Starship Captain Larry Madison (Vassili Karis) has just returned from an expedition. He had been looking for a rare element called Antalium. The element is crucial for making neutron bombs. While having a drink in a bar and hustling a young woman named Sondra Richardson (Sirpa Lane), Larry gets into a fight with a merchant. During the fight the merchant drops a small vial. The substance in the vial turns out to be Antalium. Larry goes back to the same bar the next day and runs into the merchant and two of his crew members. Another fight ensues. The merchant gets away but the two crew members are taken into custody. During interrogation they tell the authorities that the captain of their ship is Juan Cardoso (Venantino Venantini) and that the Antalium came from an unexplored planet called Lorigon.
Larry is given a ship and assigned the task to go to Lorigon and secure the Antalium. While being introduced to the crew he finds that one of the crew members is Sondra, the woman he had sex with the night before. During their encounter Sondra told Larry about a dream she has been having about being chased on a strange planet. She found the dream unsettling.
While on route to Lorigon they are overtaken and attacked by Juan. Their ship is damaged and is forced to land on a nearby planet that they believe is Lorigon. While two members of the crew repair the ship, Larry and the others leave in search of Antalium. They are attacked by a giant robot. Sondra recognizes the robot as being what chased her in her dream. They high-tail it back to the ship until the danger is past.
Once again, they venture out, with their Antalium detector, looking for the precious metal. They walk through a cave and come out in a strange forest. Sondra recognizes it from her dream. Next, they come upon a castle that was also in Sondra’s dream. In the castle they meet Onaph (Robert Hundar). He owns the planet, but it is run by a computer called Zocor that controls the minds and wills of everyone on it. Now Zocor is in control of Larry and his crew.
“The Beast in Space” AKA “Beast in Space” AKA “La bestia nello spazio” was released in 1980 and was directed by Alfonso Brescia. It is an Italian science fiction space opera. The film is sometimes considered the fifth Brescia space opera.
There are two versions of the film. The original film is an X-rated movie that is about 91 or 92 minutes long. There is also a trimmed down version with all the dirty bits taken out, which makes it eligible for television viewing. Well, Italian television viewing. The shorter film is only about an hour and nine minutes long. I will be reviewing the PG version of the film. The copy I have is subtitled in English. You should be able to find the X-rated version on many porn sites as well as places like E-bay.
Brescia’s running theme in most of his science fiction films is “computers run amok”. Whether it’s a giant robot that rules over humanoids or gold lame wearing androids with Dutch boy bobs, they are the evil entities that want to make slaves of all humanoids in the universe. Man verses machine is the common element. Other humanoid creatures are either friendly or mentally being controlled by the machine to do evil.
Many of the robot scenes are stock footage from “War of the Robots”. As with the previous four Brescia science fiction films, costumes, sets and props are reused, right down to the androids that appear toward the end of the film. Also, like his previous films, the acting is bad and the plot a little confusing. Part of that is due to the editing, part is due to the various plots and subplots, and part because it had over 23 minutes of graphic sex taken out. I have seen the full X-rated film and, to be honest, it was still a little confusing and scattered.
Top billing goes to Sirpa Lane. She was well known as an actress in several pornographic films.