CURTIS HARRINGTON WEEK: Queen of Blood (1966)

Based on the screenplay for the Russian movie Mechte Navstrechu (A Dream Come True) and using the special effects footage from that film and Nebo Zovyot (Battle Beyond the Sun), this American-International Pictures release, directed by Curtis Harrington, had to have some kind of influence on Alien, right?

Harrington agreed, saying that Ridley Scott’s movie was a “greatly enhanced, expensive and elaborate” take on Queen of Blood.

This movie believes — and it made sense at the time — that by 1990 man would be traveling in space and have united to form the International Institute of Space Technology. Astronaut Laura James (Judi Meredith) hears strange signals from space, messages that Dr. Farraday (Basil Rathbone) believes are from an alien race sending an ambassador to Earth, yet the ship has crashed on Mars.

The ship Oceano is sent to rescue the ambassador but only one dead alien is on board. They decide that a rescue ship must have picked up the crew, but when they follow what they think is the rescue ship, they find only one being on board, a green-skinned alien (Florence Marly, who made a short sequel to this movie called Space Boy! and is also in The Astrologer) and several eggs.

She refuses to eat food, won’t let them take a blood sample and when left alone with an astronaut named Paul (Dennis Hopper), she hypnotizes him and drains his blood. Soon, she takes over most of the male crewmembers and plans on making her way to our planet, with only Laura and Allan Brenner (John Saxon) left to oppose her.

This would be the first movie that Harrington would work with George Edwards (as a line producer for this movie). They met when Edwards produced a stage production of Tennessee Williams’ The Garden District and this movie impressed Universal enough that they hired Harrington and Edwards to make Games.

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