24 Frames per Second
Sci-Fi Summer Film Series: "Cat-Women of the Moon"
Be afraid. Be afraid of women, especially if they live inside the moon, are cat-like, can control your mind, and have pet spiders. Arthur Hilton's film Cat-Women of the Moon is a funny Sci-Fi B-movie that shows the gender stereotypes present in films from the 1950s. The actors are given laughably horrible lines that don't even attempt to hide the typical roles of the male "cowboy" and the female "ditz."
Marie Windsor plays Helen, the only female astronaut on a spaceship of men headed for the first moon landing. Helen is the only crewmember who is under mind control by the Cat-women (because she is a woman). Hilton then adds the overly sweet plot point of "two men fight over one woman." Did I mention that this is all happening in a rocket speeding toward the moon and the cast looks like they are dressed for a safari trip?
B-films are notoriously under budget with bad dialogue and sets, but they capture our hearts and laughter through their ability to amuse. Cat-women of the Moon is filled with hilariously perfect safari space costumes for the astronauts. The Cat-women prance around their Ancient Roman-inspired set wearing black body suits with large gold collars. The space suits are particularly B-movie-fantastic, with a multitude of buckles and flaps, and topped off with either a fish bowl helmet or a silver bullet helmet.
The plot is a bumpy ride through space with meteor showers, with the ship almost exploding. The time on the moon creates delightfully funny tension with the Cat-women trying to seduce the male astronauts through one strange and elaborate dance and promises of a gold-filled room. The antics of the Cat-women are a part of a "secret" plan to steal the space ship and immigrate to Earth. So whether you are interested in the costumes, the story of space exploration, or you just want to see the pet spiders, I recommend Cat-women of the Moon to exceed all of your B-movie requirements!
- "Female Oppression in Attack of the 50-foot Woman"
- Women Scientists in Fifities Science Fiction Films
- Close Encounters: Film, Feminism, and Science Fiction
- Cult Science Fictions Films: From the Amazing Colossal Man to Yog-Monster From Space
- The Limits of Infinity: the American Science Fiction Film, 1950-1975
- Costume Design 101: The Art and Business of Costume Design for Film and Television
Reviews from the Archive:
Looking for more Sci-Fi B-movie magic? A screening of Teenager from Outer Space will take place on Wednesday, June 22 at 7 p.m. on the first floor of Mid-Manhattan Library. No registration is required. All are welcome! For more information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To see all the events for Sci-Fi Summer, visit http://bit.ly/scifisummer.