any government funding for the pen’s development. Fisher invented it independently, and then asked NASA to try it. After the introduction of the AG7 Space Pen, both the American and Soviet (later Russian) space agencies adopted it. Previously both the Russian and American astronauts used grease pencils and plastic slates.[2]

    Another rumor has it that the Apollo 11 astronauts accidentally snapped off a switch which was necessary to permit them to fire the engine to return to the Earth; and that a Fisher Space Pen was used to press this button. While the incident did occur, Buzz Aldrin has stated that, in fact, he used a felt-tip pen for this.[3]

  15. @Jake,

    Me too! I think they used to show it as part of the Creature Double Feature on Saturday afternoon.

    Wow, totally lost classic here. Thanks for rediscovering it!

  16. At some point, the robot is required to piggy-back two or three cosmonauts through a lava flow. As the molten lava eats at his feet, the robot decides that the extra weight (the cosmonauts) degrades his ability to forge the flow, and starts trying to dislodge his passengers (my feet are killing me — kill the humans) .

    That’d be “John”, the greedy capitalist Yankee robot, right?

  17. I just rented this on Netflix – it was called ‘Voyage To A Prehistoric Planet’.

    “Voyage To The Planet Of Prehistoric Women” was made by Peter Bogdonavich – a rip off of the other movie with sexy babes thrown in (always a good thing to do IMHO).

  18. Nice film, and a good effort to be realistic. Also a decent portrayal of Soviet spacemen, expected to improvise and fix problems as they go.

    For the record, I’m a generally conservative mostly Republican who has no problem acknowledging that the Soviet space record is outstanding and in many areas better than ours. Certainly safer. The world owes them far more respect than they generally get. I had a friend who was jokingly talking about they crudity of the Soyuz capsule when I pointed out that it’s a cheap proven design that has carried more people in far greater safety than the far more clean, modern and photogenic Shuttle.

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