Monday, 8 February 2010


A classic of it's kind. Totally inept sci-fi adventure which uses left over costumes from the 1956 FORBIDDEN PLANET with shabby cardboard sets which finds the wonderful Zsa Zsa Gabor complete with Hungarian accent leading a revolution on the Planet Venus where the entire population seems to be young women of a similar age. Of course, dahlinks, ZZ has to pose in every scene and pout for each contractual closeup. Eric Fleming who is only remembered these days as the star of TV's RAWHIDE leads the Earth crew who want to teach the amazons what a kitchen is and how to love their men. The cast also features Paul Birch, one of those likeable B-movie actors who was able to keep a straight face while uttering the most inane dialogue. Birch was a graduate of the Roger Corman stock company so for him at least this film probably had a bigger budget than his usual movies. Non-direction by Edward Bernds whose twenty year stint as a director started and ended with The Three Stooges. He deserves some sort of award for directing so much highly enjoyable rubbish.

I watched this with a friend who enjoyed it but was interested to know why I can enjoy something like QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE but be so scathing about the ineptitude of a film like VAN HELSING. I told him why - it ain't rocket science and you can agree or disagree as you wish. Unlike VAN HELSING, Edward Bernds film, did not waste a budget that could have fed a couple of famine stricken African countries for five years. QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE is unintentionally funny while VAN HELSING wasn't funny or scarey either intentially or not. Fifty two years after QUEEN was made people are still watching, enjoying and discussing it and I doubt if that will be the case with VAN HELSING. And, you know what, I bet it made a profit for Allied Artists. Rating *** and be damned.

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

It quite easy to tell the difference between something like QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE and something like (ahem) VAN HELSING. The former is enjoyable to watch and entertaining while the latter is painful and boring. You're quite right also that VH had absolutely no imagination or talent involved in its making while QOOS (I kinda LIKE that abbreviation when you pronounce it!) had no money but ingenuity, imagination and spirit to make something (however inept) out of practically nothing. I'll take the movie with a striving heart ANY TIME over a movie with an empty dead soul.