First Spaceship on Venus (DVD) ~ Yoko Tani (actor) Cover Art

First Spaceship on Venus (DVD)

Yoko Tani (actor), Aldrick Lukes (actor) and Kurt Maetzig (director)



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Review

In a utopian future of universal peace and brotherhood--1985 to be specific--a mysterious artifact found in Siberia is discovered to be a message from Venus. While the recording is studied, an international team of scientists is rocketed off to make contact with the mysterious planet. It takes the film some time to get going (worldwide harmony makes for a beautiful future but pallid drama when everyone gets along so nicely), but things begin to cook once they land on the misty wasteland of Venus. Swarms of metal bugs hop from glassy mutant trees and bubbling black mud oozes after our astronaut heroes, but no Venusians can be found amidst the geodesic architecture and buzzing power plants. What they discover instead is a terrifying conspiracy wrapped in an anti-war parable. Based on a novel by Polish science fiction legend Stanislaw Lem (whose work also inspired Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris), this German science fiction adventure is a visual treat, from the sleek, grand, silver spaceship and a funky purple Venus landscape of alien ruins and crystalline bubbles. Decently (if prosaically) dubbed and trimmed down to a brisk 78 minutes, it's an entertaining triumph of psychedelic art direction and desolate alien weirdness presented in all its brightly colored, widescreen glory. --Sean Axmaker


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