Cosmos: War of the Planets

December 30, 2013 at 3:59 am (3 Heads, Cosmos: War of the Planets) (, , , , , )

Cosmos: War of the Planets – 1977 – Italy

A spaceship crashes on a desolate planet. On the planet are alien ruins, a race of psychics, and a killer robot. The robot is the manifestation of a malevolent AI bent on conquest. The ship’s crew destroys the AI, somehow causing the planet to explode. Back aboard the ship, a man inexplicably transforms into a rabid mutant. Then, in the requisite ominous ending, the AI inhabits the ship’s computer.

Cosmos: War of the Planets’ plot is even more scatterbrained than that summary reveals. The rambling script is more like a collection of vignettes, inspired thematically by Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Subplots detail perilous space travel, bureaucratic machinations, ancient alien civilizations, manipulative AIs, and virtual reality sex. Unfortunately, it is all rather lifeless. Boring characters, sets, and costumes combine with excessive technobabble and bewildering continuity. The result is dreary and incoherent. It is telling that Cosmos was shot in 1977 but looks like 1967.

Blame Italy’s prolific schlock cinema industry. Cosmos borrows heavily from Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires (1965), another Italian film. At least Cosmos’ soundtrack is interesting, blending symphonic music, electronic noises, and chanted vocals. Of course that could never redeem this mess.

Rating: 3/10 Shrunken Heads. If I did not love science fiction, Cosmos would be rated even lower.

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