Thursday, April 19, 2012

Queen of Outer Space

TCM has been spending the day showing a bunch of those silly low-budget 1950s sci-fi films, most of which are sadly not available on DVD. One that you can find on DVD is Queen of Outer Space.

The movie starts off on Planet Earth at some unmentioned time in the future, a time when Earth has permanently manned space stations. One of them has been destroyed; exactly how is a mystery. So our future earthlings (well, they all seem to be Americans; the question of whether the Cold War had been resolved is unanswered) send up one lousy rocket ship with three astronauts to find out what happened.

Those three guys are going to find out quickly enough. It turns out that Venus is not uninhabitable, as the folks on Earth previously thought. Indeed, the Venusians have built a ray gun capable of sending energy long distances through sapce -- long enough to destroy space stations and sent our heroes' rocket hurtling through space to the surface of Venus. Here, they find a planet with only women, who all look surprisingly like buxom female earthlings on it.

Why are there only women? Well, the planet had been through a series of wars, which the Venusian Queen Yllana blamed on men. So she got all the men out of public view and began to rule as an autocrat. And since Earth only sent up male earthlings to investigate, our heroes are in mortal danger! At least they're going to have help on their side, though. Some of the scientistettes, led by Zsa Zsa Gabor, are chafing over the lack of men. They must be horny or something, although you couldn't actually show horny in a 1950s movie. They want the physical touch that only a man can provide them with. (Left unanswered is the question of how the Venusians are going to reproduce. Surely they had to keep some male Venusians.)

Oh boy is this funny stuff. Of course, it's also the sort of stuff that the filmmakers probably weren't intending to be funny, and that's one of the things that makes it even more fun. Zsa Zsa isn't much of an actress, and everybody else in this is at best B-grade stuff. The plot is something that reminds me of an old radio public service announcement, using clich├ęd ripoffs of 1950s scifi as an example of how recycling is a good thing, and we all need to recycle. It's full of plot holes, and expects the bad guys (well, gals in this case) to be much more stupid than they would be in real life. After all, it takes some cleverness to become queen of an entire planet!

If you're looking for a movie to show on a Bad Movie night, Queen of Outer Space is a great choice. You'll definitely be entertained.

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