Fire Maidens Of Outer Space (1956)
“I wonder if the beings on Jupiter’s Satellite will look anything like her?”
This comment between two men of science as they watch a shapely secretary ascend a set of stairs while the camera lingers longingly upon her figure for the benefit of the male population who have paid their entry fee to see more of what the film poster promises.
Scoring a firm 2.2 rating out of 10 at the IMDB has me wondering if none of the 1227 registered voters have a sense of humor. Sure these Fire Maidens are cheesy and can’t dance a lick but I can easily see myself rewatching this ultra low budget Cy Roth endeavor before countless other prestige projects from the major studios of the era.
Thanks to one of those giant telescopes I’ve yet to have the opportunity to look through at an observatory, a thirteenth moon has been discovered orbiting Jupiter. In little screen time at all, it’s quickly determined that it may be habitable and in less than ONE WEEK, a spaceship is enroute to confirm it’s suitability to sustain human life. A little stock footage combined with some laughable effects and we have a spaceship on it’s way with a crew including Anthony Dexter and Paul Carpenter.
If I didn’t know any better, whoever is credited with creating the arcade game Asteroids that emptied my teenage pockets of all quarters on more than one occasion surely saw this film as a kid. The ship encounters a field of giant rocks on their screens and the only thing missing is the little ship in the middle of the monitor that is capable of firing torpedoes at the incoming rock.
To demonstrate just how meager of a budget this film had, the headquarters of the NASA equivalent that has sent the ship to Jupiter contains a desk, a speaker, a phone with one man seated taking all incoming calls and five people gathered around him to get the latest up to date reports. That’s it unless you count the clock on the wall.
The ship heading to Jupiter isn’t much different with the actors seated at a similar desk and no camera movement or angles whatsoever that might give away the obvious. What the budget does allow for is an electric shaver. Incredibly two of our crewman sit back and take off the stubble. Perhaps they know of the maidens that await them and want to look their best.
No sooner do our brave explorers land on an earth like planet where thank the heavens, the atmosphere is identical to ours (Open the hatch) allowing them to breath in some fresh air that they run into a big foot like creature with a rejected head design for The Hideous Sun Demon pawing a beautiful blond. Or shall I say a Fire Maiden? She screams and the men go into action drawing their revolvers to scare the big fellah away.
The beautiful Susan Shaw takes the men into the inner chambers of a reconstructed Atlantis where there’s one old geezer and a dozen Fire Maidens. Anthony Dexter who has been credited with saving the lovely lass learns quickly, “By the laws of Atlantis I am yours.” says Susan. The other space travelers are quickly thinking how do I get in this action and which little lovely can I save from harm and peril?
Now it’s time for the dance to begin. Not much in the way of choreography and more of a guilty burlesque show begins with Jacqueline Curtis wiggling and moving about. Obviously this was intended as a breakthrough role for the shapely brunette as she was highlighted in the opening credits with an “introducing” title card. She might make for a fine entry in the “Whatever Happened To” line of books from years gone by.
OK, I’m not telling you guys out there anymore other than that if these women had …… well let’s put it this way, if they were a bit more, shall we say “healthier” this could have been a Russ Meyer production. Don’t know Russ? Look him up.
It’s amateurish, it’s got ZERO in the way of a budget and pedestrian dialogue to boot with Dexter a wanna be Marlon Brando but it’s sooooo cheesy that I can’t deny it’s likability here in the vault at Mike’s Take on the Movies. Trivia hounds take notice of the make-up artist credit in the opening stanza. It’s Roy Ashton who in short order would go on to work at creating monsters for Hammer Films.
Rating? I don’t get involved in such nonsense. It’s all about enjoyment.