Sci-Fi is one of those rare genres that can go in multiple different directions. It can land into the genre of comedy and in which we can experience worlds like Galaxy Quest or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It can bring thought provoking philosophical questions in the way of Star Trek or Star Wars. It can take us to far off places like galaxies, Hogwarts, or Mt. Doom – just a name a few. Much like our galaxy and the multitude of ones in existence that have yet to be explored – the sci-fi genre has a multitude to offer. It can come in numerous ways. Though the balance between genres is sometimes a line to walk.
Thus, enter Bloodsucker’s Planet. Planet centers around a group of astronauts who intercept a distress signal from another crew. The signal drops them to a desolate planet only to discover it is a fortress for alien vampires. With every breath this film takes, it is in constant reverence of the 1960s sci-fi movies like the Voyage films or Barbarella. That’s one of the most respectable things about the film. Planet in every way, shape and form feels like a movie out of time. It is a marvelous love letter to the sci-fi films of yesteryear. From its’ set design, music and even special effects – the movie understands its’ identify tremendously.
As much as it understands its’ time, the movie fails to understand the course in which is plotting. Planet boasts a rather small cast which includes Mr. Bartlett (Joe Grisaffi), an A.I. named Adrianna (Jessica Bell), Paulina (Adrienne Dobson), Clarissa (Leni Mex), Doc (Jeremy Herrerra), Danvers (Logan Hooks), and McDermott (Allen Menefee).The film feels justified to give each character their own arc within its short 64 minute duration. The moment the crew breaks away the film feels more like a filler television episode than actually conveying a plot. The addition of vampires to the plot only seems more convoluted. The mythos of the main antagonists get lost in the shuffle and are introduced rather late within the film. Thus, the film fails to establish yet another plot twist, thanks in part to the business of the galaxy that Planet creates. Arguably, the only true arc of the film comes in the form of the advanced artificial intelligence of Adrianna. Bell crafts a witty performance and search for identity. While it may be weird at first impression, Bell quickly grows on you as she finds her humanity.
Overall, Bloodsucker’s Planet, is a film out of time. Perfectly mirroring the tone, set design and music of 1960’s Sci-Fi films. It views like the long-lost cousin of some of the genre’s most iconic adventures. While it understands its identity, it fails to understand its’ direction. For the majority of its’ duration, the film feels void of purpose. Though, its’ set design, special effects and music serve as some of the largest portion to the film’s saving grace. However, it is the performance from Jessica Bell’s AI, Adrianna, that really steals the show. Her search for humanity is one of the most intriguing points of the film. Though, Bloodsucker’s Planet, has a lot to say -the busy nature of the film costs it its’ effectiveness.
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Credits: Bloodsucker’s Planet is property of Embrace the Weird LLC. We do not own nor claim any rights. This is an official selection of Genre Blast Film Festival 2019.