["Planetary Giants"] Mexican film (1965; vt Gigantes Interplanetarios; vt Planetary Giants). Estudios America/Producciones Corsa. Directed by Alfredo B Crevenna. Written by Emilio Goméz Muriel, based on a story by Alfredo Ruanova. Cast includes José Ángel "Ferrusquilla" Espinosa, Jacqueline Fellay, José Gálvez, Rogelio Guerra, Nathanael "Frankenstein" Léon, Irma Lozano, Guillermo Murray, Carlos Nieto, Mario Orea, Adriana Roel and Daniel Villaran. 80 minutes. Black and white.
The evil dictator of the Planet of Eternal Night (Gálvez), planning to conquer Earth, has sent agents in flying saucers (see UFOs) to kill humans with Ray Guns while having others secretly infiltrate Earth's institutions. In response, Scientist Daniel Wolf (Murray) and his beautiful assistant Silvia (Roel) plan to fly a Spaceship to the Planet of Eternal Night. However, an Alien agent (Leon) kills the professor (Orea) who designed the spaceship and tries to bribe Daniel before the alien is accidentally killed. On the eve of the flight, boxer Marcos Godoy (Guerra) and his manager Rey Taquito (Espinosa), fleeing from an angry crowd after he loses a match, put on spacesuits to disguise themselves and are mistakenly placed on board the spaceship with Daniel and Silvia. After Daniel performs a spacewalk to repair the spaceship's rockets, the four space travellers land on the Planet of Eternal Night and find that it has a breathable atmosphere and human-like inhabitants; the visitors are soon brought before the dictator, who imprisons them. But an old man, proving to be one of many residents of the planet who hate the dictator and wish to see him overthrown, secretly begins to assist the humans, as does a beautiful woman who falls in love with Marcos and helps him when he escapes and dons the garb of an alien soldier. Eventually, Marcos is able to attack and overthrow the dictator, with the support of most of his disgruntled subjects, although the man takes Silvia hostage and briefly tries to escape in the humans' spaceship before he is subdued again. With the old man now in charge of the planet and determined to maintain peaceful relations, the humans don their spacesuits and depart for home.
This Mexican film is not as well known as its sequel, El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras, El (1966; vt Planet of the Female Invaders), undoubtedly because it mostly foregrounded evil male aliens in contrast to the beautiful women who dominate the sequel. While sometimes described as a comedy, the film generally takes a serious approach to its story, though it recalls Saturday-morning serials like Flash Gordon (1936) and Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere (1951) (see Captain Video), and other than the familiar conceit of very human-like aliens inhabiting Earthlike worlds, it generally avoids egregious scientific errors. [GW]
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