Sunday, August 17, 2014

Queen of Outer Space, Dahling

Zsa Zsa Gabor stars as Telleah, the good Venusian scientist, in Edward Bernds immortal Queen of Outer Space (1958).

Unhappily, Ms. Gabor's lines do not include the word "dahling."

Some astronauts go up in a space ship to visit the space station, which is pretty prescient for 1958.

But before they get there the station gets blasted by a death ray from Venus. The ship crashes in some excellent scenery on said planet, and the crew is taken prisoner by Venusian guards with really good legs.

Venus is run by the crazy Queen Yllana, who wears a sort of masked ball thing on account of the stupid men who caused her face to be disfigured. The stupid men are on a moon, which has been converted to a slave colony.

So there's a lot of blah blah blah and it turns out Zsa Zsa and like-minded girls (who have better legs) wish to overthrow the Queen and get some men back.

But Yllana is determined to zap the Earth.

Great-looking guards and gams. Flat-screen TVs. Radiation burns. Ornate masks. Cardboard sets. Heartfelt waving goodbye to spaceship by girl in unfortunate green dress. Story by Ben Hecht, of all people. Very silly, and a lot of fun.

Three coils.

Summer Blockbusters!

The Douglas Library (North Canaan, Conn.) comes through again, with an armload of DVDs with almost unlimited cheese-like potential.

We're talking The Giant Behemoth, Queen of Outer Space (starring Zsa Zsa Gabor), and Attack of the 50 ft Woman.

Speed Lovers, Thunder in Dixie, Swamp Girl, This Is Swamp Country, This Stuff'll Kill Ya!, The Year of the Yahoo and Two Thousand Maniacs (an acknowledged classic).

On the undead front, the "Zombie Madness" collection includes Melvin, Fast Zombies with Guns, Woods of Terror, The Defiled: We Are All Meat, and Zombie Lovers.

And Lon Chaney in the classic Universal version of The Wolf Man.

Chaney's also in the 1971 Dracula vs. Frankenstein, as Groton, a grunting insane henchman with a fondness for puppies. He also swings an efficient axe.

The immortal Zandor Vorkov stars as Dracula, if the Prince of Darkness were a roadie for Kiss.  All his lines have an echo chamber on them, for extra evil.

There are several plot lines. By what appears to be sheer coincidence they occasionally intersect.

One breast. Two beasts. Hippie dancing. Painful Las Vegas lounge act, featuring an incomprehensible song about luggage. Two decapitations. One quart blood. Hippie protest march. Fat bikers. Waiter in hippie cafe with large scar on forehead. Stoned Vegas showgirl hippie dancing. Groovy guy who solves everything while wearing turtlenecks. Dwarf carnival barker (falls on carelessly stored axe). Hippie boyfriend in striped pants who sees artistic potential in old tire (gets federal arts grant in sequel). Mad scientist in wheelchair. Frankenstein monster with face that looks like mashed potatoes, or Secretary of State John Kerry.  One psychedelic freakout song; one groovy ballad with oceans and seagulls, and above mentioned luggage number. Appalling. Three coils.

Lon Chaney as Groton. I would like to report on another character named Philips Exeter, but alas...

This is a song about luggage.

Zandor Vorkov is a glowering-type vampire.