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Queen of Outer Space


Title: Queen of Outer Space
Year Of Release: 1958
Running Time: 80 minutes
DVD Released By: Warner Brothers
Directed By: Edward Bernds
Writing Credits: Charles Beaumont (writer), Ben Hecht (outline)

Starring: Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eric Fleming, Laurie Mitchell, Lisa Davis
Taglines:
1. Mankind's first fantastic flight to Venus - the female planet!
2. SEE! War of the planets! Astounding she-beasts of Venus!
3. Millions of Miles Through The Unknown Universe!
Alternate Titles:
Queen of the Universe

Review Date: 3.29.08 (updated 1.1.10)

Shadow's Title: "Chauvinist Pigs In Space!"

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DVD
Queen of Outer Space

Cult Camp Classics 1: Sci-Fi Thrillers
Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman / The Giant Behemoth / Queen of Outer Space
 

Characters
Captain Neal Patterson – This is the commanding officer of the rocket ship Starfire. He has the unfortunate job of overseeing those two yahoos Cruze and Turner. Between the two of them, I’m surprised the Captain here didn’t require therapy or anger management classes.
Lieutenant Mike Cruze – This moron is second in command of the Starfire. Since there are only three members to the entire crew, being second in command is kind of like being a security guard at a day care center – the only ones you can really boss around are not really worth your time.
Lieutenant Larry TurnerStarfire's navigator. He's best known for is his ways with the ladies and like Cruze, has a rather dated and sexist view of females, thinking them incapable of certain things and better off with men in their lives to look after them. Hooks up with Motiya.
Professor Konrad – I want to know how many degrees he has, because he seems to be an expert in several fields: structural engineering, planetology, astrogeology and electromagnetic spectroscopy. He's proof that nerds, geeks, dorks & dweebs will always finish last with the ladies.
Queen Yllana – This is the ruler of Venus, having seized power from the men that once ruled. Tired of the suffering brought about by war with another world, she usurped the leadership with help from her posse of man-hating women. You don’t think she's getting a facial do you? Then look->
Queen Yllana – She wears the mask to hide her horrific complexion. It was the loss of her beauty that drove her insane. The film wants us to believe that all women are so mind-numbingly shallow, that without their looks by which to secure a man to dominate them, they are lost.
Talleah – One of the chief scientists on Venus, though what exactly she does all day in her lab is a total mystery. For all we know, she could be testing new recipes for bundt cakes or trying her best to unlock the secrets of Colonel Sanders’ eleven herbs and spices.
Motiya – She is in my opinion, the hottest woman on the planet Venus, sauntering around in a hot little dress imported straight from Altair IV. She definitely would have been my choice if I had been one of four men among thousands of hot babes from which to choose.

 

The Plot Hold your cursor over an image for a pop-up caption

No, this movie is not about Divine going to the stars.This movie begins with something that I am almost totally unused to seeing in a film from the 1950’s: stock footage…in color. It’s nearly enough to blow one’s mind, especially after subjecting oneself to black and white stock footage nightmares like Monster From Green Hell or Invisible Invaders. Anyway, we now see that famous symbol that represents man’s quest for knowledge as well as his deep-rooted need to overcompensate: a rocket ship! Yes, one of those phallic-style rockets, sitting on a launch pad that looks to be out in the desert somewhere. Then we see a large concrete building that looks solid enough to withstand a missile strike. This makes me wonder…do they expect the rocket to explode? I don’t know if I’d want to be piloting or travelling on that thing if someone thought there was such a good enough chance of it blowing up, that they spent lots and lots of money constructing a super solid building right next door.

Now, just to make clear that we are not looking in on some other nation’s rocket program, we see a sign that says Property of U.S. Government All Unauthorized Personnel Keep Out. Then we move inside somewhere – I guess in that concrete building and we see five guys in a room, all dressed in funky blue pajamas. One guy is standing next to a door with a shiny gun of some kind, another three are standing in a line-up a few feet away and the last guy sits behind a large metal desk, which is adorned with a funky red phone, a funky white phone and a clipboard.

“Dude, will you please knock off all the air biscuits?! We’re dyin’ over here!”The three men standing…oh, wait! Uniforms! Those are uniforms, not pajamas! All these clowns must belong to the same organization. Whatever it is, they need to hire new designers and tailors! So, of the three dorks – Capt. Neal Patterson, Lt. Mike Cruze and Lt. Larry Turner – the latter looks at the Captain and asks in a whisper what the mission may be. The guy seated at the desk shoots him a mean look, as if Turner just cut the cheese rather loudly or if talking was a court martial offense. A voice then comes over an intercom, instructing the guy at the desk to “let Captain Patterson and his crew in.” I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that Patterson and his boys are waiting to be briefed by a superior on their latest assignment. I know, I know…it’s quite a leap in logic, but my gut feeling says that that is the case.

The trio enters the next room. They pass by what was no doubt supposed to be some futuristic-looking machine, but what in reality looks like a primitive fax machine the size of a washer and dryer. The walls are adorned with images of stars and planets. At the far end of the room is a desk that is shaped vaguely like an arrow. Two men are seated behind the desk, with the “point” of the arrow directed at the three men that have just entered. Three more of those funky looking phones rest on this desk – two white and one red. Everything in this room is made to look sleek and futuristic. Then why, may I ask, are the two seated men relaxing in what look to be a pair of leather-bound chairs? They look like they stole them from one of those cheap bail bond establishments that are always clustered near the county jail...not that I would know anything about such places.

Anyway, one of the seated guys is wearing a uniform like that of the others, while the second guy seems to be wearing a brown jumpsuit. The three amigos snap off a salute to the one in uniform, who is obviously some Commanding Officer (later referred to as “The Colonel” and I don’t think they mean the KFC guy). He greets them and then introduces them to the guy in the brown, a Professor Konrad. The Colonel informs Patterson that he and his crew are to ferry the Professor to Space Station A. Lt. Turner doesn’t look too thrilled about this, as if someone just asked him to baby-sit their retarded triplets. However, Cruze looks positively aghast. His horrified facial expression is more suited to people who have been just settled in for their trans-Atlantic trip, only to be told that the in-flight entertainment is an Owen Wilson movie. The Colonel notices these looks and asks Patterson if he thinks such an assignment is not important enough for him and his crew.

Captain Patterson has the good sense to deny the Colonel’s assertion, saying that anything Professor Konrad does is important. Really? Anything? So when Professor Konrad stubs his toe, that is important? How about when he blows his nose or takes a crap? Patterson adds that Space Station A is the professor’s brainchild, as he designed and built it. I’m assuming that this Konrad guy oversaw its construction and not that he was actually handed some tools and a space suit and told to get his ass to work. Patterson then admits that he and his crew were just hoping for a crack at the exploratory orbit around Mars.

The Colonel says that Patterson and his men will get such an assignment, as they have more than earned it, but for now this mission is of the greatest importance. He adds that there are indications of some serious trouble at Space Station A and that Professor Konrad will tell them about it once they are all on their way. Until their departure at Fourteen Hundred (2:00 PM for us morons), they are all supposed to remain quiet on the subject.

We then get another shot of the rocket. Even in this widescreen format, this particular shot looks smooshed and squeezed. We get a couple shots of support personnel going over stuff on the exterior of the craft, then we move inside to see the crew making their preparations for lift off. Cruze takes this opportunity to start bitching to the Captain about their mission, saying it’s a job for a freighter and not the guys who made the first orbit around the moon. Patterson just reminds him that The Colonel said it was of the gravest importance. Cruze wonders aloud what could be so important about that “bus depot up there,” no doubt referring to Space Station A.

Professor Konrad has entered the control room/bridge behind them and hears the last comment made by Cruze. Upon making his presence known, he is assaulted by an apology from Cruze, but he shrugs it off, saying that a “bus station” is an appropriate name to call the space station, as it is place where people can take on supplies and make transfers while en route to the “far reaches of the universe.” Captain Patterson welcomes him aboard, but mere seconds later nearly suffers heart failure when Konrad goes to light a cigarette. He reminds Konrad that they are still in the process of fueling the second stage rockets. Konrad laughs and mentions the liquid oxygen, adding that he should have known better, as he has seen his fair share of these rockets blow up in his time. WTF?! How often do these things explode? I sure as hell hope the rate has dropped, otherwise I would not want to be assigned to the crew of such a vehicle.

Konrad now asks the Captain if they will be departing on time. Patterson checks his watch and says yes. Even though their navigational data has been recorded on tape and fed into their computers, he would like Turner to look it over. He wonders where the young lieutenant could be. Cruze looks out a nearby window and rhetorically asks, “where else?” With that we see Turner engaged in a long, deep smooch with some blonde broad. After they disengage and come up for air, she notes that space ships are dangerous (no shit, lady!) and that his ship could blow up or get lost in space. She would not know what to do without him (getting some self-worth might be a good idea). He apologizes and explains that he is the navigator and the others can’t make a move without him.

We jump back to the control room, where Cruze explains to Konrad and Patterson that Turner is “saying good-bye to a friend.” The Captain walks over, takes a look through the window and then picks up what is a large, unwieldy microphone for this being the future. He speaks into it and tells Turner to report to the ship on the double. Outside, Turner hears this and starts kissing his blonde broad again, appearing as if he was seriously trying to clean her tonsils with his tongue. Seeing that Turner has yet to move, the Captain repeats his order. Turner looks up at the ship, steals one last kiss and then leaves his lady friend behind, telling her not to do anything he wouldn’t do while he is away.

“I’d like to thank you for volunteering to test our new super hydraulic sleep number mattress. We’ll be monitoring everything from our stations right over there. Just one bit of advice: don’t fart. The last guy who did, accidentally triggered the folding mechanism and it took us a week to get the stains out of the sheets.”Turner now enters the control room. He smiles and tells the Captain that that was a dirty trick he just pulled on him. Patterson smiles in return, then hands him the navigational information and tells him to examine it real quick. Then the Captain turns to Konrad and informs him that it is almost time for lift off. He helps the Professor over to a bed that has been fitted with two restraining belts and once the other man is lying down, straps him into place. What the hell is a freakin’ bed doing on the bridge? Is it there in case someone needs to take a quick power nap during a crisis? Is it a handy item to have close at hand when crew members bring lady friends here to show off the size of their rocket? Shouldn’t there be another place on this ship for passengers to ride?

With Konrad strapped down for lift-off, Patterson, Cruze and Turner all take their seats, which conveniently are manufactured by the La-Z-Boy company. They all lean back until they too, are lying parallel with the floor. A voice from the base’s flight controller begins counting down from twenty. As the countdown progresses, we get some exterior shots of the rocket, including Turner’s blonde friend. When the flight controller reaches zero and says “fire,” we then get some stock footage of a rocket firing its engines, lifting off and soaring up into the sky. Inside, the G forces being exerted on the travelers causes them all to make some strange faces…like they all just passed gas or something. On the ground, the blonde woman blows a kiss to the departing vehicle.

Once they are in space, and no longer subjected to the Earth’s gravity, everyone gets up from their prone positions and begins checking their instrumentation. Captain Patterson calls up an image of Space Station A on his control panel and shows it to Konrad. He says that they should reach it in a few hours. Then he asks Konrad how many times he has made this trip. “A hundred or more,” is his answer. Wow! Talk about racking up some serious frequent flyer miles! Konrad then gets nostalgic and explains how he had been lobbying for a space station for many, many years, but received no support. Then when the first satellite was launched in 1957, suddenly lots of people were behind the idea. Well, of course…the Russians launched that first satellite, and the good ole U.S. of A. wasn’t about to let those commies get an upper hand in space. Konrad then notes how it was twenty-two years ago in 1963 that the first materials for the space station were put into orbit around the Earth, meaning that this film was set in the then futuristic year of 1985!

Captain Patterson now asks Konrad what it was the Colonel meant when he said that there were indications of serious trouble on the space station. Konrad explains to him that the station personnel have made some disturbing observations, adding that they seem to have some deadly neighbors in their little corner of the galaxy and that the Earth may be in mortal danger. Well of course! There is no other kind of danger in these films.

We see Cruze and Turner utilizing a pair of machines that have been fitted with eyepieces that extend outwards. They’re probably supposed to be some type of sensor or scanning device, but I can’t shake the notion that these two dorks are watching some type of peep show. As they look, we get a view of space and some type of energy beam flies by the ship not once, not twice, but three times…from three different directions. This means that whoever is firing the beam is either doing so from three different locations, or they are bouncing the beam off some huge mirrors suspended somewhere in space in order for it to change directions. Cruze tells the Captain that there is something strange going on out there and I could not agree more. These guys are supposed to be in space, yet the view through the window shows bright blue sky outside!

Cruze notes the presence of some kind of beam, and Patterson watches on his viewer as the beam gets closer and closer to Space Station A. The beam passes by a number of times until finally bouncing off the spinning station. The next beam, however, connects fully with the station, which turns beet red for an instant before exploding. Cruze excitedly announces the obvious: that the station is gone and that it just blew up. Konrad seems about ready to cry, and laments the loss of so many good men. Before anyone can pour drinks and propose a toast to the dead, Turner reports that the energy beam is now coming towards them. Then we see the beam passing by in space a few more times. I really have to say, whoever is firing this thing is an incompetent moron. How many bloody times do you have to fire before you hit your target? Sheesh!

“Wait a sec…shouldn’t one of us actually be flying this thing?”Patterson yells for everyone to hang on, then starts pushing buttons like mad. He warns everyone to prepare for maximum acceleration. Professor Konrad dives for his bed and straps himself in, while the others quickly take their seats, fasten their own woefully inadequate safety belts and thenresume their reclining positions. Now we get an FX shot of the rocket in space, its engines firing. The energy beam passes by again several more times and I really am beginning to doubt the ability of whoever is firing it. They have taken at least a dozen shots by this time and have hit exactly one thing.

Seeing the rocket in space is quite the revelation by the way. Why, cuz once again, audiences are treated to the amazing shape changing rocket ship. Just take a look at the series of screen caps at right to see what I mean. First are three pics of when the rocket was still on the luanch pad. I think it is fairly obvious that the rockets in pictures A and C are actually the same rocket, just filmed from different angles. However, there is no mistaking the fact that the rocket in picture B is a different one entirely. Not only is it shaped somewhat different and is in a different location, but also the entire frame seems somewhat squished, making the vehicle seem short and stubby. Of course, picture D shows us the rocket once it is in space, where it has become a sleek, stylish number straight off the cover of some old pulp magazine…or more likely, straight from the storage vaults at the studio, where it spent time collecting dust after the last film in which it appeared, which seems to be It! The Terror From Beyond Space (picture E).

Patterson looks up at his instrumentation and announces that the beam is overtaking them. This brings up another design problem with this ship: their controls are out of reach when they are all strapped down for acceleration. Wouldn’t you want to be able to reach the control panel in such a situation? You never know when you might need to make a split second adjustment to your course or attend to some other critical area. With this design, you'd have to pull yourself up from a prone position before you could do a damn thing. Not exactly the most ergonomic of designs.

So the beam now comes directly at the camera and everything flashes red. I think this means that the rocket has taken a hit. We see the bridge/control room shake around some and we notice how the color has changed outside the window from blue to purple! The ship takes another direct hit and the place bounces around even worse than before, loose items now flying around the cabin. We see a horrible exterior shot, that has flames superimposed over the rocket as it bounces around , like it was a child’s toy being dangled by a string over a BBQ pit. Inside, the Captain’s forehead is bleeding, probably from some object being tossed around. Everyone is making some really bad faces now. I don’t know if it is supposed to be the acceleration, the turbulence or the sheer cheeze that is causing it, but Turner looks like he is trying to pass a golf ball-sized kidney stone, Cruze looks like he just got hit in the nuts with a sledgehammer and Konrad is shaking as if in the midst of a seizure.

Everything continues this way now – the shaking of a toy ship over some flames, the emergency lights (red of course) flickering on and off, everyone making constipation faces, someone going overboard with a theremin, etc. – for what seems like an eternity. One instrument shows that their speed is increasing and finally, they all seem to pass out from the stress. I know I was about to pass out from the boredom. I’m just glad they beat me to it. The shaking ceases and we see the rocket gliding calmly through the stars, all signs of trouble now gone.

And with that…the title of the movie appears! Sheesh, talk about being late! Fifteen minutes in and we are just now getting the opening credits! Was the guy responsible for putting it together on his coffee break? Either that or the editor was having a bad day and accidentally placed the opening at this point in the film.

After the credits, the camera zooms in on a spinning image of the moon. This is done to imply that the rocket is fast approaching another planet. Then we see the rocket come crashing to the surface in a FX sequence that looks like it was executed by fourth graders. Seriously! A toy rocket is first swung in by wires and then looks like it was thrown onto a miniature set representing some snowy terrain. The way the craft bounces and flips over as it comes to a halt makes me wonder how in the hell anyone on board could survive such a landing without breaking every bone in their body. Plus, there is this horrible screeching sound as it impacts the ground, like metal scraping against metal. Just what is that snow made from anyway? BTW, I'm pretty sure this crash scene was lifted from World Without End (1956).

We fade in on the bridge. Everyone is now regaining consciousness. Cruze looks out the window and remarks that outside “looks like snow.” A stock footage shot of the arctic follows. Nevermind that when the toy rocket landed a few seconds ago, it was amidst snowy hills and mountains, while now the outside is a flat, featureless plain. Turner doesn’t think that it is snow outside. Rather, he thinks all that white stuff is clouds, and that they have all died and gone to heaven.

“Listen very carefully, Captain. You’re going to tell us where you hid the booze and porn videos or Mike here is gonna use this laser scalpel to trim your pubic hairs…and you know how jittery he can get.”Professor Konrad checks on Captain Patterson, who has yet to get up. The blood pouring from his head may have something to do with that. Noting that the Captain has been hurt, the Professor calls for help from dumb and dumber. They sit him up and Konrad begins wiping the blood away. Patterson comes to and inquires into their location, but nobody can say for sure. Cruze wants to know what hit them. Patterson theorizes that it was the same thing that destroyed the space station. Turner says that it picked up the rocket like a “chip of wood in a flash flood.” The Captain agrees and then says that the automatic landing systems must have worked perfectly, otherwise they’d be splattered over a hundred acres. Are you kidding me? That crash we just witnessed was an example of a perfect landing? Who set the standard by which such landings are judged…Abbott and Costello?

They now check their radio, but Cruze says it is inoperable. He asks the Captain if they are back on Earth. Patterson says that there is a good way to find out: he orders Turner to deactivate the artificial gravity. Once it is off, Turner notes that the gravity now reads as “.887.” Konrad, the master of deduction, now points out that this mean they are not on Earth. Gee, ya think?

I have some issues with the Starfire’s design. When it is parked on earth with the tip pointed straight up, the interior compartments seem to be oriented so that the floors are parallel with the ground. The same seems to be true in space. After all, when the crew strapped in for maximum acceleration, their chairs were also parallel with the deck, meaning that the g-forces from acceleration were pushing them “down” towards the floor. All this would seem to indicate that the ship’s artificial gravity was configured so that the base of the rocket would always be “down” and the nose would be “up,” even when the ship is shown flying sideways on the screen. After all, there is no true up and down in space. My question is this: once they crashed on Venus, where the rocket was shown to have landed on its side, why didn’t they all crash into the walls when Captain Patterson ordered the artificial gravity turned off? Once the planet’s natural gravity took effect, they would all have fallen “down” towards the ground, which in this case would have been towards one of the bulkheads, since the rocket was now on its side.

Turner again says that they must be in heaven and points at the speed indicator, which is frozen at its maximum reading, one hundred miles per second. Cruze says that they could have been going twice that fast while they were unconscious. Konrad adds that they could have been going a hundred times faster as far as they know. Cruze wonders where they are and suggests Mars, as that planet does have polar ice caps (well, back then they thought so of Mars), but Patterson reminds him that the red planet has a gravity of .38, and as they are not all bouncing around like ping pong balls, this cannot be Mars.

Turner now suggests that they go outside and check things out in person. He offers to get their pressure suits, but Professor Konrad now opens his mouth and proves that he bribed somebody to get whatever degrees he holds. He says that they may not need the suits, since the gravity is so close to that of Earth, the air should be breathable as well. What is this fool thinking? A similar gravity might help a planet retain an atmosphere, but it in no way is going to affect the gases that make up that atmosphere. Sure, this planet might have Earth-like gravity, but the air could be one hundred percent methane for all they know.

Patterson decides to check and consults a gizmo on the wall. According to what he sees there, they will not be needing pressure suits or oxygen tanks. This news seems to get the Professor all contemplative, and the Captain asks him if he has a hunch as to their location. Konrad admits he does, but doesn’t want to reveal his theory until they have had a chance to explore outside below the snow line. Patterson agrees and in a moment of colossal stupidity and poor leadership, decides that they will all go. Did none of the people in these old films ever hear of leaving one guy to watch over the ship?

The next thing we know, the four of them are stomping through some weird trees. Professor Konrad now says that he no longer has a hunch. In fact, he is now sure that they are on the planet Venus. This surprises everyone else, especially the Captain, who points out that one just does not accidentally land on a planet that is twenty-six million miles away. Konrad now says that while he cannot be sure of some things, like how fast they were traveling or how long they were all unconscious, he is positive that they are now standing on Venus.

Let's pause for moment to consider this. A moment ago when they saw the gauge that measures their speed locked at 100 miles per second, Cruze said that they could have been going twice that fast while they were asleep, while Konrad noted that they could have been going 10 times that speed for all they know. Now Patterson is amazed and says that they are on Venus. The truth is, the planet Venus is at a minimum, 25 million miles from Earth. At other times of the year, it could be much farther away. I actually went and checked on this (I know, get a life) but in early April of 1985 (the year in which this film takes place), Venus was about the closest it can come to the Earth. However, in December of that year, it was actually about 158 million miles away from us. So, using those two extremes, let’s run some quick calculations!

100 miles per second = 360,000 miles per hour or 8.64 million miles per day (max speed).
200 miles per second = 720,000 miles per hour or 17.28 million miles per day (2x max).
1000 miles per second = 3,600,000 miles per hour or 86.4 million miles per day (10x max).

At 100 miles per second, with a traveling distance of 158 million miles, it would have taken them over 18 days to reach Venus. At double speed it would have been only 9 days, and at ten times their maximum speed, the trip would have taken almost 44 hours. I really don’t think they were supposed to be unconscious for that long of a period. Using the same rates of speed, but decreasing the distance to 26 million miles, it would now have taken them almost three days to reach Venus at their normal maximum. Doubling the speed would have shortened the trip to about 36 hours, where as increasing it by a factor of ten would have gotten them there in about 7 hours. Again, I don’t think they were supposed to have been unconscious for that long, so whatever way you look at, the Venusians had to have increased their speed by more than a factor of ten, and the distance between the two planets had to be relatively small.

Now it seems that someone who wrote or contributed to this film was no dummy, as they have Cruze and Patterson mention the accepted facts about Venus: unbreathable atmosphere, a cloud layer so thick that no light penetrates it and a surface temperature higher than the boiling point of water. Konrad is familiar with those theories, explaining that he even helped formulate some of them, but now he feels he is closer to the problem and can revise his earlier thinking.

Along about now, they all realize that there is no sound at all, not even the hum of an insect. Wondering if they are traversing a dead planet, they continue walking. They take only a few steps before a strange sound startles them. Patterson wonders if it was a bird or an animal. To me, it sounded like some cheap electronic sound effect. Evidently, the Professor agrees with me, as he now says that the sound was most likely an electronic signal of some kind. This seems to freak out Turner, but Captain Patterson is cast from a different mold. In this case, that mold would be shortsighted fool, as he now says that only Humans could make an electronic signal.

Professor Konrad agrees that intelligent beings made the signal, but they may not necessarily be Human in appearance. In fact, they could be insects with highly developed mental powers. Turner chimes in now, talking about some pulp magazine he once read that spoke about life on Venus, describing the locals as short bipeds with green bodies, heads like king-sized turnips and with eyes on the ends of two-foot feelers, the latter feature enabling them to look behind them. The group starts to move again, but the electronic signal is heard again. This time Konrad confirms that the sound passed directly over their heads (and apparently, so did the ramifications of accepting roles in this film). The sound is heard again as the foursome moves onward. Behind them, we see the plants move, as if an invisible person is moving amongst the foliage.

“We come 25 million miles and no one remembers the freakin' hot dogs?”The next thing we know, night has fallen and the group has made a fire. Turner, Konrad and Patterson sit nearby while Cruze returns with a bunch of wood. He reports seeing nothing while gathering the wood and then takes a seat near the fire. Konrad mentions how he cannot stop thinking about all the poor saps that died on the space station. Turner mentions the weird Venusians he once read about, prompting Cruze to tease him about his cheerful mood and past job as master of ceremonies at the chamber of horrors. Turner now volunteers to take the first watch as everyone prepares to turn in for the night. He announces that if he sees one of those little green men, he’ll faint and the sound of his body hitting the ground can wake up the others. Patterson says that the fire ought to keep them away and while Turner sits looking worried, Cruze comes from behind and taps him on the shoulder, causing him to jump. Cruze explains that he was just checking to see if he was on his toes.

Morning comes and we see that Cruze is now on watch while the others snooze. However, it seems Cruze’s definition of being on watch is similar to how I define sitting in church: slumped over and fighting sleep. He sits up and scans the surrounding forest/jungle. We see some of the plants moving again, like an invisible klutz is stomping through them. Cruze doesn’t seem to take any notice of this and begins nodding off once again. Thus, he is completely unaware of the three broads that now sneak up on the group. Two sport blue dresses while a third is draped in red. All of them are armed with some kind of sidearm. More hot chicks begin encircling the camp, some outfitted in gold dresses, but all with a weapon of some sort.

Cruze wakes up, sees that he is surrounded by dames and passes off what he sees as figments of his imagination, telling himself that he has been away from Earth too long. Alas, realization that these broads are real comes an instant too late. As he jumps up, a wave of women overtakes him and the brief (very brief) struggle wakes the others. During this whole process, Turner begins to reach for his own weapon, but another broad aims her ray gun at it, fires and reduces it to pieces. He should count himself lucky that this particular gal had better aim that whoever was firing that energy beam at the space station and the ship, otherwise she might have accidentally taken off his head.

With all the men now covered by weapons, one woman speaks into a communicator and says that they have captured the intruders. A voice on the other end orders that they return with them. Before the guys can marvel too much at the fact that these women are speaking English, one gal prompts them to move with a, “Go! Go! Go!” while another shouts, “Botchino! Botchino!” Which must be Venusian for Schell! Konrad suggest they accept the invitation. Cruze now pipes in and says, “Yeah, the way those shooting irons of theirs work, I’m with you, Doc.” HAHAHAHAHA! I find it funny, in an antiquated kind of way, that Cruze can only correlate a women’s capabilities with housework, likening the weapons they carry to a clothes iron. So the guys are now marched at gunpoint off the cheap set on which they had been sleeping.

An establishing shot shows us a matte painting of some large palatial buildings, then it’s back to another studio set as the guys are marched down a long corridor inside one of them. The entire place is filled with women in (mostly) brightly colored dresses with short skirts. As they proceed down the hallway, one older-looking gal jumps out and attacks Cruze, yelling, “I hate them!” over and over again before she is pulled off him and led away. Cruze wonders why she was picking on him, as he didn’t do anything. Konrad points out that they don’t seem to like strangers. Captain Patterson then adds that they don’t seem to like men. Ah! So it’s a planet full of lesbians! Can the bulldyke brigade be far away?

The four men are now brought into a large chamber with a long desk situated at one end. As they stand there, Cruze wonders what happens next. The Professor thinks that the ladies want to look over the new arrivals. Seeing how Turner is almost drooling on his uniform, Captain Patterson points out that the Lieutenant is sure looking them over in return. Already he has singled out a blonde from the crowd and is eyeing her appreciatively, even pointing her out to his comrades.

Cruze seems a little unsettled by all the broads and asks Konrad what he makes of the fact that all they have encountered so far is women. Konrad suggests that this may be a civilization that exists without sex. No sooner has he said that, than Turner pipes in and asks, “You call that civilization?” Ah, spoken like a true man. The very foundations of society are not things like freedom, self-determination, a code of laws and a free market. Nope. Civilization is defined by things like sex, beer, pizza and the availability of any one of those things at any given time.

“We’ve reached a decision. The winner of Venus’ Next Top Model is…”The music cues up now, letting us know that something important is about to happen. Some of the ladies in the room stand aside, revealing a doorway in the back wall of the chamber. A curtain covers this entrance, but is now pulled back to reveal a lone figure standing there. Dressed in a tight, dark blue outfit, accented by a thin yellow sleeveless robe, a woman now enters wearing a beauty mask on her face. Seriously! She looks like she just stepped out of the salon! This woman is Queen Yllana, who, along with four other women wearing masks, now enters the room and takes a seat behind the wide table.

Yllana introduces herself as the ruler of this world and asks the newcomers why that have come. Patterson is amazed that they speak English, but the Queen says that they have monitored their “electronic waves for many years.” Patterson now introduces himself and his men, saying that they have come on a peaceful mission, but their ship was thrown off course, causing them to crash here. Verifying with Yllana that this is Venus, he says that if her people can help them repair their ship, they will leave as soon as possible, no doubt to return home and regale their comrades with tales of the planet full of hot babes.

Naturally, Yllana is unwilling to let them leave, believing that once they are gone, they will only return to wage war on the population of Venus. Is she nuts? Once word of this place gets out, men will be lining up from all over the planet in hopes of visiting and scoring a hot date! The entire planet is one big Hooters restaurant! All they need is some chicken wings and they’d be set! Patterson denies the notion that Earth would attack the Venusians, but the Queen says that the people of Earth have always been aggressive and warlike. The good Captain tries to explain again that their mission is a peaceful one, but the Queen points out how they reacted with violence when they were found by her people. Patterson claims they were only defending themselves. He might as well save his breath, as any guy will tell you that winning an argument with a woman is a rare thing indeed. Anyway, the Queen is not buying his story and says that the council will decide their fate. The blonde hottie that Turner was ogling earlier has been watching this entire time and now quickly leaves the room.

The blonde, Motiya, now goes to a room that could only be a laboratory of some kind, evidenced by all the vials, beakers and jars filled with colored liquids that adorn the work desks. Motiya walks up to the chief scientist, Talleah, and informs her that the men from Earth have been sent to the prison chamber. Talleah asks what kind of men they are. Motiya says that they seem strong and brave. She relates how they claimed they were on a mission of peace. Talleah says that she will speak with them, to make sure that they can be trusted (pardon me while I laugh at this point…women, worried about trust? Spare me).

The next thing we know, we’re back in the council chamber, with the men being led back in, presumably from having spent time in what the locals deem a holding cell. Queen Yllana says that they have deliberated and come to the conclusion that the men have lied. She accuses them of coming to spy on them and prepare for an invasion from Earth. She asks when the attack is scheduled, but of course Patterson cannot answer, as there is no plan of attack. The Queen now appeals to Konrad as a man of science. He says that Humans have never considered Venus inhabited or even inhabitable for that matter. Yllana now grills Turner, who says he has never heard of any attack plans, but adds that he thinks they should stop all “this Gestapo stuff” and be a little more friendly. I think his idea of friendly involves less clothing on their part and more lap dances. Yllana then wants to know what Cruze has to say. He just says that he is fine and asks, “How’s all your folks?”

Yllana cannot take any more at this point. She stands and proclaims that they will die, but first they will scream for mercy when they have the truth forced from them. So, what are the ladies planning on doing to make them scream? Talking incessantly while the big game is on? Complaining about her body? Discussing their feelings? Whatever horrible fate awaits them, the Queen orders them taken away, so the foursome is again marched out of the room. As they are led down a corridor to their cell, Cruze remarks how he thought this mission was going to be lousy milk run. Turner says it has been interesting so far, while the Captain says it will be more interesting once they learn what is to become of them. Um...the Queen just said you were going to die...horribly! Or did you not hear that? They reach a door that is opened and then a guard orders them inside with a wave of her arm and a “Botchino!”

Their “cell” is a good-sized room with a high ceiling and a table with four chairs at its center. Cruze now says that Venus is a nice place to visit, but he would not want to live there. No shit, Sherlock! All those broads?! You’d never have a moment’s peace to watch a little TV without being nagged about something. Patterson notes that there is not much hope of breaking out. Cruze suggests surprising one of the guards and getting a hold of one of their ray guns. My suggestion? Start farting and belching up a storm. Then demand a timely dinner and a roll in the hay. Five minutes of that and these women will want them off their planet faster than a Republican at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser.

Turner now wonders why the Queen and her councilors were wearing those masks. Professor Konrad thinks it is the same reason why Oriental potentates made their wives wear veils – so that others could not gaze upon their beauty. Turner thinks this means the Queen and the others must be real “knockouts,” judging by what they can see. However, Konrad admits that the Queen seems dangerous to him. He gets a feeling of something monstrous and evil. The Captain agrees and says that he is beginning to believe that their being on Venus is no accident. Konrad in turn agrees with this idea. Cruze is lost and asks for clarity…well it’s more like he gets a puzzled look on his face, like a monkey trying to play a piano, and then asks “What’s that? What’s that?” Patterson explains that the energy beam that destroyed the space station and then knocked them off course may have originated on Venus.

Cruze is dubious. He is also a sexist, as he now asks how a bunch of women could invent a gizmo such as that. This guy sure does have a low opinion of women. At this point, I’d like to see some broad come into the room and kick his ass. Turner then wonders how they could aim it, even if they did invent such a machine. I’ll tell you how they’d aim it: poorly! They have already proven that!

“Room service! It’s about bloody time! I ordered those Buffalo wings an hour ago!”Sometime later, we see Talleah sauntering down the corridor in a red dress that shows off quite a bit of leg. As she approaches the room where the men are being kept, another women approaches with a tray laden with drink and food, which is obviously meant for the prisoners. Taking the tray from her, Talleah enters the room where she informs the men that Yllana wants them to eat. Cruze tries the food and deems it ok. Konrad would like another chance to speak with the Queen, so they can make her understand that they mean no harm. Talleah says that the Queen does not wish to understand and only has hatred in her heart. She then introduces herself and says that she is a member of the Queen’s court. She says that their lives are in great danger and she may be able to help. Considering that the Queen has told them to their faces that they will die, I think they already know that they are in danger.

It is now Turner’s shot at being the sexist pig, and he says in a demeaning tone that they could use some help. He even calls her “baby” for good measure. Again, I think his idea of help involves his pants around his ankles and her on her knees. Patterson then asks Talleah if the Queen would kill anyone who helped them. She answers yes. He says that they cannot let her risk her life. She informs him that she is not alone. In fact, there are quite a few of them that are against the Queen’s cruelties and would like to see her banished. She proposes helping the men if they help the dissident movement in return.

All of a sudden she and Patterson seem to be making goo-goo eyes at one another. He tells her that it is dangerous for her to see them. She says they must all take that risk, otherwise the Earth will be destroyed. This amuses Cruze, who asks if Yllana and that bunch of masked marvels are the ones who will destroy it. Talleah tells them not to underestimate the Queen. She goes on to relate how ten Earth years in the past, Venus became involved in a war with the Planet Mordo. It was a terrible war, she says. They fought with weapons of great power, and were still nearly defeated. Finally, Mordo was destroyed and the war won…but at great cost. Most of their cities were destroyed and reclaimed by the Venusian jungles.

Hold the phone! WTF? Mordo? Mordo?! Is that the Venusian name for Mars? I have never heard of a planet Mordo in our solar system, have you? Is it out past Pluto (which will always be a planet in my book, regardless of what some eggheads with high self-opinions say)? Where the f*ck is Mordo? I know! You get there by hanging a left at Mongo! This Mordo is obviously in another solar system. This leaves me with another question: how could the people of Venus conduct an interstellar war without Humans noticing? It’s not like Venus is at the edge of our solar system. It’s closer to the sun than we are! For a good part of the year, any ships or missiles moving back and forth between Venus and Mordo would have a good chance of passing relatively close to Earth and being spotted by our observatories, whether they be ground based or in orbit. I find it highly unlikely that such a war could occur in our own backyard and no one ever noticing a bloody thing. Do the folks on both Venus and Mordo have some sort of stealth technology that renders their ships and weapons invisible to Human detection? Perhaps it was this conflict that drew the attention of those on Space Station A? Konrad did seem to imply that evidence had turned up of some potentially agressive neighbors.

Anyway, Konrad wants to know what this war has to do with Earth. Talleah says after the war they suffered greatly and that was when women took over (Pardon me while I snicker here…HAHAHAHAHAHA. Ok, done), led by a masked woman named Yllana. Turner again inquires about the mask, but Talleah admits that no one knows why the Queen wears it and no one has seen her without it. Rumor says that she is very beautiful. Steering the conversation back to the feminine uprising, Patterson asks about Yllana’s revolt. Apparently the Queen blamed all their troubles on the men and thought it best if women took over. Eventually it is learned that the men didn’t take her seriously at first, but are now all gone…most being dead, but a few deemed worthy of keeping (scientists and the like) were banished to Tyrus, an small satellite that orbits the planet. Turner suddenly realizes with an idiotic grin that the four of them are the only men on the entire planet.

Talleah expounds some more, explaining how Yllana knows Humans have been making scientific advances and is fearful of being attacked. This is why she wants to destroy the Earth. Konrad considers this and simply says, “She must be mad.” Well of course she is…she’s a woman! Have you ever known a sane one? Apparently, Yllana has had her scientists cook up a weapon cable of doing the job. Patterson realizes that this is how Space Station A was destroyed. Turner agrees, saying that if the space station was taken out in such a manner, then so could our big blue marble.

Outside in the hallway, a contingent of broads rounds the corner and approaches the door to the room where the men are held. These women no doubt represent the Queen, as the two dames that are standing and guarding the door quickly open it and give Talleah the signal to scram. They must be part of her resistance movement. Talleah quickly hides in the corner of the room, the design of the walls making it possible for her not to be seen. The newcomers arrive and their leader says “Botchino” and that Queen Yllana wants to see Captain Patterson…alone.

Turner doesn’t like the idea, seeing as how the Queen promised to kill them all. However, Konrad notes how the Queen was eyeing Patterson earlier. Cruze thinks the captain ought to give her the “old romance bit.” Raise your hand if you think Cruze’s idea of romance is a greeting card, a bottle of cheap wine and some condoms. Patterson seems surprised by the idea of turning on the charm with the Queen, but Turner asks, “She’s a woman, isn’t she?” Konrad mumbles something about Achilles’ heel and how no one person is invulnerable. Turner thinks that he ought to be the one to handle this romantic angle, but Patterson disagrees. About now, the leader of the guards that came to fetch Patterson gets impatient and barks “Botchino” again, obviously tired of waiting for the Captain to get his ass in gear. Turner cannot believe how a broad that is so good looking could be such a pain in the neck. Um…to use his own words…she’s a woman ain’t she?

So Captain Patterson leaves with the guards. Talleah comes out from her hiding spot and Konrad notes that their lives as well as the lives of everyone on Earth may very well depend on Captain Patterson’s sex appeal. Turner still thinks he should have been the one to go. Wow, this guy has a high opinion of his charming ways. Cruze thinks the right guy to get the job done went, but Talleah announces in a bitter voice that she hates Yllana and then stomps out. The men suddenly realize that Talleah is jealous. Turner notes that even twenty-six million miles from Earth, women are still the same.

“I’ll admit, when you spoke of trying a facial in the bedroom, I was picturing something entirely different.”Elsewhere, Captain Patterson is led to Queen Ylanna’s private chambers. He is shown into her quarters and four guards take up station just outside the door. As he gazes around at the opulent décor, the Queen emerges from behind a curtain, a dress that highlights her curves draped over her and her mask firmly in place. She sits on her bed, provocatively crossing her legs and has the Captain fetch a glass of wine for both of them. He then sits and sips at his wine, noting how good it tastes. Then he tries laying on the charm. He apologizes for how he and his men came across, saying that their nerves were on edge from being on a new world. She tells him that he needn’t both to explain. She says that she will consider accepting his apology, though it depends on his common sense rather than his way with words. She tells him that if he doesn’t provide a truthful explanation for their presence on Venus, the council’s ruling will be carried out. However, she wonders if he has considered the alternative…

Now she talks about being lonely and being attracted to him when she first saw him. He puts down his glass of wine and quickly starts feeling all over her. He tries to get her to remove her mask, but she turns away from him. Now she starts going off the deep end, accusing him of trying to charm her into releasing he and his men (true!). Then she says that the space station was an outpost from which Earth intended to attack Venus. Again she asks what the plan of attack is, and again Patterson denies there being one. She then says she will show him what happens to those who oppose her.

She gets up and walks over to a desk-mounted viewing screen. Activating it with a remote control, she shows him some funky gizmo made from cardboard that looks like something left over from a failed kiddie show. She calls it the Beta Disentegrator. I’m assuming the first one – the Alpha Disintegrator – was a failure in some fashion. She reveals that it was this thing that destroyed the space station and that it will destroy the Earth just as easily when the time comes (no doubt after about twenty misses on the part of the operator). Patterson brings up the countless millions of innocent people on Earth, admitting that Humans have been quarrelsome in the past, but that they mean no harm to the people of Venus.

Patterson now decides to take the Sigmund Freud route and begins psycho analyzing the Queen, saying that she is denying a man’s love and substituting it with hatred and a passion for the power she possesses. He says that she is not only a queen, but a woman, too…and a woman needs a man’s love. With that he reaches up and removes her mask. NOOOOO!!!!!

Needless to say, Queen Yllana is far from beautiful. More like the fugliest chick in the entire galaxy. Her face is nothing more than scar tissue, making her look like Freddy Krueger’s step mother. Patterson’s eyes go wide in shock and I’m sure that he had to fight in order to keep from shitting himself. He apologizes, saying that he didn’t understand, but she tells him that he will die for what he has done. She reveals now that her face is the result of radiation burns and that she blames men and their wars for her hideous visage. Reminding the Captain of what he was just saying about her needing the love of a man, she starts cozying up to him and asks if he will give her that love. She moves in, as if for a kiss, but the poor Captain turns away in disgust. This, of course, only inflames her anger. She covers her face with her mask and calls for the guards. Two broads enter, armed with guns. Just two! A couple minutes ago there were four standing out in the hall! Where did the other pair go…to fix their make-up? Anyway, these two lead Patterson out. After he is gone, Yllana looks at her burned face in a mirror and then starts to weep. Somewhere, Patterson is probably weeping as well, no doubt at the close call he just had when he almost had to kiss her.

Later, after Patterson has been returned to the holding room, he is explaining to the others the circumstances behind Yllana’s mask and her true appearance, adding that he thinks the radiation affected her mind as well as her complexion. He’s down on himself, as he thinks that he has ruined their only chance as escape, but Konrad tells him that he could not have known. Even Talleah didn’t know that Yllana was one fugly broad. Cruze wants to know what they’re gonna do now, as he doesn’t like the idea of sitting around until the dames come to finish him off with their ray guns.

Just as he says that, the door opens and a pair of gals enter with ray guns. Cruze is ready to rush them, saying that there are only two of them. What is really stupid is how he proposes to the others that they overpower the guards: loudly and within earshot of them. What an idiot. I was almost hoping he’d run up to one and attempt to deck her, only to have the other fry his ass with her weapon. Alas, before he can even get a running start, one of the women says “Friend” and “Talleah,” motioning for them to accompany her. Of course they go with her, but if that gal really wanted to motivate them into moving, she should have used words like, “beer” or “pizza” or even “strip show.” That would have gotten all their asses into gear, and fast.

The men are now taken to that laboratory we saw earlier, where Talleah is waiting. Patterson wastes no time in rushing up to her and embracing her. She admits that she was worried about them. She then introduces them to two other gals, Motiya and Kaeel, whom she says are also their friends. Turner announces that he is glad to have them on their side. Somehow I think he would like to have them on their backside.

“Don’t be silly dahlinks, I’m already married. You’ll just have to put your names on the waiting list.”Talleah now says that time is running out, as Queen Yllana plans on destroying the Earth in two days time. Patterson asks about the location of the Beta Disintegrator. Kaeel tells him that it is deep in the jungle, connected to the city by a transport tube that is well guarded. This just means that they will have to travel overland. Patterson says there is no need for the women to risk their lives, but Talleah says that they wish to come, as they have no life there without love or children. Patterson relents and the women begin showing the men how to use their ray guns. Suddenly a voice from the hallway can be heard saying something about looking “in the laboratory.” Motiya and Kaeel quickly take the men and hide in a closet.

The guards now come rushing into the room. Talleah, pretending to work at her station, says that she did not call for them asks what they want, as they are disturbing her. As she tries to shoo them out, inside the closet Turner and Cruze suddenly notice how close they are standing to two women. Two attractive women. Two attractive women in skimpy outfits. One guard is about to open the door to the closet, but a shout from another women in the hall suddenly has all the guards running out, looking a bit silly in those high heels I might add.

The guards now gone, Talleah opens the closet and leads the others out of the room and through the corridors, narrowly avoiding discovery on more than one occasion. Realizing that all the exits from the palace are sealed, Motiya thinks of one way that may not be guarded, so off the group goes.

In the Queen’s chambers, Yllana is telling her guards that the Earth men must be taken alive and offers a rich reward to whoever captures them. Then the guards bring in a struggling woman. She is one of the ladies that helped Patterson and his men escape, but of course she denies this charge when the others inform Yllana of this. The Queen says that this gal has always been loyal, and orders her released. The guards let her go and the Queen tells her that she is free to leave. The woman turns and begins exiting through the door. With her back now turned, she cannot see that Yllana has grabbed a weapon and pointed it at her. The Queen then fires. POOF! The poor broad goes up in a puff of smoke. There is not so much as high-heeled shoe left to mark the spot where she stood.

Elsewhere, Motiya is leading the men outside. They evade a few more patrols and eventually find themselves in the jungle. Remember that weird electronic sound the guys encountered when they first arrived? Well, it’s back, only now it is accompanied by searchlights. Everyone ducks behind some bushes to avoid being seen. Doing so has forced Motiya to get pretty close to Turner, and she even notes this. In return, he says that he is not the type to complain, and as a member of the Air Force, he is trained to handle any situation, She just then presses herself closer to him.

Nearby, Kaeel wants Cruze to promise they he will stay close to her no matter what happens. Sister, I don’t think you’d be able to lose him at this point even with a court order. The guy is stuck on her like stupid on Jessica Simpson. She says that the Queen’s tracking device may even detect them by the sound of their heartbeats, to which he admits to providing one hell of a target. Then she calls him pretty! Wow, it has been a long time since she saw a man. Turnabout is fair play, so he calls her handsome.

Behind another bush, Patterson asks Talleah why she brought the other two women along. She says that if they cannot change civilization here, she thought they could go somewhere else and start one of their own. This amuses Professor Konrad, who tells the Captain that this leaves him with a grave responsibility. I don’t know about you, but if I were Konrad, I would not be amused…I’d be pissed! The other three guys have hot babes hanging all over them, with sex on the mind. I’d refuse to go another step until I got my own sex-starved hot chick.

The electronic sounds pass by overhead a few times and then vanish, along with the searchlights. Everyone stands and is about to set out when they are forced to dive for cover again at the approach of a patrol. Some gals go running past, but do not see them. Eventually the coast is clear and the group manages to make a getaway.

“Why are we all hiding behind the rock? Larry was the one that said that God should strike him dead if he was lying about scoring with over a hundred chicks.”Some time later, they are marching through the jungle and decide to take a rest. No sooner have they stopped than a tree explodes nearby. Everyone takes cover behind a rock, but more explosions follow. Patterson says that they are being tracked by radar while Konrad announces they were no doubt located through the use of infrared detection. They spy a cave close by and since radar cannot track them in there, they all run like hell for the entrance. They make it inside, where Konrad points out the metallic streaks on the cave wall, which I am assuming denotes the presence of metals in the strata. He agrees that this will prevent radar from finding them. To me, those veins of metallic ore look like nothing more than spray paint on the set walls.

Now, displaying the kind of logical and safety-minded thinking that probably prevents him from ever being promoted, Turner walks off on his own down a side tunnel. No one else seems to notice, as Captain Patterson realizes that the metal ore in the rocks is actually gold! Talleah doesn’t see the big deal, as they have it in abundance. Returning to Turner, the fool is wandering around when he hears a sound. He looks up and sees a huge rubber spider that promptly launches itself at him from its ledge. He screams and soils his pants. Well…he screams. I’m just guessing about the dirtied underwear, but since normal sized spiders cause that reaction with me, I thought it wasn’t too far out of the bounds of possibility for it to happen to him with a giant arachnid.

His screams alert the others, who come running. They find him on his back, the big rubber spider atop him in an almost lewd position. Patterson wastes no time and fires his newly acquired ray gun at the beast, which squeals like a stuck pig. The Captain and Cruze then help Turner to his feet. Looking back as the monster, all that remains is a smoldering spider-shaped outline on the dirt floor.

Later, we see them all gathered in the main cavern, a small fire having been built. Talleah is sitting close to Patterson, Kaeel is almost in Cruze’s lap while Motiya and Turner are cozying up near the fire. Poor Konrad is left all alone. The poor bastard. The only four men on an entire planet full of hot, horny babes and he has the bad luck of not having one of his own with which to get comfy. Talk about feeling like a fifth wheel. Or an ugly loser. It reminds me of my youth, when all my friends had girlfriends or were getting married and I had never been on so much as a single date with a female. Talk about depressing! If Konrad is feeling now like I was feeling then, he probably wishes he had some alcohol right about now to help wash away the feeling of low self worth. That and a few porn magazines to help pass the time.

Um…where was I again? Oh, yes…the cavern. So, they are all sitting around staring at the flames. Patterson tells Talleah that under different circumstances, this would wonderful. She says that she was thinking the same thing. She wonders if he was happy back on Earth. He admits that he was pretty content, having had a successful career in a field of work that he loved. She presses the matter and gets him to reveal that he had not found the right girl yet. She is glad, as she would have been terribly jealous if he had. There is some more romantic banter, but I must admit to having my eyes glaze over, so I didn’t keep track of all that is said. All I know is that the two end up locking lips.

A few feet away, Kaeel and Cruze are getting closer, to the point where she is almost wearing his uniform. She notices that the fire is going out, Cruze tells Turner to get some more wood. Wood is not a problem for Turner at this point. He and Motiya are lip-locked themselves, and I’m sure the lieutenant is sporting lots of wood. Turner doesn’t want to get it, but Cruze pulls rank and orders him to. He is about to get up when Professor Konrad stomps out of the cave, saying that he will get it as, he is “not busy.” See! I knew the poor schmuck was feeling alone and bitter cuz he had no hottie of his own.

“We captured two of the male specimens in the river. Needless to say, I am not impressed, though they keep babbling over and over again something about ‘shrinkage’.”Outside, Konrad quickly hears sounds nearby and ducks behind a bush. Not too far off, some broads are trying to sneak through the trees, their bright, colorful dresses giving them away. They spot some tracks made by our heroes and begin to follow them. Konrad quickly heads back into the cave and warns the others. He advises against fighting since they are trapped in the cave and the guards will just wait and starve them out. Patterson then hits upon a plan. Since Queen Yllana does not know that Talleah, Motiya and Kaeel helped the men to escape, by pretending to capture the escaped prisoners, they will be above suspicion. The guys quickly hand over the weapons to the ladies and the group exits the cave. Once outside, Talleah and the others pretend to have captured the men, calling the guards for assistance. One guard radios in that the guys have been caught and will be returning. Then the whole lot of them begin the trek back to the city.

Now we see Queen Yllana overseeing work being done on the Beta Disintegrator. A guard approaches with a communicator and the Queen learns that the men have been re-captured. She orders them taken to her private chambers. Then she tells the workers to push forward with all possible speed. With that, she leaves.

Back in the palace, Talleah and the other broads are escorting the Earth men to the Queen’s chambers. When they arrive she orders the guards to stay in the corridor, even though Motiya and Kaeel accompany her inside with the men. They don’t have too much time to relax before Queen Yllana shows up. She marches over to Patterson and says she is disappointed in him for attempting to escape. He poses the idea that she would be just as disappointed if he hadn’t tried. She says that may be true, but he won’t get another chance to find out. She plans on watching him as the Earth is destroyed, then have all the guys executed. Turning to Talleah, she congratulates her on the capture, promising her the offered reward for doing so.

Talleah suddenly announces that she doesn’t want the reward. She now points her weapon at the Queen and says, “one move and I kill you.” Now comes the truly funny part. No sooner has she done this, than Lieutenant Turner grabs the gun from her hand and points it at the Queen himself. What…did he not trust a woman with a gun? HA! In fact, within seconds, the men are holding all the guns, having divested the women of the sidearms.

The Queen calls the other women traitors. Patterson explains to the Queen that these women are not alone and that there are thousands more wishing for a return to the old order. Yllana thinks she has done a good job at keeping the peace, but Konrad points out that peace is not enough and that people must be content. Well, there goes any chance at a happy resolution to this planet’s problems? Content? Women? Yeah, right! Talleah adds that women cannot be happy without men. Um…yeah. Try telling that to a few broads I know today. Patterson tells the Queen that he doesn’t think she is a tyrant, just a woman who has been hurt. She asks him if it is understanding or pity he is conveying.

The Captain now wants her to order all work on the Beta Disintegrator stopped while Talleah wants all the men returned from Tyrus. Yllana refuses to give these orders. Patterson wants her to reconsider, as the alternative wouldn’t be a pleasant one. What he is going to try and be charming again? Yllana now stumbles over to her bed, mumbling about how she has shown no mercy, so she should suspect none. Then she flops out on the bed. Any idiot could see what she is trying to do, but the rest of these losers are not just any idiot. Nope, they are special, grade A idiots that put the rest to shame. Even though they are looking right at her, they fail to see her slowly reach under a pillow and retrieve a ray gun. She turns and fires, but luckily for Captain Patterson, he is an idiot with fast reflexes. He manages to jump out of the way. Then he and the other men grab Yllana, disarming her in the process.

Patterson calls what she did stupid, but she tells the Captain that he is shit out of luck, as only she can order the things that he wants done…and she is not planning on doing it. Talleah confirms that this is true, but says that the orders will come from Yllana. The captain realizes what she means and removes the Queen’s mask and hands it over to her. Then Talleah takes it and says she will put on one of the queen’s dresses. She and the other ladies head into the next room to change, leaving Yllana – her scarred face laid bare for all to see – alone with the four men.

500,000 channels and not a damn thing worth watching.Yllana tries to hide her face. She babbles something about she and Patterson ruling the planet together, but he says it would not have happened her way. She wonders if that would be true if she were as beautiful as Talleah. She makes a grab for a gun, but they stop her. Then wrestling her the entire way, they tie her up and hide her behind a changing screen. While this is being done, Patterson uses the remote control to look at the Beta Disintegrator on the viewer.

At this time, Talleah and the others emerge from the adjoining room. Talleah has donned one of the Queen’s outfits, and holding the mask over her face, she looks, as Patterson puts it, like Yllana’s “twin sister.” Disguised like that, she can get them all to the weapon and afford them an opportunity to destroy it. He asks her if any of the personnel at the Disintegrator base are loyal to her and she says about ten…maybe more. Kaeel and Motiya now leave to go on ahead and alert these followers to be ready to aid Talleah once she arrives.

Ok, guys, be ready to be sick to your stomachs. At this point, Patterson takes Talleah in his arms and pointing out how they might not get a chance to talk later…or even live through the day for that matter, he says that wants to take this chance to tell her that he loves her. It takes her almost twenty words to finally say it back to him. I myself, between nauseating dry heaves, wonder when these two morons had the time to fall in love with one another? They’ve only know each other for a few hours! Lust? Yeah, I can see that…but love? C’mon!

So ready now to put their plan into motion, Patterson hands her a gun while the other men hide theirs. Talleah dons Yllana’s mask and it is just in time, too! The door now opens and a bunch of guards come in. Acting like the Queen, Talleah says that she didn’t call for them and that they are disturbing her. Does she really expect them to believe that in the space of a few minutes, the Queen has developed a Hungarian accent? Before anyone can question her stupidity in thinking she could impersonate the Queen with such an obvious accent, the real Yllana manages to squirm around on the floor behind the changing screen and knock it over. The guards see her, rush to her aid and free her. Quickly, Talleah is disarmed and the Queen takes back her mask.

One guard wants to kill Talleah now, but making it clear that she has not read the book, “101 Things For Evil Masterminds Not To Do,” Yllana says that they will all live long enough to see her greatest triumph: the destruction of Earth, though Talleah will die last and most horribly of all. I myself am picturing something involving restraints, endlessly looped music and Yanni albums. Yllana then cozies up to Patterson and says that she could spare his life. She removes her mask, which causes most of the guards to look shocked and surprised when they see her scarred features. The Queen moves in, as if to kiss the Captain, but at the last second he wisely chooses death…and turns away from her, refusing the smooch. With that she stomps out in a huff, followed by the guards leading the others to their eventual execution…once Earth has gone kablooey, of course.

 

Note - It is at this point that the movie enters its final segment, so if any of you really feel the need to watch this film and not know the ending ahead of time, skip the rest of this section.

 

Now we move to the weapon installation where the Beta Disintegrator has been built. Everyone enters and the Queen consults with one of the broads there. As she does, Turner looks at the gizmo and says that it certainly look like it can do the job the Queen intends for it. Konrad gets all brainy and says that the Venusians have solved the problem of projecting nuclear energy. Yllana now approaches and tells Patterson that the weapon will be ready to fire in a few moments. He tells her that she is out of her mind (well, of course she is…she’s a woman). She now turns to Konrad and tries to provoke a reaction from him after describing what the weapon will do to Earth. He asks if anything will stop her from this monstrous action. She says that there is nothing.

Well, I wouldn’t be so sure about that. As she is blabbering on, we see Kaeel, Motiya and some other gals – who are most likely the ones loyal to Talleah – all peeking out from behind a corner.

Finished with her badgering of Professor Konrad, Queen Yllana now directs everyone’s attention to a sizable view screen that shows an image of Earth. She boasts of her electronic telescope’s ability to show so much detail in the image. Yeah, it’s good, but it has a long way to go before it can compete with my HD television. She says that even though it took millions of years the create the Earth, it will be destroyed in a matter of seconds. She then walks over to a control panel that has all of two shiny black buttons on it. She looks around for a second or two and then presses one of them.

The Beta Disintegrator begins to hum with life. The sound slowly begins to build, as if the machine is gathering energy before releasing its onslaught. Gradually, a new sound is heard. This one is reminiscent of an alarm, so there might be something wrong with the machine. Apparently, Queen Yllana thinks the same thing because she presses the same black button again. This time there is a horrible sound that is a cross between rusty nails on a blackboard and a someone trying to shift a Corvette from fifth gear straight into reverse, without using the clutch. Suffice it to say, it is not a good sound at all. Yllana now begins to hit the same button over and over, after all…if it didn’t work the first time or even the tenth time, there is always a chance of it working on the twentieth or thirtieth time. While this is going on, Talleah looks over and exchanges nods with Motiya, Kaeel and the others that are hiding. How she can see them but the guards cannot is beyond me.

Finally, the Beta Disintegrator refuses to take so much abuse and begins to smoke. Yllana runs inside and starts fiddling with some of the controls, but the thing only starts to spark and even explode around her. Talleah’s supporters choose this moment to come running in and fight with the Queen’s guards. There is a free for all at this point. Women struggle with women, women struggle with men and in the middle of it is Lieutenant Cruze, getting his ass handed to him by some broad. It’s not that she busts out any lethal fighting moves. It’s more like she just grabs him and shakes the poor bastard until he is in the floor. The whole fight is pretty tame. I've seen more fire and raw aggression at weddings when women fight to catch the bride's bouquet.

Remember to eat spicy Indian food at your own risk!Eventually, all the malfunctioning machinery is too much for Yllana and she falls over within the weapon’s control room, letting loose one final defiant scream as she goes. The place is shortly ablaze with fire. Everyone who is fighting outside dives for cover as the explosions intensify. Picking themselves up, they see the Queen’s charred corpse on the floor. Soon enough, the explosions cease and things settle down.

The next thing we know, we are back in the council chambers. The men and a sizable group of women are standing around talking (the guys no doubt collecting as many phone numbers as possible). Then Talleah makes a grand entrance, accompanied by Motiya, Kaeel and two other broads. They take up seats behind the long desk where the council members sat. After they sit, another gal comes up and whispers something to Talleah.

Talleah then stands up and announces that the brave men who helped them get back their freedom and happiness are about to depart, as their ship has been repaired and there is nothing preventing them from returning to Earth. A murmur passes through the crowd of women, who gather around the guys. Talleah and the other gals at the desk do likewise. As she and Captain Patterson embrace, she wants him to promise that he will come back. He tells her that he doesn’t want to go and that he wants to stay with her. Across the room, Motiya and Turner are expressing their love for one another.

Talleah asks Patterson if they can delay their departure for a day or two, but he says that they cannot. Then he asks Cruze where Turner is. “Where else?” asks Cruze, who then points across the room. The captain looks and sees Turner doing his best to determine what Motiya had for breakfast by sucking it back up her throat. Patterson calls to him in stern voice and Turner reluctantly leaves Motiya to join his crewmates. The Captain says that they need to get going.

Another gal comes up now (coincidentally, she was the same one who wanted to kill Talleah earlier) and informs them that the electronic Tele-viewer is working and contact has been made with Earth. Talleah takes the remote offered to her by another gal and activates the viewer. After an image of Earth, Colonel Ramsey appears on screen, sitting at his desk as of he has never left it. He relays his orders to Captain Patterson: not to attempt a return flight in the Starfire. He does not want to risk the lives of the crew in a patched up ship. Therefore, Patterson and his crew are to remain on Venus until a relief expedition can reach them.

The Colonel says that he knows the men want to return to Earth (not really, according to Turner who is busy kissing Motiya), but that they must bear their privations and hardships bravely. Cruze now steps up and says that he is committed to doing so. Of course, being surrounded by hot, horny babes is not exactly a hardship in his – or my – book. Cruze promptly goes back to smooching Kaeel. The Colonel then says that it could be a year or more before then can get to Venus to retrieve Patterson and his men.

Captain Patterson now looks at Talleah and realizes that she arranged this whole thing. We see Professor Konrad, who is literally surrounded by chicks, all of who are caressing and kissing him, “A year!” he remarks, before disappearing beneath all that female flesh. I guess the professor doesn’t have to worry about being the loneliest guy in town any more.

AA? I guess this film really does drive that many people to drink.We get one last shot of Patterson and Talleah embracing, then its time to fade out.

The End.

Wait! I guess it ain’t truly over. Now we get some acting credits. We see Talleah and Patterson, credited as The Leaders. Next is Motiya and Turner as The Lovers, then Kaeel and Cruze as The Lovelorn. After that is Konrad surrounded by broads, deemed The Professor and The Girls. Following him is Yllana, The Wicked Queen and finally, a bunch of guards, termed Her Posse!

Ok. Now we can fade out and go home.

 

Review

The fascination with outer space, both exploring it and dealing with life forms hailing from it, did not really explode onto the silver screen in earnest until several years after the second World War, though the years leading up to that period saw a smattering of films with this general theme. Perhaps it was the sudden interest in UFO’s – stemming from the infamous incident in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 – or the realization that with the use of the atomic bomb against Japan in World War II man was entering a new age of scientific progress. Maybe it was even a combination of these as well as other factors, but movie-going audiences didn’t really start to devour these types of films until the 1950’s. One of the first to capture the imagination of this generation of movie fans was Destination Moon (1950), the (then) futuristic tale of a race to the moon between Americans and Russians. It was one of the first films to try and portray a level of scientific accuracy in its story.

A veritable flood of films followed, spanning the spectrum of filmmaking. Big budgets, low budgets, color film, black and white film, scientific accuracy, junk science…the silver screen saw it all in every combination imaginable. Movie houses began featuring the adventures of brave men and women who recklessly flung themselves into the void on missions of exploration or who fought determinedly here on Earth against alien invaders from other worlds. Somewhere along the line though, a curious subgenre was created in this burgeoning field of outer space epics. These particular films showcased visits to other worlds that were inhabited by all-female societies. Only a handful of these films were made and all of them are considered less than stellar: Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953), Cat Women of the Moon (1953), Fire Maidens from Outer Space (1956), Missile to the Moon (1959) and of course, Queen of Outer Space (1958). Representing the most absurd of male sexual fantasies as well as reflecting the more sexist and often outright misogynist attitudes of the day, these films stand out today as monuments to not just cinematic cheeze, but to the progress (albeit slow progress some might say) society has made in viewing women as more than playthings for men.

In 1951 Monogram Pictures Corporation released Flight To Mars with Cameron Mitchell and Arthur Franz. A modest success, the studio announced a sequel, Voyage to Venus, as well as another film, Queen of the Universe, the latter to be produced by Walter Wanger and based on a short story by noted Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht. There is some confusion to this day as to whether or not Hecht actually wrote a story at all. Some reports say he did and that it was ten pages in length, while others say that Wanger asked Hecht if he could use his name to help sell a project to a studio. Hecht agreed and dusted off an old script from 1951 that was a satirical look at Venus, a “planet ineptly run by women.” A former Chicago newspaperman who made his way West and found work as not only a script doctor, but as someone who turned out gritty, hard-boiled scripts of his own, Hecht worked on many classic films, including Gone with the Wind (1939), Wuthering Heights (1939), Notorious (1946), A Farewell to Arms (1957), Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) as well as genre films like The Thing from Another World (1951) and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964). The screenplay for Queen of Outer Space was written by Charles Beaumont. This was his first film script, though he had worked in television previously and would go on to more extensive television work, including writing chores on several episodes of the original Twilight Zone and the Boris Karloff-hosted Thriller. Further film work included films for Roger Corman such as Premature Burial (1962), The Haunted Palace (1963) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964).

Serving as director on Queen of Outer Space was Edward Bernds, who had originally landed at Columbia Pictures as a sound technician in the late 1920s, quickly heading up the department because of the relatively new trend in sound movies. It was in this position that he worked on nearly one hundred films between 1929 and 1946. In time he made the jump to writing and directing short subjects, including several shorts featuring The Three Stooges. Switching to full length features, he churned out numerous entries in the Bowery Boys and Blondie series as well as dozens of other films throughout the 40’s and 50’s. His genre efforts include World Without End (1956), Space Master X-7 (1958), Return of the Fly (1959) as well as junior delinquent films Reform School Girl (1957) and High School Hellcats (1958). He ended his career with the Three Stooges films of the 60’s, which often included some fantastical elements in them.

Brought in as the female lead was Zsa Zsa Gabor, a former Miss Hungary for the year 1936 who came to Hollywood, following her younger sister Eva. She began in film with supporting roles in films like Lovely to Look at (1952) and We're Not Married! (1952) before landing the lead in Moulin Rouge (1952). Afterwards, she slipped back into supporting roles and cameos for the remainder of her acting career. In an interview, director Edward Bernds said that Zsa Zsa was very “testy” with many of the actresses playing the Venusian girls. Most of them were beauty contest winners, and were many years – and in some cases a few decades – younger than her. She became very difficult to work with when she noticed that the crew was paying more attention to the other woman than they were to her. Bernds said that Gabor gave producer Ben Schwalb such a hard time on the picture that Schwalb eventually wound up in the hospital with ulcers. Of course, she would eventually become more known for her numerous marriages and celebrity status rather than her thespian skills.

Much has been debated concerning this film, especially given the fact that both Ben Hecht and Charles Beaumont were capable of much better work. It seems hard to believe that even audiences of the 1950’s could not appreciate the campiness of the end product or see through the blatant macho posturing. The inherent cheapness of the sets, the amusing music and the downright silly dialog all contribute towards a film that must have been intended as a farce or satire from its very conception, but director Bernds insists that the film was intended to be taken straight. This can certainly be seen in the performances by the actors, who seem totally invested in the proceedings. One can imagine that the only ones who were in on the joke were Hecht and Beaumont, though one would imagine that after working so much with The Three Stooges, director Bernds would have easily read between the lines and seen the script for the spoof that it was. That was, if it was indeed intended as such. It’s best to just watch it and determine that for yourself.

¡Ay, caramba! Is this movie a cheesy mess or what? At first glance it would seem to have it all: hot chicks in skimpy costumes, rocket ships, space travel, exciting space battles, thrilling adventure, narrow escapes, hideous monsters and the potential destruction of the entire Earth. Alas, the finished product doesn’t quite come together like it should. This is a movie that is less than the sum of its parts. Hot chicks in skimpy costumes? Check! Rocket ships? Check! Space travel? Check! Exciting space battles, thrilling adventure and narrow escapes? NOPE! Hideous monsters? Well, if one means hideous in its crapiness, then check! The potential destruction of Earth? I think you’d better be concerned with the potential destruction of your sanity when watching this film.

The Storyline.
Succinctly put: men crash on another planet and discover a society comprised solely of women. Since this was not the first movie to feature this basic, and dare I say goofball, premise, one wonders why it was even trotted out again for this film, aside from the fact that it could now be inflicted upon audiences in tantalizing color. The entire notion of a planet populated only by females, and attractive females at that, seems like a fanboy’s wet dream rather than compelling science fiction. Swap the rocket for a ship and the planet Venus for a steamy tropical island and the film would work just as well. Just a simple summation of the plot tells one all they really need to know: that the women will be sexy and dangerous yet needy, while the men will be bold, loudmouthed jerks. This movie wastes little time, getting our group of men into their rocket and into space in less than ten minutes. By the seventeen minute mark they have arrived on Venus and from that point on, it’s one crazy scene after another. Everything unfolds in a linear fashion with no flashbacks and very few scenes that show action that is not taking place with the men. It’s like the movie knows what it wants to do and doesn’t waste a second on anything else. You’ll either sit transfixed by the sheer silliness of it all, or you’ll be asleep before the opening credits start.

Characterizations & Acting.
One thing that is very noticeable about this picture is that despite the silly plot and often inane dialog, the group of actors in this film play their roles with complete and utter sincerity, never once giving the audience the impression that they are not taking things as serious as possible. It makes for a weird dichotomy of stimuli. On one hand, the sheer cheeze factor and on the other, everything is played straight! It’s like putting actors Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Anthony Hopkins in a remake of Plan 9 From Outer Space and then having them play it one hundred percent serious. The mind of the viewer just doesn’t know what to think.

Let’s first talk about the Earth men. With the exception of Professor Konrad, the rest are idiots…especially Cruze and Turner. Captain Patterson is not quite the sexist that those two are, but he has his moments. I suppose he would be more annoying if he displayed the slightest trace of a personality. This guy is so wooden, if you threw him in the ocean, he’d float. He comes across as more level headed than his crew, which I suppose is the reason why he is the Captain and not one of them. Both Cruze and Turner are raging sexists. While not overly misogynistic, they still have a low opinion on the abilities of women, talking down to them on nearly every occasion. I couldn’t help but wonder why the ladies of Venus would even want to keep these buffoons around! They can behave beyond annoying much of the time and have the viewer wishing for some Venusian Amazon Chick to lay a serious ass beating down on the two of them. Of all the men, the one that is the least grating on the nerves is Professor Konrad. Sure, he seems to have a tenuous grasp on science at times, but it’s that more logical, observational mind of his that allows him to take a step back and see the situation more clearly than the others. He never talks down to the ladies of Venus, yet he is the one who goes through most of the picture without a woman on his arm. Proof right there that despite what they say about nice guys, women across the universe will always gravitate first towards the bad boy types that mistreat them.

Turning to the ladies, we find them to be only slightly less annoying than the men, and just like their male counterparts, this behavior can be credited to the outdated social outlook of the time in which this film was made. If the men are sexist and condescending, then the women are made to look submissive and weak. Even Queen Yllana, the woman that led a revolt and who took absolute power for herself, cruelly dealing with any who opposed her…even she is shown to get all weak in the knees at the sight of our studly Earth men. If she – a woman who is filled with hate for men, blaming them for her facial scarring – can be tempted by these lotharios from another planet, then what hope do the rest of the male-pinning population of ladies have? I’ll tell you: none! Fortunately, despite her weakness for Captain Patterson, Yllana is a tough, mean gal and is definitely one you don’t want to cross. The only other woman of any substance is Talleah, but she just comes off as a glorified groupie, doing her best to surreptitiously gain entrance into the Earth men’s room, sneaking them out of the palace and proposing long lives filled with nookie. She is supposed to be a rebel, but she comes across as a diva in desperate need of an entourage. The other gals, like Motiya and Kaeel, are nothing more than men-starved eye candy, running around, doing whatever they can to guarantee themselves a man once all the shouting is over.

As for acting…ugh. As mentioned, everyone takes the script waaay too seriously, given the lines they are spouting. This makes for some painful moments, especially any “romantic” or “tense” moment between Patterson and Talleah. While Zsa Zsa Gabor might have been something to look at back in the day, she couldn’t act her way out of a fifth grade production of Peter Rabbit. Everyone else is just rather tolerable. The sole exception is Laurie Mitchell as Queen Yllana. She actually comes across as somewhat good. Maybe it’s the mask she wears that allows her to hide her face when she recites such over the top dialog. Maybe it’s because she is the villain and can get away with a little more melodrama. Whatever the case, she (for me anyway) was the standout actor in this flick. Now I will have to dig out Attack of the Puppet People and Missile to the Moon to see her performances in those films.

FX.
I’ve read so much about how the FX shots were lifted from other films, so I do not know for sure if that is the case with all of them, or if there were any original FX created for this film. Certainly the model rocket ship and shots utilizing it were taken from Word Without End. There is a matte painting that was apparently lifted from some old Arabian movie. And don’t even get me started on the giant rubber spider also taken from Word Without End. Some of these borrowed shots look decent, while others look rather craptastic. The shots of the Starfire rocketing through space look good, while subsequent shots of it being bounced around after being struck by the Venusian weapon look really terrible. The crash landing isn’t much better, either. The aforementioned rubber spider is utterly lifeless and looks about as real as a blow-up doll.

However, there are some other instances of special FX that I wonder about. Like the shot of Space Station A being destroyed. In spite of the cheap, animated energy beam in that sequence, the actual explosion looks pretty good, if a bit on the dark side. Likewise, at the end of the film there is a shot of Earth that looks pretty damn good! Were these lifted from some other movie as well, or were they original shots? I don’t know. Overall, the FX is rather limited, as the action sticks with the adventures and travails of the Earth Men…and since they are planet-bound for the bulk of the film, there really is no need for extravagant FX.

Music.
The original music here was composed by Marlin Skiles, who provided dozens of films with uncredited stock music, including Zombies of Mora Tau (1957), The Giant Claw (1957) and 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957). Here the music has a definite air of silliness to it. This is one of contributing factors to the film’s camp quality. Despite all the earnestness on display from the actors, the background music gives one the impression of some whimsical farce rather a serious Sci Fi drama. I wouldn’t go so far to say that it detracts from the story, as the plot is already goofy enough on its own. Rather, the music just adds to the overall cheese factor and doesn’t really contribute anything in the way of tension or thrills.

Technique.
Technique? What technique? This film looks like it was filmed over the course of a week, on sets that were thrown together in two days, using borrowed props, costumes, FX footage from previous films (especially the aforementioned World Without End as well as Forbidden Planet) and stock shots that don’t match anything else, let alone one another. The only words I would use to describe the technique would be fast, sloppy and cheap. As is so often the case with science fiction films of the period, the camera seems to be firmly rooted in place, making only the most miniscule of movements during scenes. Then again, given the fact that the film was shot entirely on sets, and one can see why there were no sweeping shots: there simply wasn’t anything worthwhile to show the audience. After all, the main attraction was all those women in short skirts. They could be placed anywhere and still be guaranteed to be the center of attention.

Setting aside the more overt scientific absurdities like a naturally habitable Venus, non-terrestrial life forms that look exactly like we Earthers and a viable Human-like society built on only one gender; there are the aspects that make this film so charming. That is, charming in a horribly fascinating kind of way. Like the subtle and not so subtle examples of 50’s male machismo that may just make you ill, especially if you are female. I’ll be one of the first to acknowledge the differences between the sexes and I firmly believe that denying those differences is just asinine. There are some things men will always be better at and things women will always be better at, though these things are not as plentiful as many people believe. That being said, I don’t consider myself a sexist (too much) and have always been attracted to strong women. I still appreciate the humor inherent in the differences between men and women and to that end have sprinkled my reviews on this site with stabs at both sexes. However, I wonder how much of this movie was a parody. The script certainly imparts the idea that men are the natural leaders and all women should be concerned with is looking good and pleasing their men. Indeed, without a man, women are nothing but miserable creatures…or so this film would have us believe. Did audiences back in the 50’s see through this as just satire or did they buy into this crap? Looking at the roles of women on popular TV shows of the time makes me think it was the latter. It’s looking at these outdated attitudes that lend the film its sense of camp. Having it all take place on another planet was just bonus cheese.

The Summation.
This is a movie that is a sterling example of a campy classic. The veritable epitome of cinematic cheese. There is very little about this movie that is original. Everything from the rockets, costumes, sets, props, FX and even the plot are all taken from other films. The few things that were constructed for this movie, like the various Venusian sets, look so cheap and shoddy that better materials could no doubt be procured at Dollar Tree stores. It seems fairly obvious that as written, this was intended to be satirical, but when it came time to film it, they decided to play it serious. That in itself really amps up the cheese factor, considering the various story elements and cornball dialog at play here.

 

Expect To See:
Action
Action - Well, there really isn’t much action in this film. The biggest moment may come when the rocket ship is knocked off course and crashes into the snowy mountains of Venus.
Aliens
Aliens - Strictly speaking, with one exception, every single woman in this film hails from another planet. Of course, that doesn’t make them alien. Being female makes them strange.
Giant Bugs
Giant Bugs - I think the official classification should be Arachnida Rubberus, as the lifeless, fabricated look this thing sports is only eclipsed by the most poorly constructed piñatas.
Jungle Hijinks
Jungle Hijinks - There is a lot of time spent stumbling around the jungles of Venus. Naturally, these jungles are brought to life by the thrilling process known as set decoration.
Offworld Hijinks
Offworld Hijinks - Most of this flick occurs on Venus. Contrary to popularly held opinion, it's not a hothouse filled with deadly gases. It looks less toxic than the Los Angeles basin.
Outer Space
Outer Space - In these old films you can't get to another planet without a ship of some kind, so there's a sequence with the characters as they traverse the cold depths of space.
Romance
Romance - Ugh. Every one of the Earth men hooks with a Venusian dame by film’s end. Even Konrad! It was like some weird cross between Forbidden Planet and The Love Boat.
Skin
Skin - Apparently, popular fashion on Venus dictates that women show off a lot of leg. Why, I don’t know. This was the 50’s, mind you, so don’t get too excited at the prospect.
Spaceships
Spaceships - One rocket ship, under the name of Starfire. This single rocket ship is played by both footage of a real rocket (A V2 maybe?) and stock footage from older films.
Stock Footage
Stock Footage - Thankfully not too much. There are some old shots of a rockets being fueled and then lifting off. There are also some shots lifted from the film World Without End.
Technology
Technology - Only one piece matters: the Beta Disintegrator with which Yllana plans to destroy the Earth. It looks like it was constructed with cardboard, duct tape and spray paint.
Violence
Violence - One space station goes BOOM with all hands aboard. One broad is reduced to a puff of smoke via ray gun while another gets the BBQ treatment.

 

Movie Stats:
Shadow's Commentary:

Deaths: 2 (plus unrevealed number on space station)
Number of times Venusians fire at Space Station A and miss: 11
Number of outfits worn by Motiya: 1
Number of outfits worn by Yllana: 4
Number of outfits worn by Talleah: 5
Total number of men in film: 10
Total number of women in film: At least 31
Condescending/sexists remarks by Earth men: 13
Props recycled from other films: Too many to count
Stock footage shots of real rockets: 13
Times “Botchino!” is said: 5

00 Mins – Where have I seen those uniforms before?
05 Mins - Why is there a bed on the ship’s bridge?
10 Mins - Space station played by used air filter.
13 Mins - Rocket ship on a string.
15 Mins - Begin title credits, finally.
21 Mins - Ask Dr. Stupid!
37 Mins - Can anyone understand a thing she is saying?
46 Mins - Holy crap, that is some bad acne.
57 Mins - Look out for the giant Rubber spider!
65 Mins -
The old ray gun hidden in the bed pillows trick.
73 Mins - That’s what you get for ignoring the oil light.


Shadow's Drinking Game: Any time there are more than three women on the screen at once, take a drink. Any time there are more than ten women on the screen at once, take two drinks. Any time there are more than twenty women on the screen at once, take three drinks.

 

Images Click for larger image

“Hey, does anyone have any more change? I’m
running out of quarters for the peep show.”


“Gentlemen, I’m afraid the evidence is
impossible to ignore. Our acting careers are over.”



One of the very first tasks upon landing on
Venus was determining the viability of
marijuana transplants.



“Look, I’ve got a headache this big, and it has
shut the f*ck up written all over it!”

I wonder what Arabian film they stole this shot from.


  “OMG, this room is terrible. That’s what we get
for not using Travelocity to preview it online.”


“Late? Whaddya mean, late?” gulp


“Mirror, Mirror on the wall…who’s the fairest of
them all? Um…mirror? Hello?”



When rubber monsters attack!

“Where do you think I’m going? To the liquor
store! If I ain’t gonna get laid, then by god
I am going to get shit-faced and then pass out.”



Construction on the world’s biggest Cuisinart
was coming along nicely.


“What? Don’t blame me! I thought you
had the protection!”


“The dermatologist says Clearasil just isn’t
strong enough. What do you think, dear?”


Here we see the quality control room
at the dildo factory.

“Remember, you’re in good hands with Allstate.”



“Holy crap! This Axe Bodyspray actually works!”


 

Immortal Dialog

Cruze and Turner on women and weapons of mass destruction.

Cruze: “Oh, come off it. How could a bunch of women invent a gizmo like that?
Turner: “Sure, and even if they invented it, how could they aim it? You know how women drivers are.”

Shadow’s comment: All too well, my friends. I know all too well.


Professor Konrad comments on a sad truth.

Konrad: “You know, there’s a certain irony in the fact that our lives, and perhaps the lives of everyone on Earth may depend on Captain Patterson’s sex appeal.”

Shadow’s comment: We are so screwed.


Contemplating the future.

Patterson: “Is there any special reason for taking your friends along?”
Talleah: “Yes, because if we can’t change the civilization here, I thought perhaps we can go some place and start one on our own.”
Konrad: “She’s straightforward about it, anyway. I hope you realize, Captain, this leaves you with a grave responsibility.

Shadow’s comment: At least worrying about condoms isn’t it.

 

Keep In Mind
  • In the future, hand gloves will be standard issue attire for all rocket crews.
  • The gravity on Venus is actually .887 of Earth normal rather than the more generally accepted .904g.
  • Apparently the gravity of a planet is also a good indication of the atmosphere’s breathability.
  • When venturing forth from your rocket on another planet, it’s ok if you don’t leave anyone behind to guard it.
  • High heels are the only type of footwear on Venus.
  • Venusian women cannot aim worth a shit.
  • “Ancient Arabian” is a popular architectural style on other planets.
  • People who wear masks all the time, do so for a very good reason. Remove them at your own risk.
  • All women in the universe are bitter creatures if they are without good looks and/or men to take care of them.
  • The people of Venus have devised a sophisticated technology that makes their world look hot, cloudy and devoid of life.



This Film & Me

Some time back around 1983, during a visit to the local book store, my mother bought me a book entitled The Great Book of Movie Monsters. This tome listed monsters, both human and non-human types, from science fiction and horror films dating back to the 30’s. This book made fascinating reading for me, as it clued me in to all sorts of films I had never heard of before, enabling me to keep titles in mind when perusing the TV Guide each week. This book was my first exposure to many of the films that I saw in subsequent years on television and video. There were even a handful that managed to elude me for much longer (the last time I looked, there were about a dozen or so films listed in the book that I have yet to see), and Queen of Outer Space was one of them. I didn’t see this film for the first time until the recent DVD release last year (2007). That’s a wait of nearly twenty-four years from the time I first read about the movie until actually seeing it! Was the movie worth the wait? Yes. Having seen countless other flicks from this time period as well as reading up on the movie, I pretty much knew what to expect. After watching this film about five or six times for this review, I really do not feel the need to watch it again any time soon.

Shadow's rating: Four Tombstones



The Good

  • Hot chicks galore!
  • Vivid color photography
  • Cheesy, campy fun factor
  • Um…not much else

The Bad

  • Recycled props, costumes and FX
  • Not enough people die
  • Silly musical themes
  • Unattractive costumes for gals
  • Bad burn make-up for Yllana

The Ugly

  • Sexist/chauvinistic attitudes on display by men
  • Outdated submissive attitudes on display by women
  • Super cheap cardboard sets
  • Horrible looking giant rubber spider

 

 

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