Planeta Bur (Planet of Storms) / Планета бурь (1962)
DVD, DVD-Rip | Russian | Subtitle: English (not built in) | 1:18:33 | 720 x 576, 704 x 528 | 25 fps | MPEG 7576 kbps, DivX 2035 kbps | AC3, 448 kb/s, 6 ch | 6,24 GB, 1.36 GB
Cosmonauts land on the planet Venus. However, they find themselves in danger from the voracious monsters they find on it. Wonderful period special effects, some are truly astounding. An intelligent, engaging story dealing with the discovery of an ancient culture.
Compared it with most of the SF which the USA was churning up to this time, it's positively stellar. It's weakest points are its sketchy characterisations, and rather poor pacing. The film actually begins with the disclaimer "Venus may well be entirely different to this", and what follows is a serious attempt to depict a Venusian expedition - marred perhaps by the odd dinosaur, but surprisingly free of Soviet chest-thumping. Planet of Storms won't blow your mind, but you'll find yourself being charmed by the ingenious photography, sets, creatures, etc.
Pavel Klushantsev, who directed more Russian SF films, found himself propelled from obscurity into sudden demand by the Soviet authorities when the production of his 1958 SF debut, 'Road to the Stars' coincided with the launch of Sputnik. Although he languished in almost total obscurity in the West, his films were enormously popular in the USSR, and, as a recent documentary noted, many of his cinematic innovations were 'borrowed' 10 years later by Kubrick in '2001'.