Mark from Lasers, Monster and Barbarians Oh, My! was kind enough to join Sci-fi Movie Week. He’s probably the perfect choice to take part because LMBOM specializes in sci-fi, as well as horror and fantasy. His reviews are very good, and if you don’t believe me, read this review because it is awesome! Then, when you’re done, head on over and read the rest of his great reviews (don’t tell me you’re busy, make time! :P). Anyways, I hope you enjoy. 🙂
Forbidden Planet Review
I remember staring at pictures of this film in sci-fi mags back in the pre-VHS days and in awe at the ship C57-D, the planet and Robby the robot thinking about how cool this 1956 film must be. Fortunately I was right and about a decade later I finally saw it. The soundtrack swirls on and eventually we focus on a group of space travelers all wearing blue-grey type work outfits. Hey that main guy is Leslie Nielson over two decades before he didn’t want to be called Shirley. They are travelling to the planet Altair VI to see what happened to an expedition from twenty years ago. They make contact from over their communication system with Dr. Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) a member of the expedition who pretty much says “we don’t need any, scram you outsiders”. However being on a mission the crew lands anyhow and is met by Robby the freakin’ robot who is total coolness in a metal casing. Robby takes some of the crew to meet sourpuss Morbius who happens to have a pretty daughter named Altaira (Anne Francis). Enough of this robots and girls let’s get on to the plot. Morbius passes on the delightful news that a “planetary force” killed the rest of the crew. Oh, joy for that. Anyways Morbius has also been studying what’s been left from a long gone ancient race and is developing his mind. Meanwhile back to that killer force thingie as the crew of the C57-D has decided to hang around. Man, have they never watched these kind of films before? The force manifests itself as a beast that is at first invisible and then later we get a view of it in all it’s animated glory. The whole bloody trail of this monster leads back to Morbius as it turns out the beast is being drawn from his thoughts. This all leads to the big climax where….hey go see the movie to see what happens. If you have seen it before then see it again you’ll pick up more details with each viewing.
This film demonstrated a great balance between the action and the thinking part of science fiction. They take an idea of powers and forces that an alien culture could have and examine how that could be used by man. The idea is never heavy handed because we get low key characters doing their job who are then pulled into a problem that is totally different from what they know in their reality. Add into that the effects, the soundtrack and yes my favorite film robot ever and you have a pure classic. Not at all typical of it’s decade, but instead a film that pushed the barriers of what sci-fi could do in a movie.