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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first saw this movie fairly soon after it was released. I didn't
enjoy very much of it other than the segment at the beginning with
Arsenio Hall. In the meantime I've become quite a big fan of "B movies"
and a lot of the people in this film are now near and dear to my heart.
I think I have a better understanding of what they were trying to do in
this film now, but I don't think on the whole it was very successful.
The film remains fun for fans of B movies but not nearly as funny as I
think it tried to be.
It's certainly watchable, as it is fast-moving and features many memorable faces from not only B movie lore but popular culture at large. For example in the same segment you can see legendary exploitation director Russ Meyer ("Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill!") and stand-up star Andrew "Dice" Clay. The film's epilogue features Carrie Fisher of "Star Wars" fame and director/character actor Paul Bartel ("Eating Raoul") in a funny spoof on educational style exploitation films. Monster movie fandom icon Forrest Ackerman appears as the President in the extended sci-fi sequences, Phil Hartman does a sports announcer voice, Arsenio Hall is a man terrorized by his own apartment, Lana Clarkson (now famous for very undesireable reasons in connection to Phil Spector) is an amazon woman, B.B. King urges tolerance and sympathy towards "Blacks without Soul", Henry Silva appears as himself to spoof Jack Palance's television gig in "Bullsh** or not", and so on and so forth. You could have a pretty good time watching this movie just trying to spot random celebs who came from the B movie world and others who became big stars later (Michelle Pfeiffer for example).
But the bits and pieces don't add up to a good film, and the film fatally fails to walk the tight line required for a "B" type movie, even an expensive one with big stars, between its camp and its serious side. The sci-fi segments in particular fall pretty flat and I have to imagine would fail to amuse anyone but geeks like myself who recognize some of the "inside" jokes. Surely the outer space scenario being depicted is ridiculous, but it actually looks and feels quite a bit like an older sci-fi film (specifically the late 50s "Queen of Outer Space") without having much of its charm or the sense of innocence about it. With something like the Zuckers' "Airplane" you can see how cheezy the disaster movies they were spoofing were but at the same time the film itself was more outrageously campy and silly than any real disaster film. But with this film, it feels like the film-makers felt the source material was goofy enough that the laughs should follow from simply a reproduction of some of the genre's original camp elements -- they failed to take it to another level where it would become funny in its own right.
A lot of the other segments fail to take off as well, or overstay their welcome. The bit in the hospital, the bit about "Two IDs".... a lot of these parts just take a long time and end up having no punch line. The majority of the sketches are basically funny premises beaten into the ground and done in a self-serious style that wastes the opportunities for humor. I just do not feel this movie's conviction -- it seems like they were afraid to be too zany but they were also trying really hard to seem "irreverent" while in fact the film rarely strays into controversial territory.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is not subtle comedy. This is not a thought-provoking parody of
What it IS is a broad, in-your-face farce that goes anywhere and everywhere to grab your funny bone. And in most instances it works.
The movie is loosely constructed around the premise of late night television, complete with a grade B 50's style sci-fi film providing the central nexus around which the movie is built. Skit changes are presented as "channel switching" or commercial breaks. Because of the skit nature of the movie, the changes between set pieces can be abrupt, and each piece will succeed or fail on it's own merits. Amazon Women on the Moon hits, fortunately, far more times than it misses.
*** POSSIBLE SPOILERS ***
One of the funniest pieces of the film is the initial segment featuring a very physical performance by a young Arsenio Hall. My sides hurt from laughing during this segment, and helped set the "mood" for the rest of the film.
A pre- "In Living Color" David Allen Greir turns in a hilarious performance as Don "No-Soul" Simmons. His facial expressions and physical mannerisms are perfect for the role. You almost feel as if you should find your wallet to donate to the "Blacks Without Soul" foundation. (I also got a great chuckle out of watching a 70's era pimp, in full Huggie-Bear outfit, touting the benefits of driving a Volvo Station Wagon.)
The "Two forms of ID" skit is both funny and prophetic, considering this movie was made in 1987. Anyone who is familiar with "googling" a potential date will see more than just a hint of irony here.
Carrie (Princess Leia) Fisher and Paul (Eating Raul) Martel also turn in all too accurate performances spoofing the old "educational" films of the 50's. Anyone who has seen "Reefer Madness" will get a kick out of this.
Overall, this movie is fun to watch, especially with a larger group of friends when you want to sit around and just have a hearty, mindless laugh. There's something here for everyone, and it's just plain fun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
AWOTM is a strictly confidential delight, a comedy with a surrealist
and _absurdist twist ;seldom spoken of. Now cinema has such treatsI
mean, wonderful Bs little spoken or extremely badly spoken ofthe
Rourke comedyHARLEY DAVIDSON
--is one such treat, and SAVE ME with L.
Anthony and Ironside, and POSSESSED BY THE NIGHT with the gorgeous Mrs.
Tweed, and a sexy comedy with Tanya Roberts and Joan Severance, and
. Make no mistakeacknowledging them requires true
sophistication. Then by the middle of the '90s the B passed out.
Most parodies are mean, and meant to insult and criticize sourly, while AMAZON is essentially and fundamentally friendly and cheerful and niceto the viewer as well as to the shows it pastiches ceaselessly.
I can casually enjoy a parody, there are some I have liked indeed; but AMAZON is so much more than that. It's wonderful spirit makes one sad as well as gladsad, because its example was not matched afterward. It is made by people who like the shows they lampoon, while the regular parodies lampoon recent successful moviesnot movies particularly enjoyed by the parodists. I liked AMAZON so much that the next evening I needed to see it once more.
It's not a parody, how could it be one, but a strangely affectionate entry into the wacky movies' genre. The endearing ingenuity is the feature I enjoyed most.
It is rather long since I have delighted so much in a comedy; I have found it crassly, wonderfully and hysterically inspirational, an anthology comedy featuring an awesome battery of movie stars; I liked Mrs. Pfeiffer's sketch the best. I had the vague impression that Mrs. Tweed should pop in somewhere in this flick, and I think she did not, perhaps I was mainly misinformedbut guess what, dear fellow buffMrs. Pfeiffer, Carrie Fisher, one of the wonderful Arquette sisters . AWOTM was halfsad, nearly heartrendinghalfstupid and halfbitter, and unselfconscious enough . An addictive comedy, better than the flicks it spoofs, merry and sometimes truly funny . The '80s still had this kind of ingenuity and inoffensive comedy . The almanacformat allowed for a host of persons to be assembled such as to turn the movie into a celebration of a B world. Afterwards the B became prosaic, dull and triteI know the flicks made by Rourke, Eric Roberts, and Don Johnson and Madsen and Hopper .
AWOTM was doubtlessly very good, better than, say, the Monty Python similar formatsmore cheery and mindless and affable; it cheered me, while most American comedies do not. It is a cult movie? I wish it were.
But it's also good that such movies remain our secret and, as it were, our password.
It was directed by several known names from the genre movies; this kind of trivia you will get from IMDb.
Nowadays even this kind of extravaganza is forbidden to us B flicks buffs. Perhaps this also makes AWOTM so sad; so cheering and sada lost continent. They smashed those B movies; some of us needed them. Now being given all liberality of taste, if you indeed disliked AWOTM, I do not know what kind of a person you are; I would rather not meet you.
The various sketches with a large assortment of personalties is a real hit or miss affair. The BB King segment is definitely the best. The other parts are funny or boring depending on the viewers tastes. The interruptions of the space voyage add little to the movie. Yes the space voyage interrupts the various sketches although the intent is to have it the other way around. Arsenio Hall's segment and the seductive women segment are also fairly entertaining. But as with the awful " Tunnelvision" and the fairly acceptable "Groove Tube" one has to pick and choose what they like. The space voyage segments should have been funnier to complement the sketches.
It's really hard to give a score to this movie, as I have seen two or
three different versions of the film. The original version appears to
have been re-edited to remove some of the dirtier skits (and there were
quite a few). Then, less funny skits that were apparently left on the
editing room floor were substituted--with less than glowing results.
When the movie is funny, it is side-splittingly funny (especially the teenager buying condoms, the funeral, and Lou Jacobi re-appearing throughout the movie after he is sucked into the television set) but it also tends to fall flat from time to time. This unevenness is probably due to the fact that this movie had MANY different directors--each directing their own skits and then the movie was pieced back together. The end result is highly reminiscent of a better version of Kentucky Fried Movie.
My advice is, see the original un-edited version--but WITHOUT the kids! The edited version just isn't all that funny.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Amazon Women On The Moon" is like an unofficial sequel to "Kentucky
Fried Movie." However, this film isn't as funny.
Directors John Landis, Carl Gottlieb, Peter Horton, and Robert K. Weiss take on different segments of the film. As a whole, the film is a bit messy. Some of the film has some good spots such as: 1) Mondo Condo: As Arsenio Hall is getting attacked by his apartment and constant calls for someone named Thelma.
2) Amazon Women On The Moon: The constant thread through the movie. You never get to see the whole film because the film is always interrupted in one form or another. At least you see how it ends. A tribute to incredibly bad SciFi films of the 50's.
3)Blacks Without Soul: Just for the seriousness of B.B.King.
4) Son Of The Invisible Man: The guy has injected himself with so many chemicals that he thinks he's invisible. And the town people just let him roam around naked! 5) Video Pirates: In this day and age of internet downloads and the passing of VHS, watching this is pretty funny.
6) Bulls*** or Not?: The Loch Ness Monster is REALLY Jack The Ripper? Did I do this gig for a quick buck? We may never know.
Some of the other segments just fall sort of flat (Especially the Titan Condom and Hospital sketch). However, it still makes for some fun viewing.
Collection of sketches, essentially _The Kentucky Fried Movie_ updated for the 1980s and ported from film to late night tv/video. Slow, perplexingly un-funny and intensely dated in many parts, it still manages to provide a few fairly good amusements as it twitches along. The central feature of this collection - the titular _Amazon Women on the Moon_ movie-within-movie is a fairly amusing if obvious spoof of the cheap, brash sci-fi movies of the 1950s. Yeah, easy subject matter to spoof, but some of the attention to detail indicates at least some measure of fondness for the material. Fun fact: the astronauts are dressed in the uniforms from _Forbidden Planet_. The rest is 'filler', little vignettes and fake commercials and so forth which vary in quality from funny to passable to containing steve gutenberg.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Amazon Women on the Moon" (1987) is a strange little low-budget comic
offering,a bizarre and often hilarious(yet ALMOST as frequently dull)
collection of slapstick sketches with only the thinnest of a connecting
thread. I suppose it is based on the idea of simultaneously simulating
spoofing the feel of an insomniac's late-night channel surfing. The
is an almost randomly mixed series of syndicated TV,low budget films of
past,and commercials parodies.
While it is truly a mixed bag in both theme and quality,and it is far from great, "Amazon" does turn out to be an altogether unique and memorable comedy experience...just begging for the perfect cult audience. Another tip,pop this baby into the VCR after midnight,it works best when the night is full,the moon is out and the drowsiness of the viewer is for real(and can work in it's favor).
The sketches ***POTENTIAL SPOILERS***: Mondo Condo- The opening segment features Arsenio Hall in what may always remain his greatest performance. Innovative and hilarious. John Landis directed this beauty. **** out of ****
Pethouse Video- Penthouse spoof features loads of nudity. Like I like it. ***
Murray in Videoland- Old man gets stuck in his own TV set,wanders through the programming. Decent. **1/2
Hospital- Is Mr.Potato Head really Michelle Pheiffer's baby? Well,kind of... Weird sketch. **
Hairlooming- Commercial spoof has Joe Pantoliano hawking a wig that won't come off. Fitfully funny. **1/2
Amazon Women on the Moon- The recurring sketch(s) of the title is an almost painfully unfunny spoof of 1950's sci-fi fare and brings the movie to a halt whenever it appears. *1/2
Blacks Without Soul/Don "No Soul" Simmons- 'Ya gotta admit that David Alan Greer is simply the man here. No sweat,these shorts are good. ***
Two ID's- Rosanna Arquette,Steve Guttenberg and a relationship background check. None more 80's,none more funny. ***1/2
Bulls*^t or not- On TV,it's "baloney" or not. Sheesh! I dig that Lochness Ripper! ***1/2
Critics Corner- Siskel and Ebert like critics turn their disparaging comments on a man's sorry-a## life. ***
Silly Pate- Not much of a joke to build on,even for a short "commercial" segment. **
Roast Your Loved One- That sorry-a## guy is back,and even a funeral cannot stop the laughs(or Rip Taylor's ghastly hairpiece). ***
Video Pirates- Let me get this straight...those are real pirates stealing videocassetts? Um,Ok. Ho Ho. Robert Weiss is responsible for this dreck. *
Son of the Invisible Man- WARNING!!! Ed Bagley Jr. is butt-naked in this one. **
Art Sale- Try and guess what this one is about...damn! Okay,it's an Old joke,but skillfully timed. ***
First Lady of the Evening- Some kind of Sidney Sheldon spoof. Nearly as dreary as the real Sheldon. *1/2
Titan Man- A my-first-condom-kind of sketch...and a serious embarrasment for Mr. Bailey. **1/2
Video Date- Now we're talking!! A Russ Meyer cameo,t^ts galore and a brief,top-of-form appearance by the Diceman himself elevate this one to brilliant status. ****
Reckless Youth- Stay tuned post(false)credits for this funny spoof of 30's "Youth Beware" films with Paul Bartel and Carrie Fisher. ***
OVERALL FILM QUALITY= *** out of 4 stars.
This is, so far, the most entertaining film I've ever seen. YOu can't
get bored because gags pop up on your screen at any moment. And the
only storyline that goes along the whole movie (the B-film Amazon Women
on the Moon inside the film) is as hilarious as the rest of the
Don't miss the opportunity to watch this movie if it's on your local cable or local video store. You'll be surprised to see the bunch of actors casted here, from Arsenio Hall to Joe Pantoliano, Rosanna Arquette to Michelle Pfeiffer... As the opening credits say: "Lots of actors", instead of everybody's name.
Sure this is a movie for SNL fans. Who's your favorite SNL star you would like to work in this movie? Will Ferrel, I guess...
Grab your popcorn, don't get choke on the laughs... Enjoy!
I guess it was perfect timing that I watch this late last night,
because it goes hand-to-hand with its overall context and what it's
trying to come across as. This star-studded production with the likes
of John Landis and Joe Dante directing some of these gags and segments,
come up with a compilation comedy that lampoons late-night American TV.
The main focus is on a Z-grade 1950's Sci-fi film called 'Amazon woman
on the moon', but it's the small comedy sketches of info-commercials
that flooded proceedings. The majority of the film is filled with these
comical ads and pointless interruptions and breaks, with the z-grade
feature more so in the background. Which is quite sad as from what get
out of this flick is a correct parody on late-night telly and some of
it is mildly entertaining. It's just sometimes the one idea gimmick had
me smiling while other times it had me rolling my eyes. Some skits
worked with their ingenious side gags and self-referential humour,
while others totally missed the point by overplaying its hand, or they
were rather thin.
Some of my favourite segments would be the Video date, Don 'no soul' Simmons, Murray in videoland, critics corner and bullsh!t or not. Plus the z-grade mocking of 'Amazon woman on the moon' is neatly setup and done with great effect, with its dodgy sets, awful dialog, wooden acting, women in skimpy outfits (with Sybil Danning appearing), choppy editing and the many pointless interruptions that go through the flick. They just nailed it! The whole parody is interesting and it works in small slabs, but the whole execution was rather uneven and downright hectic. Maybe too many directors spoil the brew? As some segments and gags just don't fit in with others, that being the context or that of the humour. The narration is all over the place, but that was intended by mocking these type of productions and the clever script is done with enough panache and wit. You'll notice a lot of familiar faces popping up throughout, like Rosanna Arquette, Griffin Dunne, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steve Guttenberg, Dick Millar, Ralph Bellamy, Arsenio Hall, Phil Hartman and many more. But just don't think it's finish when the credits start rolling, as there's another send-up following involving Carrie Fisher called reckless youth. Pocking fun of the 30's when there was movie/TV propaganda about foolishness of teens and how your youth can destroy you by taking reckless temptations.
The feature did kinda remind me of Monty Python gags and definitely in the way the format was presented. These Python's films are 'And Now For Something Completely Different' and 'The Meaning of Life'. Although a friend of mine told me that this idea for this film is similar to 'The Kentucky Fried Movie' (1977), the same people who went on to create the spoof 'Airplane'. It supposedly was a catalyst for this type of picture.
Basically it's a fairly entertaining watch and true to its sources, but still rather forgettable when it came to shove.
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