Androids with four arms! Curvaceous, lifelike inflatable women! Bald interplanetary kidnappers dressed in dark raincoats and wearing shades! Human mutants and laboratory rejects! A bizarre space-age cabaret where all of the performers are dressed as giant butterflies! These are just a few of the sights you’ll see on The Wild, Wild Planet (1966), a groovy Italian science-fiction adventure directed by Antonio Margheriti.
This one sentence synopsis should sound familiar. A group of travelers are stranded during a severe storm at a creepy mansion where the hosts are the most unsettling part of the experience. It’s an audience-pleasing premise has served countless mystery thrillers and horror-comedies from James Whale’s The Old Dark House (1932) to The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) to Stuart Gordon’s Dolls (1987). But The Unnaturals (1969), directed by Antonio Margheriti, is one of the few dark and stormy night movies that stands out from the pack by virtue of its genre resistant narrative which begins as a decadent character study, slowly morphs into a supernatural thriller and signs off as an apocalyptic morality tale. Continue reading →