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(aka "I diafanoidi vengono da Marte"or `The Deadly Diaphonoids`)

 

directed by Antonio Margheriti
Italy 1966

 

Look! Out among the stars! What are those mysterious lights? A space aurora? Asteroids? No, they’re predators from Mars intent on conquering our planet. Earthlings, this means war! After invading the United States with his spacey space flick The Wild, Wild Planet, Italian director Antonio Margheriti (aka Anthony Dawson) did it again with another low-budget, high-camp sci-fi blast: War of the Planets, a tale of astronauts battling invisible enemies who leave their human victims neither alive nor dead. Look for Camelot, Die Hard 2 and spaghetti-western star Franco Nero in the cast. Then laser up and go kick some Martian butt!

****

Gaseous beings from outer space attempt to take possession of earthlings.

Yes, it's another sixties Italian space opera, which is to say it's another compendium of colorful sets, a whole slew of poorly differentiated characters, non-stop verbal science-fictionese, and a maddening dearth of exposition. I'm not sure whether it's something in the English dubbing, or if it's something inherent in the movies themselves that make them so frustrating, but I never feel like I know what's going on, and not in the "mysterious suspense-inducing" way but rather in the "we'll tell you everything but what you need to know to enjoy the movie" way. You can figure them out if you watch them three or four times, but I really don't think that should be necessary. Apparently, this was part of a series of four movies called "The Gamma 1 Quadrilogy".

Excerpt of review from Dave Sindelar atSciFi Film.org located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 4th, 1966

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:36:33
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.73 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: October 19th, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 10

 

Comments

War of the Planets is really, really bad - but it is that type of difficult-to-describe, and impossible-to-replicate, style of horridness that is filled with unusual charisma. I just LOVE this stuff and can't seem to get enough - being unable to identify its charm must be part of the appeal. A young Franco Nero is the most remarkable thing about War of the Planets - but he added just enough funky irony to the production foibles to augment to my enjoyment.

It's standard single-layered but progressive and anamorphic widescreen transfer that looks quite good aside from some speckles during the opening credits and very light scratches infrequently found throughout. This is an odd selection for Warner's Archive Collection and it looks like more of this genre ('Italo-trash sci-fi'?) may be coming. Colors have some surprising vibrancy but image quality is not the most consistent - wavering between levels of detail and softness. I more suspect this was inherent in the original source. Anyway, it gave me an adequate presentation on my HD TV. More damage might have only made it more appealing... not unlike intentional scratches and editing jumps in Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse Planet Terror.

The mono sound (elevator 'muzak' playing triumphantly at the conclusion), with amusing DUBs, is decent but unremarkable and there are no subtitles and no supplements offered - only one menu screen exists.

In 1965 MGM entered into a partnership with the Italian Mercury Film International company and War of the Planets was one film that evolved from that union. Another was The Wild, Wild Planet also directed by Antonio Margheriti (credited as Anthony Dawson). I'd really like to see that one day. Either you are into this stuff... or not - anyway, I plead 'Warner Archive bring out more of this'!  

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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