This week’s assignment was Becca’s pick, and it’s a film with an interesting history. 1966’s Queen of Blood was one of a number of “American” films created on the cheap by doing fast, low budget shoots by an American production company and then editing that footage into a film using additional footage from an existing foreign film the studio purchased the rights for. In this case, it was actually two Russian films. One of those films was then reused again after this for yet another film by some of the people involved with the production of Queen of Blood.
Writer/director Curtis Harrington’s film used footage from 1963’s Mechte navstrechu and 1959’s Nebo zovyot (itself later turned into Battle Beyond the Sun) for what would have been the more expensive special effects scenes in the film. These were Russian science fiction films where they attempted to create Hollywood level FX but had stories largely unusable for promotion to international audiences. However, Samuel Z. Arkoff and (largely) Roger Corman saw potential in acquiring the rights for use of the footage to make a low budget American film. And, hey, you can only occasionally spot the Cyrillic letters CCCP (USSR) decorating the outside of the American rockets.
The story of an alien race contacting the Earth in the far future of 1990 before crashing a ship on Mars and thus requiring a rescue mission to save the alien traveler turned menace is a favorite of Jerry, John, and especially Becca. But what will Richard think?
Give us a listen as we dig into this “classic” of science fiction cinema. The conversation around Queen of Blood gets into some of the behind the scenes, hits on a little trivia, briefly sidetracks into the glory years of the drive-ins, and shifts at one point into a short Roger Corman lovefest. But, more importantly, it was a lot of fun.
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