Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962) – By Duane L. Martin

 

When a crew is sent into space to research Uranus (pfffft… *giggle*), they find more than they bargained for. The planet, which had previously been thought to be a frozen wasteland, turned out to be a virtual paradise created from the memories of the astronauts by an alien brain creature that read their thoughts to create not only a habitable environment for them, but also some other accessories as well…like girls from their past. The brain has its own motives however. It plans to use the astronauts to take over the Earth.

Ok, I love classic b-movies. I do. I really, really do, but this one was just ridiculous. I don’t mean silly, I mean the story itself was actually ridiculous.

First, as they’re getting ready to land on the planet, the alien brain takes over their minds for a bit and basically talks smack about humans, and then for some reason inexplicably releases them, allows them to land, and then creates an expansive, habitable environment for them from their memories, and inhabits it with some beautiful women who are also created from their memories. The women at certain times seem to do the bidding of the brain, while at other times they seem to want to be helpful to the astronauts, which I found to be absolutely baffling.

Then there’s the fact that these seasoned astronauts all seemed like nothing more than a bunch of daft, over-sexed teenagers whenever they talk about girls or were in the presence of girls. It’s like every bit of sense and intelligence they possessed flew completely out the window. That works in a comedy like Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine with Frankie Avalon, but in what’s supposed to be a serious sci-fi movie, it just doesn’t work at all.

This alien brain that was controlling everything lived in some sort of an underground cave complex where the temperature was warmer than the -200 degrees it was on the surface outside of the habitable environment it created for the astronauts. This area was actually the coolest thing in the movie. Whoever designed and made the set for it did a great job, and there was even a stop motion cyclops dinosaur kind of a monster down there to threaten our intrepid crew. While the cave and the monster looked quite cool, the stop motion was rather sketchy and the set design of one scene does not a movie make. The story has to make at least some sense, and there has to be at least some sense of realism with the characters, their behavior and what they go through in order to save themselves. This film had none of that. What it did have however was its own theme song, which still has me shaking my head in wonder.

For special features, this new release from Kino Lorber includes audio commentary from film historian Tim Lucas and a trailer gallery. The quality of the restoration is magnificent, as is the sound, but once again we have yet another release without subtitles.

As much as it pains me to do so, I’ll have to refrain from giving this one a recommendation. While it had great potential from a plot standpoint, the illogic of it all was just mind numbing. I wanted to like this film, I really did, but I just can’t recommend it. There are far better sci-fi b-movies out there that are way more entertaining than this one for you to spend your money on. It’s worth seeing once, or maybe twice if you haven’t seen it in a long time, but that’s about it.

If you’d like to find out more about this release, you can check out its page on the Kino Lorber website here: https://www.kinolorber.com/film/journeytotheseventhplanet