A year before the 1998 debut of Mystery Science Theater 3000, there was a movie with a surprisingly similar sensibility, also meant to combine the feel of schlocky sci-fi movies with the experience of watching them late at night on a UHF TV station.
That movie was Amazon Women on the Moon, an anthology film in the tradition of Kentucky Fried Movie, and even sported that movie’s director, John Landis, as one of its five directors.
The conceit of the film is that a TV station is showing an old sci-fi B-movie called Amazon Women on the Moon, but due to technical difficulties, the viewer channel-surfs, into a series of sketches. Like most sketch anthology movies, the bits are hit and miss, although, unlike its predecessor Kentucky Fried Movie, the comedy isn’t ultra-specific to its time period.
Its Best Sketches
I hadn’t seen Amazon Women in years and was curious whether the movie I loved when I was about 12 years old holds up well 50 years later, and most of it does.
The funniest bit in the movie is the first, starring Arsenio Hall as a guy in his apartment who suffers an escalating series of slapstick calamities:
I’ve always been partial to the nondescript funeral that gradually turns into a Friar’s Club roast:
“Believe or Not”
There’s also the “Believe or Not” parody “Bullshit or Not,” which posits that Jack the Ripper was, in fact, the Loch Ness monster:
Then there was the teenager whose first-time condom purchase goes as wrong as it could possibly go:
Blind Date Gone Wrong
There’s also the depiction of one really, really bad blind date, or rather, the pre-date screening:
There are lots of familiar faces too, from Carrie Fisher to B.B. King to Ed Begley Jr. to Michelle Pfeiffer to Rosanna Arquette to Joe Pantoliano to Andrew Dice Clay to even Russ Meyer.
Amazon Women on the Moon is not freely streaming anywhere, but as seen above, most of the bits are on YouTube.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.