War of the Planets (1966 film)
|War of the Planets|
Italian Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Anthony M. Dawson|
|Music by||A.F. Lavagnino|
|Edited by||Otello Colangeli|
Mercury Film International
Southern Cross Films
War of the Planets (Italian: I Diafanoidi Vengono da Marte, literally "The Diaphanoids Come From Mars") is a 1965 Italian science fiction film, produced by Joseph Fryd and Antonio Margheriti, directed by Antonio Margheriti, that stars Tony Russel and Lisa Gastoni (Russel's name is misspelled in the opening credits as "Tony Russell"). It was released theatrically in Europe in 1966. The film's story and screenplay were written by Ivan Reiner and Renato Moretti.
This is the second film in the Gamma-One series. It follows Wild, Wild Planet (a.k.a. I Criminali della Galassia ("Criminals of the Galaxy")) and precedes War Between the Planets (a.k.a. Il Pianeta Errante ("Planet on the Prowl")) and Snow Devils (a.k.a. La Morte Viene dal Pianeta Aytin ("Death Comes From The Planet Aytin")).
The film begins on New Year's Eve in the middle of the 21st century. After space station Alpha-Two reports impossible "negative radiation" readings and loses contact with United Democracies (U.D.) headquarters, Captain Tice and his crew are sent to investigate. They find the Alpha-Two crew immobilized, some dead, before coming under attack themselves by green glowing energy beings. The creatures immobilize Tice's team and the space station disappears entirely. On space station Gamma-One, Commander Halstead sends ships to investigate the remaining space stations and evacuates all but a skeleton crew. Meanwhile, on Earth, the creatures have possessed Captain Dubois and use him to break into the Institute for Advanced Sciences's nuclear reactor. The possessed Dubois sends the U.D. a message offering "symbiotic partnership" for "the good of the whole".
As the energy beings seize each of the stations and surround the Earth, Dubois relays the demands of the energy beings. Halstead and his crew are taken to Mars where they find the missing stations and the alien base at an automated uranium mine. Exploring the area, they discover the corpses of several Delta-Two crew members who failed to merge with the energy beings because of their "passion and emotion". Dubois reveals that the beings are "Diaphinoids" from the Andromeda Galaxy who need humans as host bodies. Halstead and his team are forced to watch a "hosting" ceremony which results in several more deaths. They rescue a pair of female station crew then start a melee with their captors. Opening a panel in the outer wall, they escape across the surface of Mars to a nearby spacecraft while the air vents from the base, killing all inside. The U.D. fleet arrives to bomb the base but Halstead's ship can't liftoff on its own. Unwilling to let the Diaphinoids escape, Halstead demands the fleet drop its bombs even though it will almost certainly kill them too. Luckily, they are able to use the blast from the U.D. attack to help loft the ship safely into orbit. Back on Earth, Halstead is awarded the U.D. Medal of Honor... and court martialed for dereliction of duty.