Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


FIRE MAIDENS OF OUTER SPACE (1955). Directed and written by Cy Roth.

This low-budget British production has a group of astronauts flying to the 13th moon of Jupiter, and encountering the last remnants of Earth’s Atlantis, who somehow flew to the moon centuries before (!). Now all that’s left in "New Atlantis" are one old man who is a figurative father to the other inhabitants – a bevy of man-hungry babes. For some reason there are no other men around aside from the astronauts. This is by no means a good movie but it does have some points of interest, one of which is the tall, dark, growling monster that roams the countryside around New Atlantis and tries to snatch away the babes who dare set foot outside the enclosure (although why they do so is never delineated – neither is the origin of the monster). The climax, during which the monster invades the women’s sanctuary during a ceremony, is surprisingly creepy and effective. Strains of Borodin’s Prince Igor and other classical themes provide some atmospheric background, and the crisp, professional cinematography is notable. If Cy Roth had had more talent this might have emerged as something other than a barely passable time-passer. One of the astroanuts, Anthony Dexter, gave a fine performance as Valentino in 1951.
Verdict: Definitely from the same mind-set as Missile to the Moon but not nearly as much fun. **1/2.

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