Sometimes movie makers try to pack too much of a good thing into a single
film. Or, as in the case of Amazon Women on the Moon, they can think they're
adding lots of good things when, in fact, they're diluting the film into
a soupy mess.
Women on the Moon (1987)
Starring: Arsenio Hall, Ed Begley, Jr.,
and Michelle Pfieffer
Women on the Moon is
a compilation of loosely intertwined comedy bits that attempt to emulate
an evening of watching a late-night movie
on a cash strapped TV station. Directors Joe Dante, Carl Gottlieb, Peter
Horton, John Landis and Robert K. Weiss each contribute several bits containing
varying degrees of humor. Some of the sketches are spoofs of commercials.
Others are spoofs of movie advertisements and others are satires of TV
shows. Each of them is connected by the only reliably funny part of the
film: a spoof of 1950's science fiction films called "Amazon Women
on the Moon."
Joe Dante, better known for Gremlins than anything appearing here, contributes
the biggest hunk of the bad stuff. Only a jab at Sy Sperling's Hair Club
for Men, which features rugs as a replacement for hair, is worth watching.
The rest are overlong and tiresome, especially a bit about a funeral service/comedy
roast featuring Rip Taylor and Charlie Callas.
John Landis, who's produced
comedy films like The Blues Brothers and Coming to America, musters
up some fairly humorous sketches here, but
most seem a bit out of place in the context of the TV station atmosphere
that the movie is attempting to maintain. Only "Blacks without Soul" follows
the format and works.
"Son of the Invisible Man",
a spoof of the Invisible Man movies of the 1940's by Carl Gottlieb,
is excellent. Ed Begley, Jr. plays a mad
scientist who thinks he's invisible and we follow him to the local bar
where walks naked and toys with the patrons who are on to his act and
reluctantly play along. Unfortunately, Gottlieb only has two other sketches
in the film.
Peter Horton, who's also featured as an actor in one of John Landis'
sketches, also supplies one sketch. It's too bad that he's only got one
shot in this film because his advertisement for a device that, with the
help of two forms of identification, gives the entire sexual background
of a potential mate is hilarious.
The best bit is courtesy of
Robert K. Weiss. His "Amazon Women on
the Moon" is a great dig at the 1950's oversexed science fiction
genre film. Featuring great sight gags, tongue-in-cheek sexual innuendo
and appropriately cornball special effects, Weiss captures the exact cheezy
quality of the era while garnering intentional laughs in the process.
The problem with a film like this is that the material isn't consistently
funny or worth watching. Having to wade through the crap to get to the
good stuff isn't rewarding enough. Luckily, being that this is on video,
the fast forward button is never too far out of reach.
the "Amazon Women on the Moon" sketch, Forrest J. Ackerman,
publisher of the magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, appears as
the president. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)