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|Index||182 reviews in total|
This film is beautiful. From the gorgeous Jane Fonda, and sexy Pygar to
wonderful costumes, and the very shiney sets, there is nothing ugly in
Unbelievably silly it has some fantastic lines of dialogue like "de-crucify the angel or I melt your face!" Great characters, a killer lava lamp, fur lined space ship and a villain called Duran Duran.
The evil organ of desire scene, and the opening strip tease still manage to be erotic, even though this film is dated. Cult with a capital C, this is never going to appeal to a mainstream audience, and yet remains my favourite movie of all time. A classic. And very pretty pretty.
This is eye candy from start to finish-- *including* one of the most baroque title sequences ever concocted (long before digital technology made this kind of playful titling standard). It's Franco-Italian design all the way through, a celebration of petroleum products and the best of the lava lamp aesthetic. Hard to tell if it's a parody of sci-fi or a parody of porn, or same difference is probably the point. There are some very stylized, sadomasochistic uses of Jane Fonda's long legs, at the same time that Fonda delivers the wittiest lines, in a very witty screenplay by Terry Southern (of Doctor Strangelove fame): "Decrucify my angel immediately!" (Kids, see if you can spot the Chucky in this 1968 precursor.) Skeptics should stay the course to learn what Duran Duran has to do with Barbarella. And Barbarella with the Black Queen. And the Black Queen with the Rolling Stones. And if you don't know what camp is, then you have to see Barbarella: even if the film is more sublime than camp, a kind of psychedelic Brechtian fantasia. (If that's not a contradiction in terms, then this isn't on my sci-fi shortlist.) One to own, to watch again and again.
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'!
If you're looking for a cult classic, they don't come much stranger
than sexed-up and super-silly BARBARELLA, the peculiar tale of an
intergalactic secret agent (Jane Fonda) sent to a rebel planet to find
a mad scientist named Duran Duran (Milo O'Shea.) Directed by Fonda's
then-husband Roger Vadim, the film is less concerned with creating a
coherent storyline than it is in finding inventive ways to strip Fonda
of her already skimpy outfits.
In this it is remarkably successful, and Fonda actually has both enough sex appeal and round-eyed innocence to carry the thing off, emerging as something like a Barbie doll; John Philip Law strikes a similar note as the sexy but equally innocent "angel" Pygar. The designs are 1960s psychedelic with as many Freudian twists as the film's makers can come up with, and when all is said and done you can't help but roll your eyes in amusement.
True enough, BARBARELLA was probably much more entertaining back in the days LSD, and indeed one might read the entire thing as an acid trip time machine. No one in the cast takes the film very seriously, and neither should you; when all is said and done it has all the depth of a pancake, not so much funny as merely amusing and appealing to a very high-camp sensibility. But as cult movies go, it ranks right up at the top. Give a party and show it on a double bill with FLESH GORDON! Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
I'm not sure if I liked this film or hated it!! It reminds me of "Danger:Diabolik", that flash trash movie also with John Phillip Law. It is bright and loud and trashy with a little soft porn thrown in for good measure. It does tend to hold your interest throughout, maybe because you can't wait to see what outrageous scene will assault your senses next. And oh, all that phallic symbolism! Roger Vadim certainly exploited Jane Fonda in this one and she would probably like to forget the whole thing....but you've got to admit she doesn't look too bad in that plastic see-through bustier. John Phillip Law, who is a handsome devil(oops, angel), plays the part of the blind angel, Pygar, without emotion or feeling....but he played every character he ever portrayed exactly the same way. He wasn't much of an actor but it works here. This film screams the 60's, so turn on, tune out, plug in your lava lamp and take a look at it. You'll love it or hate it but you are guaranteed to have fun with it. It's the epitome of pop art!
Really and truly, this could be the plot of one of the more "high-brow"
types of porn. I watched this with a bunch of other girls for a class, and
we could not stop laughing the entire time.
See Jane Fonda meet men from around the galaxy, and have sex with them! Dare your friends to count how many times she changes her costume!! Sparks deep philosophical discussion, like what exactly the writers were on when they wrote this. Great fun, not to be missed!
If you're looking for a quality science fantasy experience, you will
probably be disappointed in BARBARELLA, which tells a typical story of
an intergallactic astronaught who is sent on a mission to save a
brilliant scientist from the clutches of an evil force that threatens
to destroy the universe.
On her quest she finds daunting foes, unexpected comrades and twists and turns like any good superhero story should have. The only problem is that her world is made up of Christmas lights, cellophane and balsa wood, and it's all held together with scotch tape.
However what some might consider schlock entertainment, I saw it as pure camp all the way, with some hysterical situations and outrageous costumes draped over not-so-difficult-to-look-at actors (especially our babe-o-naught Ms. Fonda), and to top off the cake we have an icing of infectious music by comedic composer Charles Fox (9 to 5, Foul Play) and singer/songwriter Bob Crewe.
This is pure candy all the way so don't expect any nutrition here, but if you let it happen instead of looking for more, you may find yourself inspired to watch it again and again, when you don't feel like using any brain cells in this dimension.
'Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy' is the epitome of 'camp.' The year
was 1968, I was in my first year of graduate school, about to get
married. I knew of 'Barbarella' but I had never seen it, until today. I
think waiting 36 years has actually made the experience better. This is
not by any definition a good movie. Jane Fonda, a very bright actress,
plays Barbarella suitably as an 'innocent' sent on a mission to a
distant galaxy to find the Earthling scientist Durand Durand and bring
him back, along with his invention. The story itself is secondary, the
charm of the movie resides in all the sexual situations that innocent
Barbarella finds herself in. A perfect vehicle for the wild 1960s. The
package blurb says 'she acts like a female James Bond.' Hardly. More
like a female Austin Powers, and some of the characters would have fit
better in a Monty Python movie.
The DVD is fine for an old movie, although blemishes are quite evident. What puzzles me is the 'PG' rating listed on the package and the disk. The opening scene, of Barbarella getting out of her space suit in the weightlessness of her spacecraft, clearly shows her breasts, and her nude butt. Very nice breasts and butt, at that, nonetheless inconsistent with a 'PG' rating. Plus many other scenes in the movie show groups of men and women in alluring positions, again with some obvious female nudity. So anyone who plans to view this movie with those under 18 should be aware of this. For an adult audience, it should not be an issue at all.
May 2013 update: It is now on Netflix streaming movies, with a rating of "R", and comes across very well.
First to people not from the 60's zeitgeist, hallucinogenics were common practice when watching films in the theaters during this period. I know a whole group of guys who kept going to 2001 dropping Acid during the Stargate sequence. Can you tell? Yes, Jane Fonda is so hot here but Klute comes with a plot, a director, a script and a point. Yes, I love all the aging hippies who see their old decadent philosophy of LOVE which did not include bathing for those of us living around them, by the way. Yes, no more war or weapons, one global world of endless libertinism, I'm sorry, sexual liberation. For people under forty, I advise drinking as an earlier reviewer warned you to. Please, I am sorry I turned into the guy from the Big Lebowski: "The revolution is over, condolences, the bums lost."For someone who grew up around these very odd, lazy, badly smelling losers I do not find their cultural products amusing. I found them as weird then as I do now. The revolution always seemed to revolve around others supporting them while they gave everyone the middle finger. The movie is not bad; the movie emptied out theaters when it was released. The first feature in a drive in was an action movie. It was packed side to side. Once this movie came on, the exodus began in earnest.
Soon, two or three cars, at a time, started their engines. Open laughter and sarcastic remarks were heard throughout the lot. That reviewer was correct, the most often heard remark was WTF is this S? Forgive me, but to quote Cheech and Chong: "C'mon honey, don't just stand there airing it out let's get a little action going." Well, the whole movie is coitus interruptus; Basic Instinct, while crap also, at least gives you more than this if you know what I mean. If you were looking for a movie, you came to the wrong place. It is nothing but a glorified peep show; why do you think Fonda refused to discuss it in her interviews? I swear bad movies are become projective tests lately; people see their own values reflected back at them: read some Freud, you are seeing yourself not the movie. After the opening strip tease, ooh! a breast, how exciting! It was when I was fifteen; I moved on. The ship appears to be in hair detergent of some kind complete with air bubbles and the ship is shag carpeted with the hideous decor of people on strong drugs. I had to live in that crap, how humiliating! She meets men and has sex off camera; the head woman has the hots for her but again nothing is shown on camera.
The acting is the worst you will ever endure; the movie makes The Motionless Picture seem like The Matrix. The pacing mirrors symmetrically the acting; it moves at rock erosion speed. Law's Pygar makes Canoe in that Day The Earth Stood Still seem like Marlon Brando. For those of us, not on mushrooms or LSD, the movie puts the capital S in Sucks though a better term is synonymous with excremental. You think you have seen bad? This movie sets the standard. We, by the way, were the only car left out of 100 by the end of the movie. Horrible Steaming Pile Of Poop.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Enjoyable while having absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever. Jane
Fonda proves herself a worthy comic actress, and also manages to (as
advertised!) strip on any occasion. Pygar is sufficiently vapid, the
Black Queen is hot (and amusingly dubbed), what else do you need? The
plot - Barbarella is sent to recover the scientist Duran Duran - is
slightly meandering, and abandoned for the middle 60 minutes of the
movie. The best comparison I've seen or heard was to 'Alice in
Wonderland' - an innocent goes carelessly wandering through a
psychedelic wonderland, populated entirely by misfits and lunatics.
Which, frankly, is Barbarella in a nutshell.
Some decent villains would help. I'm unsure if it's a result of the poor special effects, but Barbarella is consistently menaced by the un-menacing: small birds. nibbling dolls. a giant space amoeba that looks like bath gel.
Decent music, (intentionally?) atrocious special effects round this out perfectly. Definitely worth a viewing.
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