“The year 1990, the problem of travelling to the moon has been solved for many years. Space stations have been built there and authorised personnel come and go as they wish, but the moon is a dead world. And the great question about space still remains, does life exist on another planet? To seek an answer to this question, the major powers of the world have been actively preparing at the International Institute of Space Technology to explore the planets Venus and Mars.”
A distress radio transmission is received from an alien spacecraft that has crashed on Mars, so Dr Farraday (Basil Rathbone – who was paid $1,500 to act for just a day and a half in the film) sends a team of astronauts on a rescue mission aboard the Oceano.
A lone surviving female alien (Czech actress Florence Marly) – with light green skin and an amazing hair-do – is located and brought on board the rescue ship.
After some unsuccessful attempts by the human crew to feed her, she is left to her own devices – and while most of the crew sleeps, the alien hypnotises Paul Grant (Dennis Hopper, trying very hard to keep a straight face throughout) who is guarding their passenger.
When the crew awakes, she’s sleeping, and Paul is dead. An examination shows the alien drank his blood.
Allan Brenner (John Saxon) wants to destroy the alien, but Commander Anders Brockman (Robert Boon) disagrees and decides to feed her with blood plasma which seems to satisfy her hunger for blood. Ultimately, though, the plasma is depleted, and the remaining crew members have to provide blood donations.
On the final approach to Earth, Brockman is killed by the alien, and a fight breaks out between Laura James (Judi Meredith) and the alien, who is accidentally killed (ironically, she bleeds to death) before she can finish off Brenner.
As the Oceano approaches and lands on Earth, Laura opens a cabinet to retrieve goggles and discovers that it is filled with red pulsating eggs sitting in a green gel.
Allan concludes the alien was a Queen Bee whose purpose was to spread their species to Earth.
This ultra-low-budget production – produced by Roger Corman and released on a double-bill by AIP with Blood Bath (1966) – took its elaborate special effects (uncredited) from two big-budget Soviet productions, Mechte Navstrechu (“A Dream Come True”)(1963) and Battle Beyond the Sun (1959).
Director Curtis Harrington later called Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) “a greatly enhanced, expensive and elaborate version of Queen of Blood“.
Commander Anders Brockman