Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968)

Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968)

“No man living today can predict exactly what the future holds.”

A race of sexy blonde Venutians, led by Moana (Mamie Van Doren), are threatened by the arrival of a small crew of astronauts on their planet.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Astronauts
  • Mamie Van Doren Films
  • Peter Bogdanovich Films
  • Science Fiction
  • Space Exploration

This bizarre early entry in Peter Bogdanovich’s directorial career was produced by Roger Corman as a way to gain additional mileage from two Soviet space exploration films he had purchased and already used to make Battle Beyond the Sun (1963) and Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965). The resulting film is — perhaps inevitably — a jarring mish-mosh of scenes, with most of the film’s running time spent following a crew of dubbed Soviet astronauts and their robot as they explore Venus, and additional scenes showing a bevy of telepathic blonde Venutians (wearing skin-tight pants and seashell bras) worshiping their god:

… and reacting with silent horror to the invasion of their planet. The two cohorts, naturally, never actually meet. It’s all frightfully sub-par — but interestingly enough, the storyline moves along at a quick enough pace that you’ll likely never be bored, exactly. You can’t help wondering what the astronauts are really saying (how closely is writer Henry Ney sticking to the original script?), and thinking about whether he was inspired at all by Woody Allen’s spoof What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (1966).

My favorite exchange:

Astronaut #1: It almost sounds like a girl…
Astronaut #2: Or a monster!

Same difference, naturally.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Moments of campy appeal

Must See?
No; feel free to skip this one. Listed as a Camp Classic in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968)

  1. Not a must.

    True, it’s not…boring…exactly. But it’s not…interesting…exactly, either.

    I suppose as well that “the storyline moves along at a quick enough pace” but the *telling* of the story is s-l-o-w. 80 minutes long seems a lot longer.

    I wouldn’t put this in camp classic territory but I can see where some might. Take, for example, the number of times some guy will say something (allegedly) funny and he actually puts a “he-he-he” at the end of it. The most genuinely amusing section comes at the end, when the women come to ‘realize’ that they’ve been worshipping a false god…and then choose another one.

    True, as well, it’s not quite as bad as I suspected/expected. It’s vaguely watchable, mainly to observe how someone like Bogdanovich does try to make something vaguely resembling a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. (The nicest touch is probably the low-flying shuttle.) But it’s not really all that good. It sure ain’t no ‘Cat Women of the Moon’!

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