06 October 2011

CAT-WOMEN OF THE MOON/1953

CAT-WOMEN OF THE MOON

1953/ Director: Arthur Hilton/ Writers: Al Zimbalist, Jack Rabin

Cast: Sonny Tufts, Victor Jory, Marie Windsor, William Phipps, Douglas Fowley, Carol Brewster, Susan Morrow, Suzanne Alexander

The storyline for Cat-Women of the Moon is a familiar one for the 50's and 60's. A group of men, with maybe one female in the gang, are stranded somewhere, an island, lost civilization on the far side of a secret mountain or a planet like Venus or even the earth's moon, and there they encounter an all female race of something similar to Amazons. The race may or may not be dying off and what men there are, if any, are kept as slaves and the occasional stud service. Some similar films would be Abbot and Costello Go To Mars (they actually went to Venus in the film) Invasion of the Star Creatures, The wild Women of Wongo, Mesa of Lost Women and quite a few others. The plots are usually the same and some recurring themes would be a young and cocky guy who is fast with the wisecracks who feels he has died and gone to heaven and hits on anything that breathes, a greedy opportunist who wants to pilfer the wealth the Amazon type women horde and a romance between the queen and the group leader. The virility of the male leader awakens feelings in the queen she has not felt in a long time and clouds her better judgment which usually dictates she execute all the outsiders. There is usually a power struggle as well within the female society between the old school led by the queen and a group of usurpers who are simply wanting for the right moment to strike, such as when the queen is weakened by her feelings of love for a big hunk of man. Both Cat women of the Moon and Missile to the Moon contains almost all of these essential ingredients and despite being cheese fare they are actually well made and enjoyable movies.

Cat-Women of the Moon is the story of the first manned mission to the moon and among the crew of five is one woman Helen (Marie Windsor) who seems to the object of romantic interest of the by-the-book mission commander Laird (Sunny Tufts)and the number two man the hot headed and chauvinistic Kip (Victor Jory). Kip wastes little time in putting the moves on Helen as she is nursing him after an accident on the ship caused by a rouge meteor. The behavior of Kip is so callus and unprofessional that it could only happen in an old film like this. And obviously while Helen affirms she is Laird's gal she likes the little cat and mouse game with manly Kip as well. Women in films from the 50's and 60's always liked overt sexual harassment as a form of prolonged foreplay and even a prerequisite to marriage. If the guy does not stalk her and harass her then he must not love her. Also on board is the young buck Doug and the shifty Walt. This crew was a result of the space program's earlier selection processes and it would improve greatly by the time of the Gemini and Apollo missions. For an as yet to be explained reason Helen, the navigator, decides to land the ship n the moon's uncharted dark side. There is little conflict with the crew over this and soon the ship is settled on the moon's surface and the crew are out in their space suits exploring the Luan terrain. Along with all the other normal gear necessary to explore the moon Kip takes along a loaded pistol. You never know right?

Helen leads them to a cave where they soon find there is enough oxygen to not allow them to remove their space helmets but all of their spacesuits as well. Of course I do not mean they are standing around in their underwear, they have their uniforms on but I am not so sure it is a good idea to remove your entire spacesuit in an unexplored cave on the moon. The cave has oxygen and that is good, but it also has huge black spiders and that is bad. The spider is a huge puppet that moves pretty darn slow luckily. Helen freaks out and runs and the runs decided to go and box with the damned thing. It never occurs to Kip to use the gun he brought along and after being hit the face a few times by the guys the spider disappears. Soon they realize their spacesuits have vanished (see, bad idea) and soon they meet some of the Cat-Women who look pretty sexy in their black leotards. Kip bullies them with his gun of course but soon the crew are being led to the underground kingdom of the dying race of moon women led by Queen Alpha (Carol Brewster). As it turns out Helen's mind has been controlled for sometime by the Cat-Women who need a spaceship to escape the moon's decaying atmosphere, the remaining bit being contained in the cave. Young Doug falls in love in a matter of moments with good hearted Lambda (Susan Morrow) and Walt is soon on the trail of valuable minerals contained in the cave walls. Helen is not always under the spell of the Cat-Woman and Lambda has reciprocated Doug's love in the same short span of time and warns the crew of their deadly fate if they do not escape soon.

Overall this is a pretty fun movie and one worth a couple watchings if you are a refined cheese lover. It is well made for the time and the lunar landscapes look pretty decent. The movie is also known as Rocket to the Moon but that can be easily confused with our second feature which is Missile to the Moon. If for nothing else this movie worth a watch for the sexy gals in it. I feel they are much sexier in their black cat suits than the bevy of beauties in our second feature are. But I am a sucker for cat suits I guess.

2 comments:

Dr Blood said...

I haven't seen this one but I have a few of the others you mentioned on Mill Creek DVDs. I was honestly hoping that they'd have little ears and tails. Is it just because of the catsuits that they are Cat-women or are they supposed to be evolved from cats somehow?

Bill D. Courtney said...

Yea that is a good point I never pondered. I do not think they are half feline or anything. They wear slinky cat suits, but yea, no little ears or tails. I cannot recall them referring to themselves as cat women or anything. Probably an after thought, but I bought into it ;)