Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women is set in the future year 1998(!) where space travel is no longer a barrier, a spaceship blasts off from Earth with two astronauts Captain Alfred Kern (Georgi Tejkh) & Howard Sherman (Yuri Sarantsev) heading for the distant planet of Venus. The spaceship crash lands on Venus & is damaged beyond repair, together with a large robot named John(!) the two astronauts explore the surface of Venus & find rough terrain, hostile monsters & adverse whether conditions. Back on Earth with no radio contact mission control prepare a rescue mission, another spaceship with three astronauts Commander William 'Billy' Lockhart (Vladimir Yemelyanov), Andrea Freneau (Gennadi Vernov) & Hans Walters (Georgi Zhzhyonov) leaves Earth & heads for Venus. Once their they also encounter monsters, hostile plants & erupting Volcanoes in their bid to find & save their stranded astronaut friends...
This cheaply produced cut & paste job from Roger Corman was directed & narrated by Peter Bogdanovich who made this only a couple of years prior to his Oscar winning drama The Last Picture Show (1971), Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women was fourth film produced by Roger Corman that he made on the cheap by using special effects footage from various Russian sci-fi films which started with the Francis Ford Coppola flick Battle Beyond the Sun (1963), then came Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965) before using effects shots in Queen of Blood (1966) & finally making this. This is an odd film to watch & rate, Bogdanovich probably only shot twenty odd minutes of new footage with the rest of the film entirely made up from the Russian sci-fi film footage. The 'Preshistoric Women' of the title never meet the astronauts (since they were filmed years apart, obviously) & it's hard to take them seriously anyway. They speak to each other using telepathy but otherwise just sunbathe on rock all the time wearing Sea Shell bras! The Russian footage is much, much better & is what ultimately saves Voyage to the Planet of Preshistoric Women from being a total flop. Much of the film is narrated & some of the Russian footage is used more than once but at just under 80 odd minutes long at least it's fairly short & there's enough going on to sustain ones interest.
The original Russian films that Corman brought all have far superior production values to the Bogdanovich footage & American sci-fi in general at that period in time. The films used are called Nebo Zovyoy AKA The Heavens Call (1962) & Planeta Bur AKA Storm Planet (1962) while the narrated prologue footage from Coppola's film Battle Beyond the Sun was also used here, also as a prologue funnily enough. The Russian footage is quite good actually with better than usual model effects, a pretty good planet surface including an erupting volcano & some some decent props & costumes. The big robot John is just cool, I want one & what can I say about the flying futuristic car? Perpare to be amazed... No-one dies & it's not very scary or gory or violent although there is one scene in which a woman bites the head off a fish, it's more of a sci-fi adventure than sci-fi horror despite the monsters to be honest.
The acting is poor in the newly shot American insert footage while all the Russian scenes were obviously dubbed & it's left to Bogdanovich the narrator to try & make a cohesive story out of it with his monologues.
Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women is a strange mix of good Russian sci-fi film footage & cheap awful Roger Corman footage neither of which compliment each other particularly well. At least has plenty of robots, monsters, futuristic spaceships & scantily clad Venusian girls to keep one entertained. A bit of a patchwork mess but there's just about enough cheap sci-fi thrills here to keep one watching.
Review by Paul Andrews from the Internet Movie Database.