Marietta as Cathy/Queen Moon Nudist
William Mayer as Dr. Jeff Huntley
Lester Brown as Professor Nickels Directed by Doris Wishman
The first rocketship to the moon finds…a Nudist Colony! One would think that would make this film exciting. One would be wrong. Back in the days before the internet, before Late Night cable, before VCRs, you had to sneak off to the theater to see naked people. You certainly couldn’t see your wife naked, as she was sleeping in the other twin bed. As an added affront, the nudie films all feature people who are nude in name only, just wandering around topless. Because of things like this, the human race almost died off, millions of males having no knowledge of the female reproductive system, and believing playing volleyball with topless women was how you made babies. While that may have been good for stockholders of sporting goods stores, it did little to help the Baby Boomers figure out the birds and the bees until they all went on acid and figured it out.
This movie’s plot, or single sentence, is “Man goes to moon, gets mooned, goes home.” The five minutes it took to establish the story is padded out by long sequences of driving, long sequences of nudists lying around on the moon, and long sequences of nothing. Nudism has never been more exciting! The entire first two minutes or so is the entire song Moon Doll played to a crude cartoon drawing of the moon. Dean Martin has nothing on this guy, and no one will ever worry about that drawing hitting them in the eye like a big pizza pie over this movie. In the unlikely event you are struck in the eye by moon particles, be sure to wash afterwards, you don’t know where those nudists have been.
Barry Sullivan as Captain Mark Markary
Norma Bengell as Sanya
Ángel Aranda as Wess
Evi Marandi as Tiona
Stelio Candelli as Brad
Franco Andrei as Bert
Fernando Villena as Dr. Karan Directed by Mario Bava
It’s the future, and man is conquering space! Man is also conquering fashion, and wearing outfits entirely out of leather with gigantic collars. Not just normal giant collars, these collars are popped up, just like those Frat boys you see wandering around town with their polo shirt collars up. If this is the future of fashion, the human race is doomed. The fashion is brought up first and foremost, because this movie has incredible visuals that still hold up forty years later. The visuals inspired countless other science fiction films, some so blatantly you’ll view those classics with a new suspicious look, wondering what other things they ripped off. Director Mario Bava also directed Danger: Diabolik, famous for being the last MST3Ked movie. Now, you’d think Planet of the Vampires would be crawling with vampires. I am afraid I have some bad news for you folks, there are NO vampires in this film. Zero. None, Nada. No Space Vampires, No Salt Vampires, no Turkish Ripoffs of Salt Vampires. We do have aliens, and animated dead bodies controlled by the aliens, so the correct term would be either Planet of the Zombies or Planet of the Ghosts who Possess People. Another correct term would be the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation named Power Play. I don’t want to say Star Trek ripped this movie off, but with the many other things blatantly stolen from this film, it would be unsurprising that Trek went with the flow.
John Call as Santa Claus
Leonard Hicks as Kimar
Vincent Beck as Voldar
Bill McCutcheon as Dropo
Pia Zadora as Girmar
First they came for the men. Then they came for the women. Now they have come for the sweetest plum of them all: Santa Claus! We got the original edition right here, not a Crow, Joel, or Tom Servo to be found. There is no Patrick Swayze Christmas here, it’s all pain. This is not the first MST3K film that I’ve seen without Joel/Mike and the bots (that honor goes to Alien from L.A.) but this is the worst I have seen without their protection. The thought that this movie is still being shown to children throughout the world as a Christmas classic is horrifying. I can only pray that the endless showings of A Christmas Story are enough to counter the effects here.
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.
Ward Ramsey as Bart Thompson
Kristina Hanson as Betty Piper
Alan Roberts as Julio
Fred Engelberg as Mike Hacker
This relict from the 1950’s type of cinema bursts into the swinging sixties trying the same formula that had worked for 15 years. Unfortunately for them it fails to work. At all. Ward Ramsey is a third rate Peter Graves wanna be. In fact, according to rumor this was supposed to be a Steve McQueen role. Yeah, sure. Bullitt vs. Dinosaurs, that would be entertaining, but the director here couldn’t pull off a paint by numbers picture. Neither could the special effects department, the effects are particularly bad on this film considering the age. If you aren’t Ray Harryhausen don’t even try to pretend you can do his skills. The film tries to cover the cheap effect with terrible comic relief insulting the only interesting character (the caveman) and factors in an annoying island kid, a lazy black guy, a drunk Irishman, a woman who faints underwater, and The White Man saving the day thanks to White Man technology. Yeesh. I will repeat that the kid was annoying as he is terrible. Imagine any of the Kens from the Gamera movies, make him Mexican and named Julio, and you get this kid.