Mars Needs Women (Review)

Mars Needs Women

Tommy Kirk! as Dop
Yvonne Craig! as Dr. Bolen
“Bubbles” Cash! as Some Stripper
Directed by Larry Buchanan!

After Devil Girl From Mars taught us Mars had a war that killed off all the men, now we do a complete 180 and have a movie where Mars is short of the womenfolk. Here it’s a mutation instead of a war, but you can’t deny the Mars kidnapping theme. Mars craves abducting humans like a crack addict craves the sweet sweet rock. This wonderful treat stars Tommy Kirk, noted Oscar caliber actor. Wait, that should read noted “Best Bowler in Milan, Illinois” league actor. Tommy Kirk has made so many crappy movies if video tapes of all of them were stacked on top of each other you could climb to Mars yourself and see if they need men or women. He was also in Old Yeller, which means he has to be given some respect regardless of the career choices he had after Disney threw him out for being gay. The director of this film is a man I’ve come to know an love, Larry Buchanan. MST3K fans will remember him as the director of Attack of the the Eye Creatures (not a typo) that just didn’t care. Nor does he care here. Tommy Kirk is a million times the actor Buchanan is the director. Batgirl also joins the cast, as Mars Needs Batgirl as well. I could use a little Batgirl myself every now and then.

The women are disappearing! A tennis player, a babe in a restaurant, and a shower babe all vanish in the blink of an eye. The army is upset, and the code breakers have deciphered a message: Mars Needs Women! We have a title! Buchanan follows his motif having angry army men outside of the regular story except for brief seconds of interaction. Angry Colonel Bob Page runs the Army Base, and he yells at press guy Stimmons over questions about the disappearing women and the messages from space. He storms off from Stimmons’s queries and instead briefs a Senator who just happens to be on base as well. The Senator tells the Colonel to play it off as a malfunctioning communications system for now, and informs the president.

The Martians want to talk. They tell the Army to turn off all scanning devices and they will communicate. The army complies and Tommy Kirk’s voice blares over the loudspeaker. He tells them they failed to retrieve the three women they transported, so now they’ve come in person. He then beams inside their control room. He is Dop, the Martian. (Dop? At least it ain’t Droppo!) Dop explains that mutations on the Y chromosome have produces 100 males for every female. This means the women shortage has gotten bad on Mars, and now they need new blood, from Earth. They want five volunteers to return to Mars. Colonel Page shoots this down ASAP and yells at Dop. Not a wise decision, as the Martians were planning to take the women no matter what. Dop vanishes and the invasion begins!

The world is notified and stock footage runs rampant. Stock footage jet fighters are scrambled to deal with the Martian UFO, but an invisible force field is encountered, and a jet is forced to go skiing in the desert to avoid crashing. More stock footage jets scramble and attack as Colonel Page and his adjutant look at the loudspeaker worriedly. All the squadrons of stock footage fighter jets fail to stop the Martian Menace.

The Martians land in an abandoned ice factory. The Martians are named Fellow #1 (Dop), Fellow #2 (the Doctor, played by Warren Hammack who was Lt. Robertson in Attack of The The Eye Creatures), Fellow #3 (the mean one, Tony Huston was Culver in Attack of The The Eye Creatures), Fellow #4 (Larry Tanner, also in Attack of The The Eye Creatures), and Fellow #5 (who WASN’T in Attack of The The Eye Creatures.) They plan their dastardly deeds. Their mission is non-hostile, but they are allowed to use hypnosis. Fellow #3 steals cash and a map from a gas station, while Fellow #4 grabs a car from airport parking, and Fellow #5 steals suits from a men’s clothing store. Soon the Martians are all decked out in suits, complaining about ties (which the Martians eliminated a whole fifty years ago.) Each Martian is to get one woman, for a total of five. But first the film must be padded with an extensive driving sequence as the Martians head to the city. Yep. Driving. Pad-tastic! Fellow #3 gets dropped off at a strip club. Martians must have no clue how crazy strippers are and how they are the total opposite of what they are looking for. Or it’s the classic “Away from home, time to play!” thinking. We are treated to minutes and minutes of a stripper dancing very slowly and taking almost nothing off. Once the song stops and we think we are safe….another song starts and she keeps dancing!

Tommy and Fellow #2 go to a motel, then to the bar there as they cannot get a room. “You can’t get a mixed drink in Texas! Beer or wine?” states the barkeep. The Martians see a news report talking about the military meeting over the crisis, and the repeat mentions of Dr. Bolen, who “turned out to be a stunning brunette, who found it hard to hide her charm behind her horn-rimmed spectacles.” Dr. Bolen is Batgirl, Yvonne Craig, who is also an expert on Space-genetics. This intrigues the Martians, who find out about a talk she is hosting at that very hotel on “Sex and Outer Space.” Plans are hatched. Tommy Kirk hypnotizes a reporter to get his room. This reporter is played by the greasy pajama’s guy from Attack of The The Eye Creatures, Chet Davis. It might be faster to list the actors NOT in Attack of The The Eye Creatures. Tommy Kirk goes to the Dr. Bolen lecture with the man’s press credentials as Fellow #2 catches a nap so he can score some co-ed tail in the morning, as all co-eds are early risers. I’m not sure what school the writer went to, but my experience is most are anything but. Fellow #4 is scoping out women at the airport, and is stalking a stewardess (also in AOTEEC) for back in these days stewardesses couldn’t be married. Fellow #3 is still in the strip club, and the same girl is STILL dancing. She finally finishes and he follows her backstage, and abducts her, despite her having the worse dubbing in the history of the universe, Godzilla films included.

The talk on sex and outer space has become a place where reporters make lame jokes, and Dr. Bolen is growing frustrated, until Tommy Kirk enters and asks an intelligent question (unless you know anything about what he’s talking about, then you realize the question makes zero sense), striking Dr. Bolen’s interest. She calls off the talk after answering him, but goes up to him to chat afterwards. First Tommy gets and invite by Stimmons to the Army Press core for some reason. Dr. Bolen pulls all her Batgirl charm on Tommy Kirk, and they end up going for a walk. In broad daylight, even though it’s after 10pm and was dark earlier. Things like this happened in another movie, I bet you can’t guess which one! They end up going to a planetarium which is full of screaming kids (the planetarium is open 9am to 9pm, but it’s like midnight and broad daylight…) The tape breaks, but Tommy Kirk narrates the Trip to Mars tour himself to applause, despite most of the things he says (Mars 1/2 Earth’s size, Martian Canals with water, life) are all wrong. He even gets complimented by the planetarium curator after the applause from the children. Curator says people want the Martians to invade because they are bored. Outside, crickets chirp in the bright 3:00 am sun. Dr. Bolen mentions she’s only known Tommy Kirk for 5 hours, which from 10pm until now is 3 am. Fellow #4 is still stalking the stewardess at the airport, and Fellow #5 is at a football game. I guess it’s tomorrow now, as Tommy went home and saw Fellow #2 still asleep just before. Time for super-padding! We see what must be a real Homecoming Queen ceremony, and the winner immediately drives home to her sorority, and answers the door when Fellow #5 is there to hypnotize her. The Homecoming Queen Ceremony is completely padding oriented. This is the actresses only film, which just leads me to my theory she was a real Homecoming Queen there (it’s Baylor from the looks of it, I should find some old yearbooks and see if she’s mentioned.)

There is a meeting at the army base that day with Dr. Bolen in attendance. Some weird Greek guy explains that the Martians are using hypnotics. This is based on absolutely no evidence, but everyone believes him. And the Stripper, the Stewardess, and the Homecoming Queen are all reported missing (the Homecoming Queen must have happened less than an hour ago, I don’t buy their intel.) Fellow #2 hits on an Artist Lady Co-ed, speaks of trees and hypnotizes her. Oops, she’s reported being taken within a nanosecond in the meeting at the army base. They’ve also blames the robberies of the Gas station and the clothes store on the Martians, based on evidence never given. Dr. Bolen figures out the Martians are at the abandoned ice factory because they would need chemicals for testing out cryogenic sleep for space voyages between the planets. The army plans to raid later that night. After all, it’s a crisis situation, so why not wait around a while?

Tommy Kirk takes Dr. Bolen out that night, and they go to the wing of a science hall named after he late father, the genetics expert. Her father must have been obsessed with models of babies being born, because that is about all the displays consist of, except for a visible woman exhibit. She lets slip about the raid, and suddenly Tommy has to go. She follows him and he heads to the Ice Factory to warn the other Martians. Tommy Kirk does not want to leave Earth, but if he doesn’t return all the Martians will be killed. The other four women are in the middle of the sleep preparations, so they have to be left behind. IF the Martians take Dr. Bolen with them they can make up for the failure, but Tommy won’t allow that to happen. Why can’t the Martians just go to a different town and take more women? That’s one of the mysteries of the Red Planet!

The army arrives outside, and Tommy tells Dr. Bolen that Love left the Martian vocabulary 100 years ago but he feels it for her. Ties lasted longer than the concept of love? The Army attacks, and all the Martians depart, leaving behind all the women. Dr. Bolen cries, and the military men demand answers. The movie ends with a quote by Tsiolkousky (or Tsiolkovsky as he is better known.)

It’s apparent once again that Larry Buchanan just didn’t care for this film, either. Tommy Kirk tried his acting skills to save it, but to no avail. It would be interesting to see how much Larry Buchanan would have cared if he were allowed to make a movie with a budget higher than $30 and a bag of Cheetos. Think of all the stock footage several thousand dollars would have added to the picture! The Martians are not through kidnapping people yet.

Rated 2/10 (Hide and Seek Martian, Dr. Batgirl)

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!