Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gigantes Planetarios (1965)

This is a rare big budget (relatively speaking) space opera from Mexico. The reason films of this sort are rare is that they require a large budget to even remotely work and the film industry really couldn't risk the amount of money that would require a film of this sort to work. Indeed once the sets were built and this film was done the sets were used for other productions before they were taken down (One was Planet of the Women Invaders).

This film has been compared to a big screen but poor man's version of Star Trek and in a weird way, I kind of have to agree... at least that is the impression I get having seen the film in Spanish with out benefit of English subtitles.

The plot of the film has a ship being sent from earth to another planet when it's threatened with destruction. The idea seems to be to go to the planet threatening to destroy earth and convince them not to blow up our home. When the ship arrives they find good guys and bad guys (mostly the evil rulers). Will the earthlings be able to save the earth?

The interest of this film is in watching a space opera from somewhere other than Hollywood or Europe. It's got all of the things we'd expect, including aliens with antennas but as nice as the sets and costumes are they never really pull it together.

For me watching the film was a mixed blessing. Yes I was enjoying the space opera, but on the other hand not a great deal exciting happens, Its the earth people arrive, get tossed in prison and have the get rescued. Ultimately the film really didn't have to be set in space, it could have been set in different countries. the film also is way too talky (don't worry if you don't speak Spanish you can follow it)

Why am I mentioning the film if I'm ambivalent about it? Because it's atypical of what we think of when we think of Mexican cinema. Besides the film isn't bad, just rather bland.

Worth a look for those who like all forms of science fiction.

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