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The Dark Planet

Dark Planet, The (1989) Movie Poster
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USA  •    •  93m  •    •  Directed by: Richard Corben, Christopher Wheate.  •  Starring: Bruce Jones, Karen Gilbertson, Richard Corben, Stan Dresser, Herb Arnold, Simon Revelstroke, Saundra Marks.  •  Music by: Philip DeWalt.
    An ape-like alien soldier roams a hostile world where he shoots claymation monsters and infiltrates a creepy tower where weird priests hold blood-sacrifices. Somehow, a skull-like artifact gets teleported to earth, where a hit man finds it and has to duke it out with an alien ninja.

Review:

Image from: Dark Planet, The (1989)
Image from: Dark Planet, The (1989)
Image from: Dark Planet, The (1989)
Image from: Dark Planet, The (1989)
The best way I can describe Corben's only publicly-released film is "Dr. Who in Hell... or on a Hellish planet with no dialogue"... I apologize if my review skips around, because this is not a very memorable film.

In Richard Corben's Art Book (vol 1) he warns the reader in the caption for his painting of the cover for this film's video box that his beautiful airbrushed art of the towering monstrosity over the heaps of dead bodies made his fans expect more from the film than it delivered.

It starts out nice, with Philip DeWalt's dark score brooding over an opening series of starfield and galaxy sequences. As it zooms in more and more in the galaxy, down to the planet, then down to the surface to what appears to be a tower (really the monsterdemon on the cover box)... you think you can expect something really great.

You can TELL the monster is a puppet. It's obvious that the house (supposedly a space station) being demolished by it later on is a tiny model. Scenes of rivers and the dark planet's landscape are nothing more than stock footage of rivers and trees on Earth, in our plane of reality. This movie is very cheesy, so why do I watch it at least once every two weeks?

You get to see Corben's style in live-action form, that's why. Granted, it's nothing as enthralling and ass-kicking as "Den" (why isn't Hollywood cinematizing Den right now? the MPAA will censor it beyond recognition, anyway =). Corben fans can see his work at claymation (very crude, but he animates the tentacled creatures lively anyway) in "Tower of Blood", as well as his sculptures he uses once in a while for his comics and graphic novels. There's also a blonde woman in "Relief Station" who looks strikingly like Katherine from the "Den" series... it probably is her, but I dunno. Also some of Corben's longtime collaborators appear... Simon Revelstroke (those dark glasses look good on him), Bruce Jones, Herb Arnold, et cetera.


Review by calx2001@yahoo.com from the Internet Movie Database.