In the book Broken Mirror, Broken Minds Bava comes up a lot as an early hero of Argento, so I've always been keen on getting into his films.
Planet of the Vampires wound up my choice for first of Bava's films, mainly because it was one of the films Dan O'Bannon ripped off for Alien.
From IMDB; After landing on a mysterious planet, a team of astronauts begin to turn on each other, swayed by the uncertain influence of the planet and its strange inhabitants.
Released in 1965, the film has some glaring problems stemming from cheap special effects right from the beginning. They all involve shots in space and of the ships flying. There is no getting around how supremely cheesy this looks.
I don't doubt I could have picked a stronger film to start with, but I had a good time and recommend it.
3 1/2 Severed Thumbs Up