Cosmos:War of the Planets
Last week, I wrote that "The Creeping Terror" was the worst film ever made.
I was wrong. At least "The Creeping Terror" has plot progression.
"Cosmos: War of the Planets" is a movie that seems to have been created by stringing together all the bits off the cutting-room floor, and then discarding the actual film. The plot, if it can be called that, seems to be a cautionary tale about putting too much trust in machines. People even use a sort of virtual-reality device to make love, lying on side-by-side beds as images and sensations are projected into their heads. At least, I think that was what they were doing. Woody Allen did it so much better in "Sleeper."
Almost nothing in this film made any sense. And it sounded and looked awful. The film stock was grainy, the acting was dreadful, and the music was an inharmonious pastiche of everything from electronica to folk songs. The astronauts wore space suits that looked like body condoms. The dialog was out of synch with the movements of the actors' mouths, but since the shots were often framed from the nose up, you didn't see the mouths all that much.
It would be a waste of what used to be called "ink" to give a plot synopsis; suffice it to say that this has to be the stupidest crew in the history of cinematic spacefaring. Nobody seems to know anything about anything, including the supercomputer they put so much faith in--whenever "Wiz" is asked for an answer, it says it doesn't have enough information, or power, or both, and gives some lame probability factor instead. He comes off sounding like HAL 9000's slacker brother, the one who did way too much hash in junior college.
The captain is a man who is supposed to have trouble with authority, but not a single one of the orders he gives to his crew gets obeyed. Early in the film, one guy dons his vacuum-tube-like space helmet and goes out to make some repairs to the ship, and ignores the captain's furious order to return; when he somehow gets squirted with battery acid and starts screaming in pain, the captain then calmly tells him he has three minutes to get back to the airlock before his suit ruptures from the acid. After two minutes of listening to him scream and groan and plead for help, you kinda hope the guy will just get on with it and die, because the tension they're hoping to build regarding his rescue is so drawn out and emotionless. But he gets rescued with a few seconds to spare. Oh. Yay.
About halfway into the film, the spaceship is sent to check out the source of some strange radio transmissions, and winds up engaging two alien spacecraft in a two-shot laser battle, which damages the Earth ship and sends it spiralling out of control.
The biggest budget item must have been the ornately carved Spacehenge gates they encounter after crash-landing on a heretofore unknown planet that just happened to be skulking around our solar system. The astronauts discover the source of the radio transmissions, which are broadcasting some kind of message which sounds like "Toccata and Fuge in D minor". The gateway magically transports several of the crew members to some cave where they are first chased around by what looks like a wind-up tintoy robot, and then encounter a gaggle of nearly naked green bald men with pointy ears. The bald men tell them--via telepathy--that they used to be of a race that trusted too much in machines, until the machines took over, and now they're facing extinction. The lack of women might also have something to do with this, I dunno. The astronauts vow to help them, but say that they need to get their weapons from the ship, and the green dudes demand to keep one of the females from the expedition as a guarantee the others will return.
They do come back, and by this time it seems that the girl has engaged in some form of *ehem* diplomacy with the chief of the Vulcan wanna-be's. At least they keep shooting each other meaningful glances. I kept shooting meaningful glances at my watch. We were forty minutes into a ninety minute picture before anything remotely related to the film's title had happened.
That supercomputer on the space ship tells them that there is a 70% probability that the robot entity on the planet can be destroyed by pushing its red button. Two of