Aliens, Science Fiction

Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962)

Comments Off on Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962) 18 August 2016


Studio: Kino 

Theatrical Release: March 10, 1962

Blu Ray Release: April 5, 2016

Director: Sidney W. Pink

Not Rated

Review by James Klein

No stranger to low budget film making, Sidney W. Pink’s Ed Wood-esque science fiction film is definitely not for everyone. The movie is edited poorly with scenes miss-mashed together, the acting wooden and dubbed (most of the actors are from Denmark) and the direction quite dull. However, I found the film to at least be somewhat entertaining on a mindless level. Those viewers who take films too serious just simply won’t get Journey to the Seventh Planet. I will say this film is not for film snobs.

John Agar (Sands of Iwo Jima and Revenge of the Creature) stars as Captain Don Graham, part of a five man space exploration team whose mission is to explore the planet Uranus. While in Uranus’s orbit, the entire ship is frozen by a strange identity that controls the minds of those who come in to contact with. Frozen for what feels like minutes, the team eventually land on Uranus where they are acquainted by beautiful women from their past or from their dreams. But do these women actually exist?

As the team slowly find out that this identity is basically mind-fucking them, they are met by various stop motion creatures such as a brain with one eye who seems to be controlling the minds of the crew. This is where the film is at its best, the stop motion is pretty great and according to imdb, an uncredited Bert I. Gordon (Empire of the Ants) worked on some of the visual effects for this film. If only the film had more action, this would have easily been a much higher recommendation. Instead, the film feels like one of the duller episodes of Star Trek.

I can look past the films faults such as direction, acting, etc. as I find low budget science fiction films charming in a way but for just running at 77 minutes, the movie comes to a crawl at times and I found myself starting to doze or get antsy. What I did find amusing is that certain aspects of Planet of the Vampires, Galaxy of Terror, and even Ghostbusters are sprinkled all over this film, making me wonder if Journey to the Seventh Planet has a much larger cult audience than I had believed.

Kino’s blu ray looks great although the film does suffer from some noticeable print damage, notably the opening shots and its use of stock footage. The colors are bright, skin tones look natural; a big upgrade from the old MGM DVD from years past. The film does contain a very detailed and interesting commentary by film historian Tim Lucas from Video Watchdog. While at times Mr. Lucas sounds like he’s reading from notes, the amount of history and behind the scenes information he has on this film is quite amazing. Also, the blu ray has not only the theatrical trailer but other Kino released science fiction trailers, one of them Invisible Invaders which was paired up with Journey on the old MGM Midnight Movies DVD.

Move Rating: ★★½☆☆

Blu Ray Rating: ★★★½☆

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