Battle of the worlds


Director: Antonio Margheriti

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The horrible & horribly dubbed 1961 space opera Battle of the Worlds (Guerre Planetairie) aka Planet of the Lifeless Men (Il Pianeta degli uomini spenti, 1961) manages not to be saved even by the presence of Claude Rains in his old age mugging as hard as he can as an eccentric scientist.

Battle of the worldsThere's a military base on Mars. There are some spiffy space ships propelled with Independence Day sparklers, well enough done they got recycled into later space adventure movies. There's a planet called the Outsider entering the solar system full tilt on a tragectory that will cause it to smash into the earth.

When the planet is near & destruction of the earth certain, suddenly & impossibly the planet changes course & puts itself in orbit.

There follows a few minimalist battles with flying saucers from the Outsider & spaceships from Earth or the Mars base. One of the best lines during these battles is when an astronaut announces, "We have opened our depression chamber!" Perhaps everyone got depressed about being in such a dumb film.

One saucer crashes on earth & is investigated by the military, but there are no aliens in it & it's not particularly interesting. You'd think they could've afforded at least a department store dummy painted green & fobbed off as a dead alien, but there's nothing. Apparently there is no life left on the Outsider & it is automated systems that have attacked the Earth.

The military wants to destroy the Outsider planet at once, but loonytunes Professor Benson (Rains) wants to go there & gather up alien technology. He hops the next spaceship to the Outsider, looks at the dangly-hoses expressionist sets with awe in his buggy eyes, seems to have some kind of epiphany not shared with the audience, & refuses to leave when the planet is destroyed, the end.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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