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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Planet of Storms" or "Cosmonauts on Venus" or "Planet of Tempests" or "Planeta Bur" )

 

directed by Pavel Klushantsev
U.S.S.R. 1961

 

Pavel Klushantsev, who directed more Russian SF films than he's credited with here, found himself propelled from obscurity into sudden demand by the Soviet authorities when the production of his 1958 SF debut, 'Road to the Stars' coincided with the launch of Sputnik. Although he languished in almost total obscurity in the West, his films were enormously popular in the USSR, and, as a recent documentary noted, many of his cinematic innovations were 'borrowed' 10 years later by Kubrick in '2001'.

Planet of Storms is not a great movie, but compared with most of the SF which the USA was churning up to this time, it's positively stellar. It's weakest points are its sketchy characterizations, and rather poor pacing, but hard SF luminaries like Gernsback and John Campbell would probably have admired its attention to detail, and relative lack of sensationalism. The film actually begins with the disclaimer "Venus may well be entirely different to this" (or some such), and what follows is a serious attempt to depict a Venusian expedition - marred perhaps by the odd dinosaur, but surprisingly free of Soviet chest-thumping.

Planet of Storms won't blow your mind, but you'll find yourself being charmed by the ingenious photography, sets, creatures, etc. There's also a straight out hilarious scene where the Robot gets rained on, and goes off his head. While his two human companions are lying on the ground, dangerously ill from fever, he's babbling on about building a concrete highway to reach the other half of the expedition, who are are about 20 miles away. Contacting him via radio, they are somewhat alarmed to hear him tell them "According to quotes from the Smith corporation, the cost of building a highway to the Sirius is 37 million dollars". I don't know if this was a dig at capitalism, but it cracked me up anyway.

Excerpt from Lupercali from Tasmania review on IMdb located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 1962

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DVD Review: Lenfilm - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Lenfilm

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:18:27 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.93 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Russian Dolby Digital 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles Russian, English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Lenfilm

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• I See Earth! (1970) - Documentary film by Klushantsev (16:16)
• Pavel Klushantsev: To the Stars! (2000) - Documentary about Klushantsev (25:46)
• Filmography (Biography of Klushantsev on 18 text screens)
• Photo-gallery (10 Screens)

DVD Release Date: September, 2005
DigiPack

Chapters 12

 

Comments Re-edited twice with additional scenes added by Curtis Harrington and Peter Bogdanovich, PLANETA BUR was never released to theaters in U.S. in its original form. The best way to see it was in the late 1980's through a poor dupe released by Sinister Cinema. For this Russian DVD, Lenfilm Video had better materials to work with, but unfortunately the film still looks very faded. Also, the image is not restored so a lot of scratches and marks are evident. There're no technical problems with the transfer except for some frames missing and couple scenes turning green for one shot, but it's probably due to poor preservation of film elements - the film was made by a small studio Lennauchfilm (Leningrad Popular Science Film Studio). The sound is very good with an option of original stereo or 5.1 remix, both in Russian. The translation of subtitles is good, but unfortunately on big TV they are hard to read. Also included are a short educational film from 1970 and a documentary on Klushantsev from 2000. Both bonus shorts are subtitled in English, so it's puzzling to me that Lenfilm Video has such a poor distribution for this disc - none of the on-line stores sell it yet. I had to special order it from Russia and will sell some extra copies on eBay.

 - Gregory Meshman

 





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DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Lenfilm

Region 0 - PAL




 

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