Sunday, 8 April 2018

Amazon Women On The Moon

Cast: Arsenio Hall, Michelle Pfeiffer, Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, and Henry Silva

Directors: Joe Dante, Carl Gottlieb, Peter Horton, John Landis, and Robert K. Weiss

85 minutes (15) 1987
101 Films DVD Region 2

Rating: 7/10
Review by Steven Hampton

Perhaps after DC movies like Wonder Woman and Justice League, it’s amusing to recall this fusion of anthology movie and genre spoof. With numerous sketchy comedy routines, peppered and salted with absurd fake adverts (Silly Paté, etc), and TV remote control as the linking device, its scattershot humour abounds. As a merely non-threatening exercise in tasteless jokes, Amazon Women On The Moon often succeeds like radical improv, or coolly satirical gags at the expense of easy targets. While bogus technical difficulties may spike much of its wild media farce with throwaway punch-lines, this engagingly irreverent production’s cult-movie status is assured. It’s cumulative effect is of astounding diversity.

AWOTM mixes blaxploitation slapstick, a nude interview parody, and balding man named Murray who zaps himself, via appealing sci-fi conceit, into TV worlds to gate-crash varied shows. The movie’s centrepiece is appallingly cheap and tacky special effects for a rocket to Moon adventure. However, this genre spoof does not dominate the comedy. There are choice spots for Griffin Dunne as a crazy sitcom doctor tending to Michelle Pfeiffer’s pregnancy, guest star B.B. King warns of blacks without soul, and Steve Guttenberg completely fails to score Rosanna Arquette on a blind date.

Henry Silva presents mystery debunker show ‘Bullshit, Or Not’ - which suggests Jack the Ripper was in fact the Loch Ness monster. Movie critics savage the ordinary reality of one TV viewer and the effect is quietly disturbing. A sea battle for video pirates intros ‘Son Of The Invisible Man’. Pop culture is frequently interrupted by trash. Sometimes the culture being parodied is actually trash, anyway. Eventually, statuesque Sybil Danning appears as the Lunar Queen, super-fan Forest J Ackerman plays the US president in this premier yet episodic narrative, and the lucky astronauts escape from an unlikely volcano disaster before returning to Earth.

Unlike the original cinema release the re-mastered package includes such bizarre oddities as The French Ventiloquist’s Dummy, Peter Pan Theatre, and The Unknown Soldier.     

Disc extras:
We’re Gonna Need Bigger Skits - an interview with Carl Gottlieb (16 minutes). Cinematographer On The Moon! - an interview with Daniel Pearl (15 minutes).
There’s also a commentary track, a picture gallery, six deleted scenes, and bloopers.

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