Journey to the Seventh Planet

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

During their journey to Uranus, an alien presence briefly assumes control of the crew’s minds. They awaken safely but notice that a long – and unexplained – period of time has passed by. Upon landing, the crew finds a forested land oddly like Earth’s, rather than the cold, bleak world they were expecting. This forest is surrounded by a mysterious barrier. One of the crew pushes his arm through the barrier, only to have it frozen.

New features and forms begin to appear each time they are imagined by the crew. A familiar-looking village appears, complete with attractive women the various male crew members have known in the past. Soon, they must face a series of strange beasts including a giant bi-pedal cyclopean rodent and a lobster-like insect. The crew realizes that they have been the victims of mind control by a gigantic one-eyed brain living in a cave. There, they are confronted by the “Being,” whose mysterious brain cuts to the inner thoughts of the explorers and causes their thoughts to appear as seemingly real. The brain-Being plans to possess the astronauts’ bodies and have them take it with them back to Earth where it will implement a plan for global domination. The crew gradually come to realize their peril and start to fight back against the presence, even eliciting aid from the sympathetic women. They must then confront the Being in its lair while it assaults each with monsters spawned from their fears.

REVIEW:

I was looking through some of my reviews last night and noticed that it has been quite some time since I returned to the world of cheesy, classic sci-fi. The last one was back in August, and that was Queen of Outer Space. So, with the couple of spare hours I have today, I figured why not return to this genre with Journey to the Seventh Planet.

What is this about? B-movie stalwart John Agar stars in this campy fantasy epic as the leader of a United Nations space mission bound for the planet Uranus. Blasting off in the year 2001, the crew reaches its goal but finds an exotic form of evil awaiting them. By nurturing their subconscious fears, the malign Uranian life-form uses the crew’s own memories to terrify and confuse them — dooming the Earthlings unless they can destroy the insidious alien.

What did I like? To boldly go. As the title suggests, this is a journey to the seventh planet, Uranus. Yes, Uranus, a planet that we never hear about. So, it is a nice touch to go out someplace that the usual Mars, Venus, or some made up planet in different galaxy. Even though our brave travelers never made it, I can appreciate something different, especially during this time when sci-fi films were pretty much all about Martians.

Power of fear. For a film released in a time that didn’t really have heavy movies, this goes relatively deep into the psyche. Well, at least it does for a sci-fi flick. About 15 years later, we’ll get some deeper, heavier, scary stuff with the release of Alien, but in the meantime, the creature that serves as the antagonist uses each of the crew member’s fears against them. As anyone that knows anything about Green Lantern comics, fear is a powerful weapon, perhaps one of the most powerful in the universe. The “Being” apparently knew that, and used it to his advantage.

What didn’t I like?

Yawn. The plot of this film is quite interesting, but the film doesn’t deliver. Even the film’s climax, which should be the most interesting part, doesn’t quite do anything for me. By all accounts, it should be exciting, but it just seems to be the crew fighting papier mache’ and running across a sound stage. I don’t have a problem with the cheese factor, it is just that something about it, and the rest of the film just left me wanting. I almost started nodding off in this film, and that should not have been that way.

Acting. It is more than obvious that this isn’t a big budget film and, as such, it didn’t attract big name talent. With lesser talent comes some really bad acting. The wooden performances are bad even for this type of film. I wonder if these people were even trying, or just there to collect a paycheck. Hmmm…sounds like today’s actors!

Final verdict on Journey to the Seventh Planet? There really isn’t much to say about this film, especially on the good side. The poster leads one to believe this would be a horror or sci-fi thriller. Yes, there is so little to talk about this film, that I have to reference the movie poster! So, let’s just bring this to an end and say that this is not a film that deserves a recommendation. I read a user review on Netflix saying that this is the kind of flick Mystery Science Theater should have gotten their hands on, and I totally agree. At least that way, it would have been fun and worth your time.

2 out of 5 stars

 

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