Planet of the Vampires is an American horror, science fiction, religious, fantasy Broadway musical that is based on the European film with a same name, but with a religious twist, having vampires (aurans) as immortal blood-sucking undead beings who hate religious artifacts and sunlight rather than being aliens as the original film portrayed.
The musical follows the same setting as the film, horrific experiences of the crew members of two giant spaceships that have crash landed on a forbidding, unexplored planet. The disembodied inhabitants of the world possess the bodies of the crew who died during the crash, and use the animated corpses to stalk and kill the remaining survivors.
Two huge interplanetary ships on an expedition into deep uncharted space receive a distress signal emanating from Aura, an unexplored planet (To The New Distance). Both ships, the Galliott and the Argos, attempt to land on the surface of the fog-encased world. While entering the planet's atmosphere, the crew of the Argos becomes possessed by an unknown force and try to violently kill each other (Man Will Be Dead). Only Captain Markary has the will to resist, and is able to force all of the others aboard his ship out of their hypnotic, murderous state.
After the Argos lands on the surface, the crew disembarks and explores the eerie landscape in search of the Galliott (No Need To Fear But Fear Itself). Thick, pulsating mists, lit by ever-shifting eerie colors, saturate the terrain. When they finally arrive at the other ship, they find that the crew members have killed each other. Markary's younger brother, Toby, is among the dead (Unable To Die). They proceed to bury as many of the corpses as they can, but several bodies are locked inside the ship's bridge. Markary departs to get tools for opening the sealed room, but the corpses disappear by the time he returns.
Some of the Argos' crew are found dead and being unnaturally resurrected. Tiona sees their corpses walking in the ship, and becomes paralyzed with fear (God Is Dead). Markary advises the survivors that they must escape from Aura. Unfortunately, the Argos incurred serious damage during the landing, and repairs will take time. During the waiting period that ensues, several more killings occur (Man Will Be Dead - Reprise). In a private tape recording, Markary admits that he suspects none of them will survive (To The New Distance - Reprise).
While exploring Aura, Wes discovers the ruins of a spaceship a few miles from the Argos (Unknown Entity). Markary, Sanya and Carter (Ivan Rassimov) investigate. Inside the ship, they discover large skeletal remains of the long dead crew and thus realize that they are not the first ones to have been drawn to the planet by the distress beacon (Here Were Real Vampires). Markary and Sanya are temporarily trapped inside the ship, but manage to escape and return to the Argos. Carter inexplicably vanishes (The Phantomic Realm).
Two crew members of the Galliott, Kier and Sallis, arrive at the Argos to steal the ship's Meteor Rejector device. Kier escapes with the machine, but Markary fights Sallis. Markary tears open Sallis' uniform, exposing his putrescent body. He learns that Sallis' corpse is being manipulated by an Auran, who reveals that the two ships were lured to the planet in order for the Aurans to escape from their dying world (Carpe Noctem - Seize The Night). With the crew of the Galliott under their complete control, they plan to use the ship to escape to the humans' home planet. Markary vows to stop them (I Won't Let You Take Over).
Markary and his crew rush to the Galliott to retrieve the Meteor Rejector (Meteor Rejector). They are successful, and manage to place explosives in the ship. During a struggle with the Aurans, Dr. Karan and Tiona are killed. Markary and Sanya return to the Argos and manage to escape as the Galliott is destroyed. After takeoff, however, they reveal themselves to be possessed by Aurans (Eternity). They ask Wes, the last survivor, to join them. Wes refuses and tries to sabotage the Meteor Rejector, but fatally electrocutes himself while doing so (I Won't Let You Take Over - Reprise). Because the device has been broken beyond repair, Markary and Sanya decide to change course for a nearby planet...Earth (Don't Feed The Vamps).
Ever since its first airing in 1981, Planet of the Vampires received 87% of positive reviews and is among the most successful Broadway musicals in New York.