Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


The very odd Florence Marley as a sinister queen

QUEEN OF BLOOD (aka Planet of Blood/1966 ) Writer/director: Curtis Harrington.

 Using footage from a foreign space epic or two for FX shots, Curtis Harrington [What's the Matter with Helen?] fashioned this quaint horror-sci-fi tale using some American actors and Czech-born Florence Marley. Astronauts Alan Brenner (John Saxon), Laura James (Judi Meredith) and Paul  Grant (Dennis Hopper), among others, fly to pick up an alien visitor who has landed on the wrong moon. The visitor is a silent, spooky, weird alien queen [perfectly cast Marley] with green skin, an acorn hairdo, and a certain strict diet that Dracula could empathize with. Before long the crew find themselves fighting off her unwelcome advances. Queen of Blood is disjointed, but eventually it becomes modestly entertaining. Basil Rathbone plays a doctor who is more fascinated by Marley's appetite than appalled. The actors do the best they can, considering what they have to work with. Meredith was the princess in Jack the Giant Killer. Now and then you'll hear some of Ronald Stein's music from Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.

Verdict: Okay, but no It, the Terror from Beyond Space. **1/2.

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