Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

One Damn Cult Movie At A Time

Barbarella (1968) French-Italian

I wanted to do all these at once in a overload of, uh, interesting movies that have grown a cult following but due to my limitations and my puddy's health, that's not going to be possible but I will get them here as fast as I can watch 'em...
This is a wonder of a movie, not because of any brilliance, talent or great special effects, but a wonder that Jane Fonda was willing to show her breasts for an extended period of time throughout this movie. Not that there aren't other breasts in this movie, there are plenty which is very strange for a PG rated movie, but there must have been a clause that none could be perkier or larger than Jane's... did her husband approve of all her nudity? Hell yes, Roger Vadim, whom she was married to at the time directed this stinker. All I had remembered was her wide eyed empty headed acting (and costume changes) and the fact that one of my fave 80's band Duran Duran got their name from this movie (dropping the 'd'). I didn't miss much in the forgetting.

To begin with we're treated with nine full minutes of nudity starting with Jane Fonda being upside down suspended in a space suit. She slowly strips it off and really needs a pole 'cause hey, this is a nudie bar scene, don't kid yourself. Each piece of the suit comes off slowly - when the front plate comes off she says something off camera but they don't tell you what. All the while we're treated to the 'Barbarella' song which desperately tries to think of words rhyming with 'Barbarella' and coming up with stuff like 'psychadella' and worse. She is referred to as a five-star, double-rated astronavigatrix. I guess that's a fancy term for 'slut with many outfits'. Anyway, as she stands naked she receives her orders - find the scientist Durand Durand who has made the first weapon in centuries (this is supposed to be the year 40,000) and bring him back to earth. The 'president of earth' delivers this speech from his 'viewer' and, every second he talks to Barbarella, it's directly at her chest.

Which give us our first costume - breasts clearly showing of course. Which gets ripped by evil snapping sharp teethed dolls. So we get another costume 14 minutes in. A, uh, native of the planet Tau Ceti rescues her wanting good ole' sex in return. On earth sex is performed by taking a pill and touching hands (yeah sure it is). He wants the caveman version - which is appropriate because this guy had more body hair than any ape I've ever seen - yuck! And then another costume change at 27 minutes, not lasting long 'cause she's got another at 30 minutes (yeah, I was counting). After boinking an 'angel' ornithanthrope (Barbarella pretty much made up its own language) who happens to be blind (good excuse to feel her up) we get costume changes at 40 minutes. Pygar, the blind wingman introduces her to Professor Ping. Now this is the strangest twist of all, not because it's inventive, but because this character is played by the internationally acclaimed actor and mime Marcel Marceau. Doesn't matter how old you are, you've heard that name a lot. What he's doing here is anybody's guess. And yes, he speaks.

So DD is supposed to be in the city of Sogo,  ruled over by the Great Tyrant and powered by a liquid essence of evil called the Mathmos. She is found and placed in a cage to be pecked to death by, wait for it... wait... wait... almost... parakeets. Pretty, colored, tiny little parakeets. And her costume gets ripped to pieces again. I was more concerned about the little birds, but closely watching the scene I didn't see any get hurt or squished when she rolled over so they must have been careful. Parakeets? Really? Barbarella says it's 'much too poetic a way to die'. In what way exactly? We're not told and we don't wanna know. She comes up with several uh, I suppose they were supposed to be pithy statements like, 'A good many dramatic situations begin with screaming.' whatever that's supposed to mean, and 'Decrucify that angel!'. Ookay.

Barbarella is rescued by Dildano (okay this name made me laugh a lot, sorry it just struck me funny)  leader of the resistance. She's willing to give sex for the favor but he wants to do it Earth style so we get a protracted boring scene of the two of them hand to hand, his hand starts to smoke and both their hair curls up (oh brother). Despite his 'help' she is captured by the Concierge and  placed inside the Excessive Machine. This basically is supposed to be an organ with her inside of it and when he plays certain tunes she is supposed to die from pleasure. Organ orgasm I guess. She breaks it because she's soooo sexual and free and blah blah blah here comes another costume and she discovers this old guy is DD, aged because of the Mathmos since it feeds on evil or some dumb ass reason.

She's trapped  in the Tyrant's Chamber of Dreams, but after waking the Tyrant they escape in a bubble because Barbarella is soooo innocent (cough cough) that the Mathmos is puking her up. Oh, that's tasty. The Mathmos then destroys DD and Pygar, who is not dead as she thought, takes both women and flies away. When asked why he'd take the bad woman with the good one he says 'An angel has no memory'. Hmm, he remembered the two of them all right. He also says an angel cannot make love he is love, so for the credits (and beyond) we're treated to a 60's horrific song about love love love and angel angel angel  ad nauseum.