The year is 40,000. After peaceful floating in zero-gravity, astronaut Barbarella lands on the frozen planet Lythion and sets out to find renowned scientist Durand Durand in the City of Night, Sogo, where a new sin is invented every hour. There, she encounters such objects as the Excessive Machine, a genuine sex organ on which an expert artist of the keyboard, in this case, Durand Durand himself, can drive a victim to death by pleasure, a lesbian queen who can make her fantasies take form in her Chamber of Dreams, and a group of ladies smoking a giant hookah which dispenses Essence of Man through a poor victim struggling in its glass globe. You can not help but be impressed by the special effects crew and the various ways that were found to tear off what minimal clothes our heroine seemed to possess. Written by
The greatest psychedelic science fiction sex comedy ever made!
I first saw 'Barbarella' on TV as a small child in the 1970s and along with 'The Omega Man', 'One Million Years B.C.', and 'Jason and the Argonauts' the movie blew my tiny little mind! I think my interest in cult and bizarre began from seeing this classic slice of 1960s psychedelic trash for the first time. This is one of the silliest movies ever made, but still one of the most entertaining. Jane Fonda, then at the peak of her sex kitten period (history lesson - this was before "radical Jane" and "corporate Jane"), has never looked lovelier than in this movie, and manages to really pull off Barbarella's wide-eyed innocence. Anita Pallenberg (co-star of 'Performance' and then Keith Richards' "old lady") is stunning as The Great Tyrant, even if her voice is dubbed, and her handful of scenes with Fonda are unforgettable. The rest of the eclectic supporting cast includes cult favourites John Phillip Law ('Diabolik') as Pygar, the blind angel, David Hemmings ('Profondo Rosso') as Dildano a revolutionary, and Milo O'Shea ('Theatre Of Blood') as renegade Earth scientist Duran Duran. 'Barbarella' contains some of the most striking and surreal images of the 1960s (the doll attack scene is one of my all time favourites!), and is definitely one of the most bizarre science fiction movies ever made. Like many of the 1960s more excessive movies it is a real love it or hate it proposition. I love it of course, and think it, Russ Meyer's 'Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!', and Roger Corman's 'The Trip' are the three greatest 1960s trash classics. This is simply absolutely essential viewing for all 1960s buffs, science fiction or otherwise. Long live 'Barbarella'!
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