Saturday, August 3, 2013

Review: Something for Everyone in "Amazon Women on the Moon" (Happy B'day, John Landis)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 207 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Amazon Women on the Moon (1987)
Running time: 85 minutes (1 hour, 25 minutes)
DIRECTORS:  Joe Dante, Carl Gottlieb, Peter Horton, John Landis, and Robert K. Weiss
WRITERS:  Michael Barrie and Jim Mulholland
PRODUCER:  Robert K. Weiss
EDITORS:  Malcolm Campbell, Marshall Harvey, and Bert Lovitt
COMPOSER:  Ira Newborn


Starring:  Arsenio Hall, B.B. King, David Alan Grier, William Bryant, Roxie Rocker, Rosanna Arquette, Steve Guttenberg, Ed Begley Jr., Carrie Fisher, Sybil Danning, Michelle Pfeiffer, Griffin Dunne, Henry Silva, Andrew Dice Clay, and Russ Meyer

The subject of this movie review is Amazon Women on the Moon, a 1987 satirical comedy and parody anthology film.  The film spoofs 1950s sci-fi movies by featuring a fake 50s sci-fi movie called “Amazon Women on the Moon.”  In between segments of “Amazon Women on the Moon,” the movie offers 21 comedy sketches meant to parody the experience of watching low-budget movies and infomercials on late-night television.

Amazon Women on the Moon is kind of a sequel to The Kentucky Fried Movie, the cult classic spoof film comprised of several skits lampooning TV news, commercials, and films.  Amazon Women on the Moon does much of the same thing – using short comedy sketches to spoof late night porn, commercials, infomercials, and educational films.  The movie also spoofs 1950’s sci-fi films in the form of the title skit, Amazon Women on the Moon.  The tale of three astronauts who travel from the Earth to the moon and discover a race of superwomen led the buxom Queen Lara (Sybil Danning).  The Amazon Women skit not only pokes big fun at the super low production values of old science fiction films, it even makes fun of the technical difficulties that occasionally plague late night TV and old movies.

Perhaps, the subject that the film best skewers is tabloid news fodder, the kind of sensational human interest stories one would find in tabloid magazines because of their shock value.  Some of Amazon Women on the Moon’s best moments include skits about a doctor loosing a couple’s newborn son (featuring Michelle Pfeiffer), a woman who uses a credit card machine to download a consumer dating report on her blind date, a funeral home that uses a celebrity roast in lieu of a funeral service to send off the recently departed, and a man who is killed by his rabidly malfunctioning household appliances (featuring Arsenio Hall).

I found Amazon Women on the Moon not quite as funny as I did the first time I saw it about 16 or 17 years ago, but it’s best moments are still quite hilarious and irreverent, even jaw dropping and surreal, at times.  Imagine “Saturday Night Live” or “Mad TV” with a harder edge or with a more brutal sense of humor.  It’s wacky, wild, and weird, and I heartily recommend it.  Even those who won’t like it much will still find at least one skit that strongly assaults their funny bone.

7 of 10

Updated:  Saturday, August 03, 2013

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