Queen of Outer Space

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Capt. Patterson (Eric Fleming) and his space crew (Dave Willock, Patrick Waltz, and Paul Birch) crash land on Venus and are captured. They learn the planet is under the dictatorship of cruel Queen Yllana (Laurie Mitchell), a masked woman who has banished men from the planet. In the palace, the astronauts are aided by a beautiful courtier named Talleah (Zsa Zsa Gabor) and her friends (Lisa Davis, Barbara Darrow, and Marilyn Buferd). The women long for the love of men again and plot to overthrow the evil Queen. When Patterson has the opportunity to remove the Queen’s mask, he discovers she has been horribly disfigured by radiation burns caused by men and their wars. In a fury, the Queen decides to destroy Earth and its warlike peoples but she dies in the attempt. The Venusians are free again to enjoy the love of men.

REVIEW:

Some of you may recall that last year I was doing a project that required me to watch classic sci-fi films. Queen of Outer Space is one of those that I never got around to watching. I can’t really say that was an oversight after sitting through this, though.

What is this about?

A space mission to Venus encounters a population of sexy women led by the evil Queen Yllana (Laurie Mitchell). All of Venus’s men have been wiped out, and now that’s she met Earth men, Yllana wants all them dead, too. Only Venusian scientist Talleah (Zsa Zsa Gabor) helps the crew attempt to defeat the wicked queen and restore men to her planet.

What did I like?

Flat. Just about everyone these days has a flat screen TV. It may seem like we’ve had them forever, but they haven’t been around that long, if you recall. Well, apparently, on Venus in 1958, they had them already. The evil queen has one in her room that she uses to look in on things happening on the planet and elsewhere. I just found it interesting that this little piece of technology, like many of our gadgets today, actually debuted in sci-fi media decades before it was actually invented.

Women. A planet with nothing but beautiful women in miniskirts? I would be in heaven! Granted, as many sci-fi/fantasy films have shown us, female societies aren’t exactly male friendly. Just think back to Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, also set on Venus, for an example.

Cast. Let’s not kid ourselves. When Zsa Zsa Gabor is the strongest part of your cast, there are some issues. Having said that, I think it should be noted that the actors do wonders with what they have to work with. No, it isn’t anything spectacular, but at least it is somewhat bearable to watch them, so kudos are in order.

What didn’t I like?

Burn, baby, burn. The evil queen was apparently burned by some radiation, which she blamed on Earth men. This causes her and her flunkies to wear masks. When one of the astronauts manages to get it off of her, it is revealed that she is “horribly disfigured”. In all truthfulness, it look like she is just wearing another mask. Given the state of special effects and make-up at the time, I should give this a pass, but I don’t think they even tried to make it look more authentic.

The times they are a-changin’. I’ve become a pretty big fan of Mad Men. Back in those days, everybody wasn’t walking on eggshells. That being said, there certain things that I don’t agree with, such as taking women for granted. The astronauts in this film, order these women around and make disparaging remarks like it is no one’s business. It was a different era, of course, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it…unless one of them is Don Draper, then they can get away with it. Ha!

Ending. I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say that is very convenient, especially considering the circumstances. I’m not advocating this should have been a depressing ending, just maybe better thought out. As it plays out, it seems as if they thought it up on the fly. I don’t know, it worked for me on some levels and on others not so much.

Queen of Outer Space is not a good film. It is one of those pictures that appears to be bad on purpose. The camp factor is so high that even I had trouble stomaching this picture. So, would I recommend it? If you’re a fan of campy shows such as the 60s Batman series, then this should be an easy pill to swallow. Personally, I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again, but I wouldn’t mind watching it in some kind of classic sci-fi party or if they used it in Mystery Science Theater episode.

3 1/3 out of 5 stars

 

Advertisements

One Response to “Queen of Outer Space”

  1. […] I returned to the world of cheesy, classic sci-fi. The last one was back in August, and that was Queen of Outer Space. So, with the couple of spare hours I have today, I figured why not return to this genre with […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: