This one wasn’t quite what I expected.
I’ll confess that I was hoping for something totally bat-eared crazy like La nave de los monstruos [The Ship of Monsters], one of the most absurd SF films I have ever seen. Where else have you ever seen a Sci Fi movie with a singing cowboy, a robot in love with a jukebox, a collection of assorted monsters (including a living skeleton), miss-matched Russian SF movie footage, and a vampire girl?
Instead, what we get is something a lot closer to some of the SF movies made here during the late Fifties, when our astronauts kept finding these alien civilizations which were all women, whether on the Moon (Catwomen of the Moon, Missile to the Moon), or Venus (Queen of Outer Space, Abbot and Costello go to Mars), Jupiter’s Moons (Fire Maidens from Outer Space) and even the planet Uranus (Journey to the Seventh Planet).
Not, mind you, that we are ever given any reason why there are no men on this planet. It’s just one of those strange facts of science, I guess.
This time around, they’re from the planet Sibella, which is always sunny and will blind any unsuspecting visitors because it is so bright. Naturally, the Female Invaders have evil schemes in mind for the Earth — they plan to kidnap Earthlings and use their lungs to enable them to live in Earth’s atmosphere. Among the first set of people they take are a crooked boxer (but not his comic relief pal); the mobsters who are after him because he didn’t throw the fight; and his date for the evening, who just happens to be the secretary of Professor Wolf.
Wolf is some sort of handsome young genius scientist, the kind who owns his own spaceship. I was mildly surprised to learn that this was actually a sequel to a film which came out earlier the same year, Gigantes planetarios. In it, the same set of characters appear, there is another boxing scene, and Wolf journeys to a planet where it is always dark.
But things really get interesting when we get to the alien planet and the tall, stunningly beautiful Mexican star of so many of these goofy genre films, Lorena Velázquez, shows up in a double role. For those of you familiar with the great Norwegian cartoonist, Jason, his collection If You Steal has a marvelous (and extremely funny) tribute to her. Certainly she has a magnificent screen presence even through the subtitles and general silliness.
There are some interesting bits here and there, like the aliens replacing the fairground flying saucer ride with the real thing. The effects are surprisingly good, at least as good as those in most of those Fifties films it is trying to copy. However, at least one shot of the Professor’s rocket landing is very, very bad. While the alien’s flying saucers are basically the classic flying saucer of the Fifties, the Professor’s rocket looks more like it belonged in a Flash Gordon serial, but only as one of the lesser vehicles.
This one is surprisingly close to the sort of American SF film it is trying to copy, enough so that with a good dub, it might easily pass as an all-woman planet movie we made in the Fifties. I’m not sure why anyone would want to make one of those, but it is very close. It isn’t great, and does veer into silliness now and then, but then, it isn’t as silly as you’d expect, either.
If you can accept it for what it is, you may enjoy this one.
And it does have Lorena Velázquez.
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