Directed by: Brian K. Williams
Written by: Brian K. Williams
Starring: Ellie Church, Allison Maier, Alyss Winkler and Brian Papandrea
Can I ask you some personal questions? Do like 80s sci-fi comedies? You do? Great. How about immature sex-based humor? Yeah? Cool. OK, just one more, and this is an important one. Do you like boobs? I mean, lots and lots of boobs, bouncing everywhere. Big ones, little ones, nipples of all sizes, pierced and unpierced, jiggling up and down, left and right . . . uh . . . crap, what the hell was I talking about? Oh, right. So, what do you say? Yay for boobs then? Excellent. Have I ever got a movie for you.
Today’s feature is the fourth film from Indiana-based filmmaking outfit Bandit Motion Pictures. It’s quite a departure from their first three pictures, all three of which were dark, weird, disturbing horror movies and easily some of the best low-budget genre flicks of the last ten years. SPACE BABES FROM OUTER SPACE is a love letter to the silly sci-fi sex comedies of the 80s. At times, it takes things to extremes far beyond anything Fred Olen Ray or Jim Wynorski would do (there are a lot of fluids flung about in this flick!), but in the end comes back to the sweet, almost innocent love story at the heart of the movie. Just about the only thing it’s missing is Eddie Deezen, and let’s be honest, does anyone really miss Eddie Deezen?
The opening titles, with their stunning cotton candy-colored space vistas and earworm synth-pop theme song, provide a loud and clear mission statement about the ride this movie is going to take you on.
Presented as an “adult fairy tale” told to a young boy as a bedtime story by his grudging grandfather (“Your mom says I have to tell you a bedtime story. You ready for this shit?”), we’re introduced to the Space Babes as their ship (shaped like a boob, natch) comes under attack by the nefarious Scrotes. Through an amusing bit of animated exposition, we discover the Scrotes were once the male of the species on the Space Babes’ home planet who, separated from the tempering influence of the Babes due to an interstellar catastrophe, devolved into disgusting, slobbering testicle creatures bent on the Babes’ destruction.
The Babes manage to escape the Scrotes’ attack, but the prolonged evasive maneuvers have drained their ship’s power supply and they’re forced to make an emergency landing on Earth. They touch down in the hay loft of a barn belonging to an awkward, nerdy farmer named Charlie. Unsure of exactly what kind of fuel they need to power up and get home, the Babes trace an energy signal to a strange antenna sticking out of Charlie’s pants. When manipulated, this antenna seems to release exactly the kind of energy the Babes need — sexual energy. Charlie thinks he knows exactly where they can find all the fuel they need and leads them to the local strip club, but the Scrotes have tracked the Babes’ ship to Earth, and are on their way to the strip club too.
Now the Babes must defeat their repulsive chauvinist nemeses once and for all and find enough sexual energy to get home, but the sad, unfulfilled boners at the strip club aren’t emitting enough energy no matter how vigorously the girls jiggle and gyrate. Will the Babes learn in time that a boner made with love is more powerful?
SPACE BABES FROM OUTER SPACE was originally conceived as a sketch comedy movie. One of the holdovers from that version is the only sticking point in the film for me. Charlie, being an old-fashioned sort of fellow, feels he should introduce Carrieola to his family before helping to give her ship a full-service fill up. Unfortunately, his family (headed by Bob and Tom Show alum Josh Arnold) are the vilest bunch of hillbilly degenerates this side of the Sawyers.
Dad is a foul-mouthed pervert, mom appears to be strung out, sister is chugging booze out of a dick-shaped cup while breastfeeding her dead baby, and brother is a sullen Goth wearing corpse paint. The scene is presented as a sitcom, complete with laugh track, and while it’s funny as a stand-alone bit (I particularly like that sullen Goth boy, who insists on being called Ashtaroth, is referred to as Asterisk by his dad), it goes on too long and the tone of it is filthy and mean-spirited – completely at odds with what is otherwise largely a good-natured and much lighter style of humor. Listening to the filmmakers’ commentary track, I learned that the scene has some personal meaning to Williams so I understand its inclusion, but tempering its edge a bit or at least shortening it would have made the movie stronger.
That one minor complaint aside, SPACE BABES is a treat. The primary cast are all strong performers and give the material the heart it needs to elevate it above the simple catalog of sex jokes it could have been in lesser hands. That is by no means a slag on the script, though. It is a fine and fully-stocked catalog! The gags and puns come fast and furious and are consistently funny, with Jason Crowe’s strip club patron character getting repeatedly soaked in various types of gunk being a particular highlight. Williams perfectly captures the light and fluffy vibe of the sex romps of yore, while putting the warped Bandit stamp on the proceedings with a deft hand. What about the women, you may ask? While the nudity isn’t the focus of the movie, it is copious and the women are all beautiful. SPACE BABES isn’t meant to be spank material, but if all you’re going to watch it for is boobs, you won’t be disappointed.
Bottom line, if you’re reading this website, and particularly if you were a listener of the Hollywood Upside Down podcast, you’re almost certainly going to love this movie. Support great independent art and check it out.
Contributed by Bryan Clark