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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Terrore nello Spazio" or "Demon Planet" or "Terror en el espacio")

 

directed by Mario Bava
Italy/USA 1965

 

When the two exploratory spaceships Argos and Galliot pick up a distress signal from an unexplored, fog-shrouded planet, they lose contact when landing on the planet. A force overcomes the crew of the Argos and they attempt to kill each other, but they are able to regain their senses. Fearing that something similar has happened to the crew of the Galliot, Argos Captain Markary (Barry Sullivan, LOOPHOLE) and his crew - including Sonya (Norma Bengell, MAFIOSO), Wes (Angel Aranda, SATAN'S BLOOD), Tiona (Evi Marandi, PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES), and Carter (Ivan Rassimov, SUPER BITCH) - disembark in search of the other ship. The crew of the Galliott were not so lucky, and the Argos crew bury some of the dead only to discover that the bodies of the others have disappeared in the interim. When members of their own crew begin to behave strangely and die, their exploration of the planet leads to the discover of the ship and remains of another non-human species. Other presumed dead members of the Galliott reestablish contact with the Argos crew, but they are no longer what they seem to be, and the graves of the buried crew members are now empty. The surviving members of the Argos crew race to repair the ship to escape the "demon planet", but whatever haunts the planet has other plans for them.

Long considered a major influence on the plot of ALIEN, PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES show cinematographer-turned-director Mario Bava (BLACK SUNDAY) achieving maximum atmosphere and chills on a minimal budget thanks to Bava's lighting and composition (the camera itself operated by credited cinematographer Antonio Rinaldi [BARON BLOOD]), the sets of Giorgio Giovannini (THE NAME OF THE ROSE) - although the ships have wooden soundstage floors - miniatures and mattes by Bava and special effects by Carlo Rambaldi (who would later work on the Ridley Scott film). Despite the sci-fi setting and themes, the film is as much a gothic spook show as any of Bava's other works. Several setpieces show him refining and establishing scares that anticipate similar sequences and shots in future works. For instance, the slow motion shots of the astronauts rising from their graves recall Javutich's resurrection in BLACK SUNDAY, which also contains in which a character's undead status is revealed by the accidental exposure of their rotting innards as seen here. A crash zoom into a lurking undead figure revealed by the closing of a cabinet door here would be repeated in the later BARON BLOOD, while the fog-shrouded planet both recalls the misty environs of earlier Bava films as well as KILL BABY KILL's backwards middle European village. The cast also includes Stelio Candeli (NUDE FOR SATAN) and Massimo Righi (BLACK SABBATH).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 27 October 1965 (USA)

Reviews                                                                      More Reviews                                                            DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. I.I.F./01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kino (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Kino (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the DVD Screen Caps!

Box Covers

 

 

 

  

 

 

BONUS CAPTURES:

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

I.I.F./01 Distribution
Region 2 - PAL
Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:27:39 1:23:51 (4% PAL speedup) 1:27:50.265 1:27:44.708
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.89 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.38 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,607,631,781 bytes

Feature: 24,485,523,456 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.85:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,577,416,954 bytes bytes

Feature: 28,354,271,232 bytes bytes

Video Bitrate: 38.91 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

MGM

 

Bitrate:

I.I.F./01 Distribution

 

Bitrate:

 

Kino Lorber Blu-ray

 

Bitrate:

 

Kino Lorber Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1573 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1573 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1593 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1593 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1588 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1588 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -31dB

Subtitles English (CC), French, Spanish, none English, Italian, none None English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 2:16)

DVD Release Date: 28 August 2001
Amaray

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: I.I.F./01 Distribution

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:17)
• Italian Poster
• Photo Gallery
• Posters and Trailers for 'The Cursed Medallion', 'What Have You Done to Solange?', 'and 'Dr. Goldfoo

 

DVD Release Date: 9 November 2005
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: K
ino (2014)

 

1.85:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,607,631,781 bytes

Feature: 24,485,523,456 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
Audio Commentary with Tim Lucas

• Original Trailer (2:17)

• Trailer From Hell with Joe Dante (3:47)

• Trailer From Hell with Josh Olson (2:28)

• Original Story by Renato Pestriniero (3:01)

• Stills Gallery (3:01)
• Alternate Music Score Highlights (20:31)

• Original Italian Opening (2:48)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: October 28th, 2014
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio: K
ino (2022)

 

1.85:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,577,416,954 bytes bytes

Feature: 28,354,271,232 bytes bytes

Video Bitrate: 38.91 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• NEW Audio Commentary by Novelist/Critic Kim Newman and Writer/Journalist Barry Forshaw
• Audio Commentary by Mario Bava Biographer Tim Lucas
• Alternate Music Score Highlights (20:30)
• Original Italian Opening Credits (2:49)
• TRAILERS FROM HELL with Joe Dante (3:49)
• TRAILERS FROM HELL with Josh Olson (2:28)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:15)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 26th, 2022
Standard Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 8

 

Comments

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (July 2022): Kino have re-transferred Mario Bava's "Planet of the Vampires". It is cited as a "Brand New 2K Master" and it is much different from the 2014 1080P. As well as showing more information the frame, the black levels (uniforms) are far more pitch, purple filters significantly gain prominence by comparison and flesh tones warm pleasingly. It may have some blue-leaning but this accentuates colors far better than the old HD presentation. Contrast is also a notch forward advancing detail. A definite improvement.

 

NOTE: We have added 48 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

 

Kino Lorber also use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track in this 2022 edition - specifics are mentioned below. But Kino add optional English subtitles (none where available on their 2014 BD) and the disc is likewise a Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.

 

Extras include the excellent Tim Lucas commentary from 2014 but also add a new one (2022) by novelist/critic Kim Newman and writer/journalist Barry Forshaw. It is very strong with plenty of historic detail - referencing other films of the era, Bava's work ("a magician") in visual effects, Ib Melchior's writing, the score, the director's ability to stay under budget with imaginative sets, the film's influences (Alien) and much more. They provide an enthusiastic and intellectual analysis discussing Forbidden Planet to Dr. Who. to Star Trek (TOS.) They cite it as being Lamberto Bava's first credit. My favorite part?

Barry: "Do you think, Kim that our view of this film is a rather specialized one coming from the kind of people we are and we can find 100 things to admire. A 20-year old viewer may look at this film and say 'it's rinky-dink effects and toy spaceships... I haven't got the patience"
Kim: "Yeah, well, fuck them!"

A solid pairing with the Tim Lucas commentary. Kino repeat the original trailer, two, brief, 'Trailers From Hell' segments with director Joe Dante and another with writer, Josh Olson. We get to hear 20-minutes of highlight of the above-mentioned alternate snyth-score. lastly is the 3-minutes of the original Italian opening credits/title. The menus are new and look sweet and the package has a gorgeous O-card slipcase.

 

This is such a delightful science-fiction / horror effort and one of the few of this 'space opera' genre by Mario Bava. The influential visual design is intoxicating and the plot fantastical. AIP released Planet of the Vampires on a double feature with Die, Monster, Die!. As Tim Lucas states "Planet of the Vampires is commonly regarded as the best SF film ever made in Italy, and among the most convincing depictions of an alien environment ever put on film". Nu'ff said. This is worth the double-dip for the improved image, subtitle inclusion, the older and additional, excellent, new commentary and the fabulous package (and menu) art. Absolutely recommended!  

 

***

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (November 14'): I was so excited to see this in 1080P. You can truly say 'they don't make them like this anymore'. The HD image is improved over the SDs in most visuals areas. Colors are richer and deeper (cooler, more realistic skin tones), contrast is vastly superior. Overall it just looks more film-like with the SDs appearing flatter and softer akin to video. There is some depth and the BD may be marginally cropped in certain spots. You see the improvement is quite pronounced - even in the static screen shots below.

 

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master in dual-mono track at 1573 kbps. This is in English and certain DUBB'ed sequences are more obvious as to the sync'ing than others (Barry Sullivan being the only English-speaking performer, Norma Bengell did her dialogue phonetically). It does exports some pleasing depth in the effects. When Orion had the rights to the AIP titles, they did not have the music rights to this film so the VHS release from HBO had a replacement synth score by Kendall Schmidt (sampled for 20-minutes as part of the Blu-ray supplements). The rights were settled by the time of the MGM DVD release which has the original Gino Marinuzzi Jr. score (as does the Blu-ray). Also, the I.I.F. DVDs of What have they Done to Solange? and Super Bitch featured both English and Italian tracks (the former also had English subtitles) but the the Italian cut of Planet of the Vampires was cut differently than the US version (although MGM's restoration made use of Italian elements) so the I.I.F. DVD features only English subtitles (the same with their disc of The Night Child and le spie vengono dal semifreddo in which the English cuts varied greatly from the Italian cuts). Like Planet, these are all Fulvio Lucisano co-productions that he struck new masters for the 2005 Venice Film Festival and premiered on disc the same year. There are no subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

 

One of the big treats of this Blu-ray package is the audio commentary by Tim Lucas (author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark) who details so much of the production noting differences in the Italian version and specifics of Bava's direction. It's wonderfully educational and entertaining. Aside from that Kino add the original trailer (English) two, brief, segments with director Joe Dante and another with writer Josh Olson. We get text screen of the 'original story' by Renato Pestriniero as well as a Stills Gallery. It is cool to hear 20-minutes of highlight of the above-mentioned alternate snyth-score. lastly is the 3-minutes of the original Italian opening credits/title.

Nice to see Kino-Lorber go the extra mile for this Blu-ray with the valuable commentary and other extras. For those who might be keen - I'll assume all who have read this far. Almost an essential for this genre. What a beauty!

 - Eric Cotenas and Gary Tooze

 

 


Menus
(MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. I.I.F./01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL -  RIGHT)
 

 

Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


 CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) I.I.F./01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) I.I.F./01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) I.I.F./01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) I.I.F./01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) I.I.F./01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) I.I.F./01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) I.I.F./01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) I.I.F./01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) I.I.F./01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

2022 Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-rays

Extras: 2022 Blu-ray

 
Box Covers

 

 

 

  

 

 

BONUS CAPTURES:

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

I.I.F./01 Distribution
Region 2 - PAL
Kino Lorber (2014) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Kino Lorber (2022) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 




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