“And now the only thing that is left of them is their shadows.”
- Sumiko (Yoko Tani)
Ridiculously fun, albeit in an hokey kinda way, 'First Spaceship on Venus' is a German DEFA studio sci-fi saga (apparently they've done several respected sci-fi's) thats based on a novel by 'Solaris' writer Stanislaw Lem. The creme de la creme of international science are assembled to study an alien object that crashed to Earth from Venus. Believing they've found a cosmic document, they send a manned mission to explore the origins of the Venusian race that created it.
Looking back on 'First Spaceship on Venus' nowadays its hard to imagine its from the same century as 2001 & Planet of the Apes, let alone the same decade. It bares more of a resemblance to 30's Buster Crab Flash Gordon styled sci-fi serials. Even though the shell of Lem's story remains, the plots relatively threadbare (the sensationalized English Dub I viewed probably didn't help matters). While the actings more marionette feeling than a Gerry Anderson show. That said I did enjoy it, aesthetically its colourful and pretty darn funky, with lava lamp looking space helmets and a cool starship bridge (that wouldn't have looked out of place in the USS Enterprise), likewise the sets especially those underground Venus canals are pretty thrilling. Its no masterpiece but I'd recommend it for a wet afternoon to remind yourself how fun old sci-fi pictures were.
[Personal Reasons For Remembering]
In the grand hippie scheme of things the notion of a global Earth space project is pretty f@*cking awesome, if we can come together to kick a ball around a pitch imagine what our collective sciences could do.The painfully slow buildup and that damned human beating computerized chess segment went on far too long. It needed more planet exploration, and less astronaut flag waving fanfare.
Originally taken from Letterboxd