Planeta Bur adaptations: Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet & Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women
A Soviet Sci-Fi movie called Planeta Bur or Planet of Storms in 1962 was apparently a classic and in the same vein as Godzilla King of the Monsters we got an Americanized version, but not one, two different ones using the same concept by the same studio with Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women. They are independent versions that use the same footage to retell different stories but at the same time. It’s mentioned they’re the same movie but from different perspectives, so they’re both retellings of the same story. But do they both work in continuity? I got tricked into watching these to films for thinking they were dinosaur movies and they have some dino action but they’re more sci-fi films than anything that are actually quite interesting.
The quality of the two films that you can find online is frankly terrible, mixed with the age that these are 60s films that the right holders gave no interest to ever rerelease in a better higher quality format we get stuck with this. And I don’t mean the original Russian movie which is considered a classic and has better quality versions of it. But like Sentai and Power Rangers, we’re stuck with the original spliced version quality even if the original footage has higher quality versions. Overall it’s a mix that it’s easy to stop directing your full attention and you can miss quite a few details on the movies.
The movie takes place in the year 2020 or perhaps 1998 depending on which movie you watch. The moon has been colonized and humans want to explore the universe which because of different events brings them to Venus. They discover beasts like dinosaurs in the planet and signs of civilizations there like a race of Venusians. In the other perspective we see that the civilization does remain, the prehistoric women look more like mermaids and we see they struggle when their god is killed by the invaders. Weird movies with weird themes that somehow make an alright package. Let’s not forget John the robot “my life over yours” is just a great robot deserving of the robot hall of fame.
The differences in the movie are of course in the American footage shot for it, Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet mostly features new footage of two crew members who remain in the ship as to explain why they aren’t in the footage of the planet while Voyage to the planet of Prehistoric Women features footage of the prehistoric women and their take on what’s happening. In a way both movies are fun mostly because of the main source of the footage for the movie while the new added footage is not awful, it’s complementary and while not amazingly deep storytelling they are fine. Neither is especially better than the other version either as they both have their pros and cons.
In a way both movies could be seen as the same events from different perspectives which is a very interesting take, however reality is not as well thought out since they clearly didn’t take too much continuity into account between both films. They grabbed the skeleton and made their own versions and because they share the same skeleton they work as the same events since they share names and obviously events between them. But there are plenty of contradictions from dates to dialog as well so it’s not a perfect match. I’m unsure which version is best to view first, I watched them in chronological order. Dinosaur action isn’t its highest priority but you’ll see some here. I’d actually be interested in having both movies spliced up into a supercut of both films into one big giant one since they do connect in a way.
Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet 1965
In this version you’ll mostly see the explorers take on the journey and what’s happening, some instances of social injsutice and of course a romance that should not happen but does. Features same props as the movie Queen of Blood.
Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women 1968
This version is more mystical in a way with the viewpoint of Venusian women and what’s happening, so we don’t get as much information from the previous story of the explorers. Features footage from another Soviet movie Nebo Zobyot.
The movies do have some cool ideas even if I don’t know what’s going on in some places, the dubbing works since the quality is so low you could hardly tell it’s not the actors saying the words. I can’t say I loved them but they make me curious enough to eventually watch the original film and see how much better it is. Not for everyone but the most inquisitive, you are in for a good enough story if you keep your expectations in check.
Nebo Zovyot movie