AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON
US, 1987, 85 minutes, Colour.
Rosanna Arquette, Ralph Bellamy, Carrie Fisher, Griffin Dunne, Steve Guttenberg, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Directed by Joe Dante, Carl Gottlieb, Peter Horton, John Landis, Robert K.Weiss.
Amazon Women on the Moon is an amusing collection of skits, especially on television, old movies, advertising. It is ironic and pokes fun at all its subjects. The cast is listed as `a whole lot of stars' - and indeed there are, ranging from Rosanna Arquette and Steve Gutenberg, to Lou Jacobi and Henry Silva.
The material is hit-and-miss - but is mostly amusing, even when it seems to miss. The guiding hand is director John Landis, who began his film directing career with The Kentucky Fried Movie - and then moved on to success with such films as Trading Places, coming to America.
The film enjoys its targets - and pokes fun at the American lifestyle.
1. The deadly kitchen sequence and Arsenio Hall being destroyed by technology?
2. The joke about the short attention span - and the changes of programmes?
3. The satire on sex, Penthouse magazine - the nude walk, including going to church, and the voice-over of the usual speech by the winner of the beauty contest? The ironic contrast?
4. Lou Jacobi and his wife, watching television, his being drawn into the television set, his wandering into all the programmes ranging from MTV, King Kong, Amazon Women on the Moon, President Reagan arriving in Moscow ...? The comment on the consumer and television?
5. The hospital sequence and the lost baby: Michelle Pfeiffer, Griffin Dunne, Peter Horton? The nonchalant doctor?
6. The joke with the hair commercial? The commercial about the black singer `without soul' and Beebee King and his music, David Allen Grier singing `Tie a Yellow Ribbon', `Chim-chiminy' and other popular songs? The advertisement for the bouncing pate?
7. Amazon Women on the Moon: the satire on the science fiction films of the '50s, the poor print, the special effects and the sets, science fiction conventions? The President of the U.S? Technology, landing on the moon? The astronaut with the monkey? The meeting with the Amazons? The sexual overtones? The escape and the happy ending? And Lou Jacobi wandering into it? The many interruptions?
8. The dating sequence, Carol and Jerry, her running a computer check and his being found wanting, his sex life being revealed?
9. Henry Silva and the parody on such programmes as Ripley's Believe It Or Not? Jack the Ripper as the Loch Ness Monster? The re-enactments of the sequences with the models and special effects?
10. The satire on the movie critics and their analysis of film? The analysis of Harvey Pitnik and his life? His heart attack?
11. The satire on the funeral of Harvey, the grief of his wife, his children? Steve Allen and the comedians and the format of the roast? Analysing Harvey's life and making jokes? The performance by Harvey's wife? Held over for two weeks?
12. The parody of the invisible man story? The parallel with the Penthouse satire and the nude invisible man - not being invisible? The irony of his dialogue and what was actually happening?
13. Ray going to the video shop, getting the sex video with his name, the characters trying to seduce him, the husband coming home and attacking Ray, the policeman on the set and in real life?
14. The boy going into the shop for the condoms, meeting Ralph Bellamy as the genial shopkeeper, making him talk loudly about the condoms - and finally the publicity with his winning the prize? The TV, the media, his parents, girlfriend, the business executive? His being on the billboards?
15. The final credits - and the postscript of the '30s-style sex warning film? Carrie Fisher as the young girl, seduced, going to the city, being corrupted - and the corny and semi-innocent look of the corruption? Her boyfriend and the problem about telling the truth? Talking to Paul Bartel as the therapist - and his on screen moralising?
16. The overall effect of the parody of the use of the media over the decades, especially moralising films, amoral films, television programming and advertising?