Queen of Blood
|Queen of Blood|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Curtis Harrington|
|Produced by||George Edwards
Samuel Z. Arkoff
|Screenplay by||Curtis Harrington|
|Based on||the story "Mechte navstrechu"
by Mikhail Karzhukov
|Music by||Leonard Moran|
|Editing by||Leo H. Shreve|
|Studio||Cinema West Productions|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|Release dates||March 1966|
|Running time||81 minutes|
|Box office||$177,302,19 (as at 1 Oct 1966)|
Queen of Blood is a 1966 horror/science fiction film released by American International Pictures. The director, Curtis Harrington, crafted this B-movie with footage from the Soviet films Mechte Navstrechu and Nebo Zovyot. It was released as part of a double bill with the AIP movie Blood Bath. The film features John Saxon, Basil Rathbone, Judi Meredith and Dennis Hopper.
After aliens contact Earth via radio to inform humans of an impending visit, their ambassador spaceship crashes on Mars. Astronaut rescuers recover only one green-skinned survivor - a female with insatiably vampire-like appetites.
- John Saxon as Allan Brenner
- Basil Rathbone as Dr. Farraday
- Judi Meredith as Laura James
- Dennis Hopper as Paul Grant
- Florence Marly as Alien Queen
- Robert Boon as Anders Brockman
- Don Eitner as Tony Barrata
- Forrest J Ackerman as Farraday's aide
Harrington had made his name with the feature Night Tide which impressed Roger Corman enough to offer him Queen of Blood. "Of course I would like to do a more individual film than Queen of Blood", said Harrington at the time, "but I can't get the financing. However the film is entertaining and I feel I was able to say something within the context of the genre." The film was made using special effects from the Soviet movie A Dream Come True but director Harrington estimated 90% of the movie was his.
Czech actor Florence Marly was a personal friend of Curtis Harrington. The director later said he had to fight to let Roger Corman use her " because she was an older woman. I'm sure he had some bimbo in mind, you know? So I fought for Marley because I felt she had the required exotic quality that would work in the role." Harrington said Dennis Hopper "was like a part of my little team by then" so he agreed to also appear.
Basil Rathbone was paid $1,500 to act for a day and a half on this film, and $1,500 for half a day on Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965), which was another film based on Russian footage. Rathbone ended up working overtime and missed a meal. The Screen Actors Guild demanded overtime pay plus a fine for the meal violation but producer George Edwards produced footage showing that the delay was because Rathbone did not know his lines and insisted on skipping lunch.
The budget to this and Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet came to $33,052
The film was released in the United States on March 1966. Even before it was released the quality of the movie was sufficient for Universal to hire Harrington and producer George Edwards to make Games.
Film critic Dennis Schwartz gave the film a mixed review, and wrote, "Since it was a cut-up and cobbled together rush job, it turns out better than expected; even though it drags its feet through most of the voyage, it still manages to deliver some chills come climax time."
Critic Richard Scheib liked the film's atmospherics and wrote, "Curtis Harrington constantly aims for an atmosphere of otherworldly weirdness. He is considerably aided by the spookily unearthly presence of the green-skinned Florence Marly. There is a real jolt to the scene where Marly turns into the camera from drinking from Dennis Hopper with her eyes glowing, and an incredibly eerie scene where she advances on Robert Boon, appearing and suddenly vanishing in a darkened corridor. Vilis Lapenieks’s gaudy Technicolor photography exploits Marly’s green skin makeup job for all it can."
Director Curtis Harrington felt Ridley Scott's original Alien (1979) must have got some inspiration from Queen of Blood, saying "Ridley's film is like a greatly enhanced, expensive and elaborate version of Queen of Blood.
- Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p240-241
- Queen of Blood at the Internet Movie Database
- Diamond in Rough of Film Life Thomas, Kevin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 31 Jan 1966: c15.
- Curtis Harrington: Living in Dangerous Houses By Harvey F. Chartrand, DVD Drive In accessed 3 September 2013
- "Retrospective in Terror: An Interview with Curtis Harrington - April 2005". The Terror Trap.
- Fred Olen Ray, The New Poverty Row: Independent Filmmakers as Distributors, McFarland, 1991, p 54
- Games' Men Hold Good Hand Thomas, Kevin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 19 Nov 1966: 22.
- Schwartz, Dennis. "Ozus' World Movie Reviews", film review, March 26, 2007.
- Scheib, Richard. The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review, review, December 2, 2009.
- Queen of Blood at MGM Home Entertainment
- Queen of Blood at the Internet Movie Database
- Queen of Blood at allmovie
- Queen of Blood trailer at YouTube
- Queen of Blood film at YouTube