Judge Bill Gibron gets his zero-G groove on.
In space, no one can hear you hump.
Someone once said that space was the final frontier. Perhaps what they really meant to say was that the limitless universe was a vast, untapped resource of knowledge and wisdom. Maybe they were trying to infer that, after the oceanic and the terrestrial, the galaxy was the last potential playground for cosmic carpetbaggers. But if you based your interpretation on the movies to be found in the latest Something Weird Video box set, you'd perhaps draw a different, deviant conclusion. According to the madcap missions enclosed therein, the Milky Way is a far-out flesh feast filled with nubile lunar ladies who can't wait to strip off their super high tech skivvies and show off their subtle satellites. In this SWV S.E.T.I. project, aliens are horny half-wits looking for love in all the wrong human races and most starship commanders are domineering lesbians. So maybe the solar system is actually the last lost horizon for sex, a veritable celestial profusion of nature loving naked people, go-go dancers in fake UFO sets and rejected concepts for the Blue Man Group. In any case, you'll witness a lot of anus from Uranus and penis from Venus in the latest repackaging of classic Something Weird Video titles in collection form. The Sexy Space anthology contains the following films (also reviewed separately on-site):
Nude on the Moon: Scientists determine that the Earth's nearest planetary neighbor is as good a place as any to look for dates, so they put on their fluorescent colored space suits (which actually look like leftovers from Buster Crabbe's same-sex fashion line) and blast off for booty. Once on the lunar surface, they discover that Pink Floyd's favorite album inspiration is not made of cheese, but cheesecake. There's even a little man meat pastry to go along with the feminine fromage. For you see, the Moon is inhabited by Moon People. And wouldn't you know it—they're all nudists!
Space-Thing: Planetarian playboy Capt. Granilla crash lands on a lesbian love craft helmed by the overheated Capt. Mother, a dominatrix Vogue victim who has outlawed all heterosexual hijinx. Naturally, this means that the mostly female crew of the SS Supreme Erection is sweltering like hot nuts for a little manly companionship. But Grany is foreign to the ways of Terrarian lovemaking, so he has to sneak a peek at some mock mattress mamboing to get his groove on. Once he gets started, he is more than happy to get his space-thing poised for re-entry and docking.
Wham Bam Thank You Spaceman: Two stupid space jockeys from the planet Urine arrive on Earth with a single mission. It is called Operation Procreation. Basically mandated to screw as many Earth women as possible, these alien sex fiends have oversized licking sticks as reproductive organs. This means that whenever they find a fetching, frisky female to fiddle with, they unroll their Tantric tongues and get down to tasty bud bizness. What starts off as an emergency undertaking becomes just an outer space case orgy for our randy rocket men.
For some reason, sci-fi and softcore spoofing just don't mix. Apparently, because of the already speculative nature of the stories told in the standard space opera, packing on extra lunacy through a burlesque or lampoon overloads the stability circuits. As a result, most attempts at cosmos comedy are dumb (Spaceballs) or dumber (Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones—but to be fair, it was unintentional, wasn't it?). When it comes to mixing meteors with monkey lovin' and mockery, the concept of interstellar sexy farcicality is like a paparazzi without an invitation to a VIP party. So leave it to the exploitation experts from the '60s and '70s to understand that any premise could be made perverted by merely adding the right ribald elements. Even these old pros at maniacs and hos could occasionally make a misstep or two. Such unsure footing dominates the recently released Something Weird Video Sexy Space Box Set. In a three-disc double dip of previous solo offerings, only one movie is a true tantalizing treat. The other films offered are examples of cinematic saltpeter, the kind of non-erotic bed bolus that makes you wonder just what the previous generation considered carnal and corporeal. From the looks of some of the battered barmaids and runaway rejects presented here, our forefathers thought dirty, dyspeptic, and dripping with dysentery were supermodel schematics along the lines of Yves St. Laurent and Vidal Sassoon.
Of the three movies here, Nude on the Moon at least understands that all people are not pretty when naked. Divine director Doris Wishman decides to forgo the bogus body slamming and just give us scene after mind-numbing scene of '60s proto-scientists wearing pink and green tights. The use of an actual tourist attraction, the strangely evocative Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida, as the surface of the moon is a masterstroke. We are too busy marveling at the odd rocky monuments to notice the bad acting and/or bodies parading around.
Too bad the mighty monarch of the exploitation game, David F. Friedman, didn't have access to some manner of geodesic gerryrig to sell his space out offal. Space-Thing is often citied as the first softcore sci-fi sex romp, and it's amazing that the words "and last" don't follow that sentiment—this film should have killed the genre outright. Between the overbite bizarreness of Captain Mother (about as sexy as scar tissue) and her blatant banana boobs, to Granilla's Grecian Formula fecundity, this movie is like a pitiful party for the rejected applicants of Ken Kesey's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Yes, there is some fun to be found in the appalling effects and the pseudo-psychedelic color scheme, but Space-Thing is mostly a dull-thing that adds up to no-thing.
Just like Wham Bam Thank You Spaceman. Reminiscent of what a "blue" Catskills comic's parody of an alien invasion would look and sound like, this lame-brained lunch loser sets both science and sexuality back several decades with its curse-filled foolishness. Flaccid by even Harry Novak's nutty nookie standards, this is a motion picture filled with one boring full frontal photo shoot after another, followed by 4th grade level attempts at humor. WBTYSM proves that promiscuity doesn't fit inside every cinematic premise. Occasionally, a film can reject the filth, like a recently transplanted organ.
Without a bonus disc of trailers (like the Beauty and the Beasts Box Set's Extra Weird Companion) and featuring some of the first DVD offerings from Something Weird, each package here is short on substantial bonuses, but big on beautiful sound and vision. All transfers (1.33:1 full screen for each) come from original negative elements and, as a result, the prints are near pristine. There is a little fading here and there and occasional dirt, but the overall impact of the image is one of nearly new status. As for the extras, we are treated to trailers, galleries of movie merchandising, archival shorts of various levels of success, and at least one added factor that makes an otherwise fruitless movie worth buying. Dave Friedman, master storyteller and expert on exploitation, delivers one of his patented "sermon on the muff" for Space-Thing, and it's a hell of a yak. Dave knows just about everything regarding the motion picture of the Midway and shares a small part of it on this disc. This narrative track alone makes Thing a possible acquisition.
So with the count two against one (Nude being a great, goofy must-buy and Space featuring Friedman's disc-saving stories), the choice is up to you. There may be those fans that can overlook the freakish fallout from Wham Bam's brazen ET retardation and simply enjoy it for its voluptuary qualities, and Space-Thing does have a few fun charms. If you think the price is right and the chance to add to your SWV collection commands a purchase of this set, by all means, take the planetary plunge. Just don't be surprised if the majority of these films leaving you locked in a concentric trajectory around you own aesthetic asteroids.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Something Weird Video
• Commentary on Space-Thing by Producer David F. Friedman
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