Planeta Bur

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Planeta Bur
Cover of the Lenfilm DVD Release
Directed by Pavel Klushantsev[1]
Produced by L. Presnyakova
Vladimir Yemelyanov
Written by Aleksandr Kazantsev
Pavel Klushantsev
Starring Vladimir Yemelyanov
Georgiy Zhzhonov
Gennadi Vernov
Yuri Sarantsev
Georgi Teich
Kyunna Ignatova
Music by Johann Admoni
Aleksandr Chernov
Cinematography Arkadi Klimov
Edited by Volt Suslov
Release date
Running time
72 min
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

Planeta Bur (Russian: Планета Бурь) is a 1962 Sovcolor Soviet science-fiction film scripted by Alexander Kazantsev from his novel, and co-scripted and directed by Pavel Klushantsev.[1]

In English, the film is often informally referred to as Planet of the Storms, Planet of Storms, Planet of Tempests, Planeta Burg, and Storm Planet, though it was never actually released in the USA in its original form until the 1990s, via home video. It is better known to American audiences via two American television movies which featured special effects and some primary footage from it: Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women.


Three Soviet spaceships, Sirius, Vega, and Capella, are on their way to the planet Venus. The Capella is struck by a meteorite and destroyed. The remaining two ships, Sirius and Vega, continue on, despite the fact that the planned mission required three ships. A replacement spaceship, the Arcturus, will be sent from Earth, but will not arrive for two months.

The cosmonauts aboard Sirius and Vega decide that some sort of landing and exploration is better than waiting. Ivan and Allan go down from Vega in the glider, leaving Masha in orbit. All contact is lost after they land in a swamp. The Sirius lands nearby and the three-man crew set out in their hovercar to find them.

During their travels they hear an eerie woman's song in the distance and encounter prehistoric beasts both benign and threatening. Ivan and Allan, meanwhile, must fight off some man-sized T. rex-like beasts as they head to meet the men of Sirius. The two fall ill with a fever. Their robot, John, stands watch.

The Sirius crew must submerge their hovercar to escape a pterosaur. In doing so, they discover what might have been an ancient city. Alyosha finds a strange triangular rock and a statue of a pterosaur with rubies for eyes.

Once on dry land, the Sirius crew contact the robot John and tell him to administer an anti-fever drug. Ivan and Allan recover just as a volcano sends down rivers of lava. They order John to carry them across, but he malfunctions halfway there. The hovercar shows up just in time to rescue them while John is lost to the lava.

All five return to Sirius, but worry that Masha had landed the Vega somewhere, stranding them all. An earthquake and flood from rain threaten to strand the Sirius, so they must take off immediately. Alyosha discovers that his odd triangular rock is really a sculpture of a woman's face, proving that there might still be intelligent life on Venus. They blast off and find that Masha remained in orbit and together they head home.



Production Team[edit]


American adaptations[edit]

In 1965 Curtis Harrington added several American-made scenes (starring Basil Rathbone and Faith Domergue) and released the dubbed result under the name Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. Since all credits were removed, Soviet actors were "renamed" with non-Russian names (Gennadi Vernov as Robert Chantal, Georgiy Zhzhonov as Kurt Boden) or left completely uncredited.[1]

In 1968 Peter Bogdanovich (under the name Derek Thomas) added several different new scenes involving Mamie Van Doren and several other attractive women in shell brassieres, and released the film as Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women; the "new" scenes also included footage from another Russian SF film, Mikhail Karyukov's Nebo Zovyot (which was itself edited in a similar way by the young Francis Ford Coppola into Battle Beyond the Sun). This version is essentially the first film retold, with the parallel viewpoint of the telepathic women whose god (a pterosaur) is killed by the men from Earth. There is an ironic twist at the end when the women find a new god.


In a retrospective on Soviet science fiction film, British director Alex Cox remarked that "in its final minutes, Planet of Storms takes an extraordinary turn. ... I shall not spoil the secret, but it's worth the wait."[2]


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