I was attracted to Planet of the Vampires because it was a Mario Bava film. Bava was an under-recognized auteur who heavily influenced the genres he worked in. He essentially invented one of my favorite cinema genres, the giallo and had a style and lighting sense all his own. Often times budget overshadowed his work, but you can easily see that his talent was immense.
Plant of the Vampires (Italian: Terrore nello spazio) was his take on science fiction. Very quickly into the movie and especially seeing the next image convinced me that Alien was heavily influenced by PotV.
Apparently others have the same idea and there is a good deal of chatter about it. Seeing the next bit of concept art from Alien only reinforces this thought.
Giant skeleton, unknown force killing the crew, you can kind of see where this is going. I don’t think Ridley ripped off PotV by any means, Alien is an original and impressive work even with this connection. Ridley Scott has publicly denied this influence and with tongue firmly in cheek I expect he designed the uniforms of Prometheus in the same style that Bava did in 1965.
Planet of the Vampires suits below.
Blue/purple suits, orange piping…fairly obvious in my opinion. None of this is new though, it has been discussed many times and I have brought it up before.
The reason it is coming up again is that in my quest to watch truly terrible movies I put on Forbidden World (1982) which you can catch on Netflix. Alien ripoffs tend to be fun, but this is a bit difficult to watch, mainly because it gets a bit boring. Roger Corman produced it too, which for me usually means that it is going to be a snoozer.
Here is the REALLY obvious Alien ripoff poster with the alternate title of Mutant:
I especially like the giant grin of the creature, it makes the movie extra special.
Forbidden World opens with an android (looking a lot like a Star Wars Stormtrooper) who walks over to someone in stasis, bathed in orange light. We then see that person’s dreams which in this case flash through the events of the movie we are about to watch. Sound familiar at all? In Prometheus we see David the android walk over to his charges in stasis bathed in yellow light where he watches their dreams.
Is it possible that Ridley Scott was so pissed off at being accused of stealing from other films that in Prometheus he purposely stole from films that were ripping of Alien in some kind of weird cyclical meta reference? I now need to rewatch Prometheus to see if I can pick up any other stealing from movies that stole from Scott. (Saying that makes my head hurt a little) If I think hard enough the crapfest Creature has some scenes that are reminiscent of the surgery tube scene, but I will need to rewatch to verify.
Creature is notable for having kind of a cool poster and an entire scene where Klaus Kinski delivers his lines sitting in a corner and eating a giant sloppy sandwich. He speaks though big mouthfuls of luncheon meat and lettuce, not the man’s finest hour.
I’m taking another look at Prometheus soon in a new light. It will either prove that I am right or this is some kind of paranoid nerd pedantry.