Wild, Wild Planet (1966)

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Director Antonio Margheriti’s Italian sci-fi / mystery would be the first chapter of the Gamma One quadtrilogy. I have already seen the second addition, which was rather dull.

A doctor practicing biomedicine under the protection of a private own employer uses his henchman / women to go about kidnapping perfect specimens of the human race for his experiments of engineering the ideal race. But his methods are inhumanely twisted, and Commander Mike Halstead of Gamma One goes out of his way to stop it when his Lt. is taken.

However “Wild, Wild Planet” is better paced (though still a little long winded), little more expansive in an economical sense and wrapped around an intriguingly hysterical, if vague (mad doctor theme) plot than its successor. It’s crazier! Although it couldn’t escape its risible dialogues and kitsch effects, by being bounded by it’s low-rent, but richly etched set designs. It doesn’t hold back on the vibrant colour schemes to mask its one-dimensional layout. There’s an overuse of miniatures, break out the toys and dolls (you’ll see when). Some (well the majority) are poorly conceived it becomes laughable, especially during some continuity shifts. The performances are decent for such a show-in. Tony Russel builds a presence and Massimo Serato elicits his devious character’s obvious intentions. Lisa Gastoni is headstrong, but annoying. Franco Nero and Carlo Giustini do the job. Margheriti really does camp it up, but that’s its charm and there’s a rather bold moment or two that surprised me. The combat sequences though do feel like they’re on a loop and you got to love there blow torches — ah I mean lasers. The howling score is quite a psychedelic arrangement, but holding and ominous sting.