Friday, May 15, 2015

Heavenly Body of the Week: Aura, Planet of the Vampires

Anyone who knows anything about classic cinema, already knows how great Mario Bava is, was, and always will be. For those who do not know, you better hurry up and get to knowing, because you are missing some of the best horror films of all-time. For today's lesson, I give you the 1965 film, Planet of the Vampires. The story is pretty basic. A couple of spaceships from Earth, land on the uncharted planet called Aura, after receiving a mysterious distress call. Once they land...well, I'm guessing you can figure out who and what they find there.

This film is a rather pretty cool cult classic, and a huge influence, both in narrative and visually, on Ridley Scott's Alien. Granted, Scott has claimed he had not seen Planet of the Vampires before making Alien, but that's got to be a lie, or at the very least, a misremembrance of the director's past. Yeah, Scott got a lot from HR Giger, but he also got a lot from here. Bava, especially for not being all that well known outside of cinephiliac circles these days, was actually a big influence on many of today's directors. Everyone from Carpenter and Cronenberg to Tim Burton and Tarantino, were influenced by Bava. Even Scorsese's oeuvre has a bit of the ole Bava in it. I am sure Scott had seen Planet of the Vampires when he was younger. Perhaps he saw so many films (the guy is a cinephile after all) that he forgot this one. Anyhoo, this classic pulp magazine-esque B-movie is one ya'll should see. It is sexy and campy and a delicious work of cinema, indeed. Visually, this is one fantastic looking heavenly body. Although we should probably call this one a Hellish body, huh? However ya'll look at it, you should watch it. You are welcome for the recommendation.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


  1. I have not seen this classic B and it just reconfirms how much I miss the Sunday afternoon movie on the old channel 29 station-that was before cable when UHF was new

  2. I have to admit that if this was on TV, I'd just skip over it. Maybe I often miss sheer brilliance because of it.