‘Hideous beyond belief… with an inhuman craving!’
Queen of Blood – aka Planet of Blood – is a 1966 American science fiction horror feature film. Director and scriptwriter Curtis Harrington (Night Tide; How Awful About Allan; The Dead Don’t Die), crafted this B-movie for producer George Edwards utilising stock space footage from the Russian sci-fi films Mechte Navstrechu and Nebo Zovyot.
Stephanie Rothman (The Velvet Vampire) was associate producer. It was released as part of a double-bill with the AIP movie Blood Bath.
The film stars John Saxon, Basil Rathbone, Judi Meredith (The Night Walker), Dennis Hopper (Night Tide), Florence Marly, Robert Boon, Don Eitner and features a cameo appearance by horror personality Forrest J Ackerman.
Harrington felt Alien (1979) must have got some inspiration from Queen of Blood, saying “Ridley’s film is like a greatly enhanced, expensive and elaborate version of Queen of Blood.”
Basil Rathbone was paid $1,500 to act for a day and a half on this film, and $1,500 for half a day on Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965), which was another film based on Russian footage. Rathbone ended up working overtime and missed a meal. The Screen Actors Guild demanded overtime pay plus a fine for the meal violation but producer George Edwards revealed footage showing that the delay was because Rathbone did not know his lines and insisted on skipping lunch.
1990: Doctor Farraday (Rathbone), of the International Institute of Space Technology, announces that an ambassador from a faraway planet is due to arrive on Earth. Time passes on and yet there’s no arrival of the ambassador.
The space institute has tracked the missing spaceship on Mars and a team of astronauts are sent to the red planet to rescue the ambassador. The would-be rescuers recover only one green-skinned survivor – a female (Marly) with an insatiably vampire-like appetite…
“All in all, it’s passable entertainment at best, and I’m sure folks were fine with it at the time, but doesn’t do enough to distinguish itself from other 60s sci-fi/horror that I’ve seen, nor does it hold up the way Planet of the Vampires did.” Horror Movie a Day
“Given the films origins it will come as a surprise that it’s actually pretty good. With some talented actors including Basil Rathbone, John Saxon, and a very young Dennis Hopper, the film overcomes its low-budget origins and ends up being an entertaining film.” DVD Talk
“Events unfurl languidly, taking time to develop the characters and create a creepy atmosphere ripe with menace and mystery. Harrington’s cinematographer Vilis Lapenieks bathes proceedings in an otherworldly sheen and the film, despite its low budget, at times looks rather beautiful. The scenes onboard the scientists’ ship are beautifully lit and prove quite striking.” Behind the Couch