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AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON (1987)

Written By:

John Higgins
amazon women

The film-within-a-film spoof came to prominence in the late 1970s after a style built in the likes of Spike Milligan’s Q series and Monty Python’s Flying Circus, with Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), a still-funny-at-times mix of irreverent humour and sketches (notably in the ‘Feel-A-Round’ segment) and a lesser-seen film, Loose Shoes (1977), released in 1980 when lead Bill Murray’s star was on the ascendant.

101 Films have managed to secure the release on Blu-Ray in the UK for the first time of the 1987 anthology comedy Amazon Women on the Moon, which follows the same kind of idea and style as those other examples. Directed by no fewer than five helmers, including John Landis, Joe Dante, and Jaws screenwriter Carl Gottlieb, it is a short and sweet homage to late night 1980s American TV when the likes of shows like Soap and Bizarre (which both played on UK TV on Friday evenings during the early part of that decade).

The title refers to a spoof 1950s offering in which three astronauts and a monkey are sent on a mission to our satellite, where they encounter a group of warrior women led by Battle Beyond the Star’s Sybil Danning (who played busty vixen St. Exmin). However, you aren’t getting a great deal of the film, as the film chops and changes between other elements and sketches.

At this point, I must mention the film is very much of its time, with some technological references in this digital streaming era which will certainly go over the head of the younger generation and older fans will get more joy watching familiar acting talent like Steve Guttenberg, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Begley Jr, Henry Silva (who was Kane in the 1979 revival of Buck Rogers and whom tended to play drug kingpins in films like Steven Seagal’s Above The Law (Nico), Kelly Preston, Carrie Fisher and Rosanna Arquette.

Of the sketches, the best and mildly amusing one even today remains the sequence with Arquette and Guttenberg, in which she plays a woman who treats his character’s dating history in the manner of a credit check. A lot of the scenes are stylishly spot-on but don’t appear to have the same comedic impact as they did back in the day.

Therein lies the issue with Amazon Women on the Moon. Even back in 1987, you would sense that it was getting to be passé rather like the Police Academy sequels and many of the adolescent sex comedies that were populating the multiplexes. Kentucky Fried Movie and Airplane! remain enduring classics of this style (the latter making the top spot on many comedy fans best-ever lists).

The consolation is at least the film is getting a resurgent release and will be a welcome addition to hard-core fans’ Blu-ray collection.

AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON (1987) / CERT: 15 / DIRECTORS: JOE DANTE, CARL GOTTLIEB, PETER HORTON, JOHN LANDIS, ROBERT K. WEISS / SCREENPLAY: MICHAEL BARRIE, JIM MULHOLLAND / STARRING: ARSENIO HALL, DONALD F. MUHICH, MONIQUE GABRIELLE, PHIL HARTMAN, MICHELLE PFEIFFER, STEVE GUTTENBERG / RELEASE DATE: APRIL 2ND

John Higgins

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