ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 11/07/09
Today we have a request. Our own Neorandomizer asked us to do “Journey to the Seventh Planet,” a Danish film that he saw a lot as a kid. I can’t say definitively if I saw this movie or not as a kid - portions of it seem familiar, but others don’t. My impression is that this is a new one to me, but I might just have blocked it out…
PLAY BY PLAY
It is the distant future! The year 2001! AD! The world is now a happy, peaceful, egalitarian wonder world governed entirely by the UN, not that it matters since this has absolutely no relevance in the plot, despite the fact that they spend a lot of time talking about it in the opening narration. The UN Space Force has explored the solar system as far as Saturn, and found no life.
A mysterious radio signal has been detected coming from….your anus! (Ok, I promise it’s the only time I’m going to do that) A space ship is hurriedly dispatched with a multinational-but-entirely-Caucasian crew. Their mission? To probe your anus! (Ok, I was lying before, but I’m done now, really.) Did I mention that they’re all men? This is a movie about a bunch of men probing your anus? (Ok, I was lying the first time, and the second time, but I swear I’m done now.) A bunch of strange European men, many of them probably democrats, probing…no, no, I’m done.
Anyway, that kind of thing is exactly why they called this movie “Journey to the Seventh Planet” for it’s American release, rather than “Journey to…” well, you know. They didn’t want the title to sound like a porn film, or one of those creepy health films from the middle of the last century (“You and your rectum: Gateway to defecational health!”)
In any event, the UN has dispatched a crew of entirely-interchangeable dudes to probe the planet they insist on pronouncing as ewe-RAH-nus in the movie. We’ve got Eric, the captain, who can’t be told apart from Svend, who can’t be told apart from Graham. Just to indicate where this glacier of whiteness begins and ends, we’re given a bit of ethnic color in the form of Barry O’Sullivan - an Irishman - and Eric - a German - these guys are still pretty damn white, but I guess they’re as close as this film can come to exoticism. Eric is a doofus, by the way. Keep that in mind, it’ll turn up again later on. This is the doofus’ first trip in to space, by the way.
While orbiting the seventh planet, they’re suddenly mind-blitzed by a flanged voice and some cheap proto-psychadelic affects (Lights optically processed on overexposed film). They’re paralyzed for a bit while Flangey McVoice talks about possessing them, bending them to his will, and in essence being a new font of satanic evil in this brave new world of UN Utopianism. It’s unclear why he’s telling them all this, or even who they’re talking to, because no one remembers it afterwards, and he has to repeat himself a lot. Anyway, the guys all wake up, and quickly realize that your anus has somehow caused them to black out, but despite that they decide to go ahead on in to your anus, (Yeah, yeah, I know. I promise nothing.) and land.
Uranus is, as everyone knows, composed entirely of papier-mâché and dry ice, but no sooner has their ship landed than the entire fake landscape is transformed in to an equally fake landscape composed of HO-scale trees and things. The astronauts rightfully goggle at this, and while deciding what to do, Flangey Voice opens the door on their ship by remote control. Since this didn’t kill them, they decide to go outside.
It’s lovely, just like Denmark. Eric, the German Doofus, remembers it as being exactly a place he used to go back when he was a young boy or something. He accurately describes things they haven’t seen yet from his memory, which doesn’t freak anyone out as much as you’d think it should. They quickly discover that everything is fake - no roots on the plants, or what have you. Eventually, they come to a hedge that surrounds the forest, and when they try to get through, they find something like a wall that’s tingly and yielding. Really. They conclude that this is a force field, and wonder what’s on the other side of it. “Your anus is on the other