Tempe Video // 2004 // 51 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Maurice Cobbs (Retired) // June 15th, 2007
Arriving on Earth? To Save Uranus!
Although I am not nearly old enough to remember the heyday of that most delightful and delectable creature known as the go-go girl, I am old enough to miss them, especially in a cultural landscape dominated by sluttish booty girls and jaded sexual cynics and self-righteous neofeminist fascists -- they may be the cultural descendants of the sexual revolution, but from my view, the go-go girls were definitely the best part of it. The go-go girl was the world's first (and perhaps only) post-feminist glamour girl, the zeitgeist of the swingin' Sixties. Perhaps it's the heady air of sexual liberation mixed with the sassy innocence of youth, an innocence virtually impossible for kids brought up to know about safe sex and abortions and assaulted by rap music about hos and pimps -- kids who seem more interested in looking slutty than sassy.
Canadian filmmaker and understandably underappreciated low-rent auteur Brett Kelly taps into that Sixties zeitgeist and his usual stable of Coarse Actors for a double dose of holiday-themed alien shenanigans and mini-skirted, go-go-booted crime-fighting. The end result is a surprisingly amusing diversion. In 2004's Spacemen, Go-go Girls and the True Meaning of Christmas, Ann Atomic (Renee Morra), Viv VaVoom (Sonia Myers), and Dee Lishus (Anne-Marie Pinel) are taking a day off from their duties with the International Organization of Go-go Dancing Crime-fighters. But the restful interlude is rudely interrupted when the team's junior member, Dixie Pixiestick (Anne-Marie Frigon) alerts them to a transmission from Candy Can-Cans (scream queen Brinke Stevens, Mommy), the glamorous leader of their global go-go dancing sorority, who orders the girls to investigate a bizarre, unexplained killing in the local area. Soon, our intrepid heroines are on the trail of two clueless aliens (played by director Kelly and Jodi Pittman) who have been sent to Earth by the Great Protector of Uranus (Jody Haucke) on a mission of the utmost importance. Does a trio of Russian spies, a rocketship on a string, some bone-crushing go-go-style crime-fighting, and a brief stop-off at the local Woody's franchise in search of moolah add up to the true meaning of Christmas? Only one way to find out: Everybody dance!
We meet up with our two inept alien warriors once again in 2005's Spacemen, Go-go Girls and the Great Easter Hunt, this time tasked with guarding the diabolical Baltok, a six-foot, dictatorial, flesh-eating rabbit-like engine of pure furry destruction. When Baltok escapes to Earth, he is mistaken for the Easter Bunny by a hapless human, and formulates a plan to conquer Earth by deceiving the world into thinking that he is the Easter Bunny.
If you think that this sounds like a job for the Detectives-a-Go-Go Detective Agency, you've definitely been paying attention! Dixie Pixiestick, recently promoted to full go-go dancing crime-fighter status, with all the benefits and privileges thereof, leads a desperate mission to Easter Island to confront the ersatz Easter Bunny and end his evil reign of terror -- no matter how many scantily-clad Easter Island cave-girl warriors they have to fight through to get the job done!
Packed with special features that seem not so much special as desperately scraped together by Kelly in the hopes of fleshing out this disc and possibly justifying the price of this offering (two films with a combined running time of less than an hour), or perhaps in the delusional hope that the viewer will want to delve more deeply into the genesis of these works of amateur sagacity, we might be tempted to raise our collective eyebrows and shrug. But when routinely confronted with much higher-profile releases that offer nothing whatsoever in the way of extra material, we should perhaps go out of our way here to applaud the inclusion of the original 1999 version of Spacemen, Go-go Girls and the True Meaning of Christmas (much shorter than its counterpart at a meager 13 minutes), the original 2000 version of Spacemen, Go-go Girls and the Great Easter Hunt (with its too, too short running time of 4 minutes), and the amiable cast and crew commentaries for both films. Also included are three minutes of Super-8 footage from the making of the original True Meaning of Christmas, a preview of the 2004 True Meaning of Christmas, and a few trailers for a selection of dubious offerings from the Brett Kelly film library.
It would be easy, oh so very easy, to dismiss these odd little short films as the pathetic yet undeniably charming attempt of a somewhat mediocre amateur filmmaker to recapture the cornball innocence of a bygone era and perhaps pay homage to the age of cheaply-made and poorly-acted sci-fi flicks (the kind without any sort of viable plot or even any remotely convincing special-effects). But Brett Kelly's Go-go Girl Duology transcends the limitations of the dubious talents of the filmmakers and actors involved to establish itself as a poignant treatise on the progress (and lack of progress) of the feminist-Marxist movements of the late part of the 21st century. In The True Meaning of Christmas, we find a heady criticism of the hegemonic ruling class (effectively skewered by Haucke, who portrays the Great Protector as a typical elite white male capitalist), which can casually and callously order its moronic foot-soldiers to steal wealth from indigenous peoples (in this case, the indigenous peoples of Earth), and brutally exterminate any who stand in their way. However, the two running-dog tools of the military-industrial complex have the tables neatly and eye-openingly turned on them as they experience firsthand institutionalized sexism as victims of the oppressive capitalist system.
In The Great Easter Hunt, we are treated to a stinging sectarian polemic illustrating the progressive feminist society of Easter Island, under the control of the crypto-fascist neo-colonial ambitions of a furry patriarchal oppressor who has the all-female (and no doubt vegan) population duped -- but who caves when confronted by a young, idealistic, revolutionary feminist (Pixiestick) battling against the conditions that impede feminist development. With the help of her liberated sisters, finally freed from the controlling influence of the existing white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, she is free to form a fully-realized anarcha-feminist commune. And dance.
Hell. Maybe it really is just the pathetic yet undeniably charming attempt of a somewhat mediocre amateur filmmaker to recapture the cornball innocence of a bygone era and perhaps pay homage to the age of cheaply-made and poorly-acted sci-fi flicks (the kind without any sort of viable plot or even any remotely convincing special-effects). All depends on how you look at it, I guess. Ultimately, we can categorize this Spacemen & Go-go Girls double feature by paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln: "For those who like that sort of thing, it's just the sort of thing they'd like." Fortunately, I'm one of those who likes this sort of thing. Not guilty!
Review content copyright © 2007 Maurice Cobbs; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Tempe Video
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 51 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Audio Commentary With the Cast & Crew
* Original 1999 Version: Spacemen, Go-Go Girls & The True Meaning Of Christmas
* Original 2000 Version: Spacemen, Go-Go Girls & The Great Easter Hunt
* Super-8 Footage From the Original True Meaning Of Christmas
* Spacemen 2004 Preview
* IMDb: Spacemen, Go-Go Girls & The True Meaning Of Christmas
* IMDb: Spacemen, Go-Go Girls & The Great Easter Hunt
* Official Site
* Brett Kelly on MySpace