Barbarella (1968)

Day: January 17th, Movie: 17

You’ve got to be kidding me.

When I was searching for possible sci-fi films, I came across Barbarella. I looked at Rotten Tomatoes scores to see if the films were worth watching. This had a 74% so I thought the odds of it being worthwhile increased.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Barbarella started off with Jane Fonda floating around as if in zero gravity, slowly doing a striptease as words floated around her body to cover her nudity (at least partially). From that point on, I knew what kind of film this was going to be.

I could not believe that this was Jane Fonda. She was beautiful, no doubt, but Barbarella was not what I had expected. Full of sex and exotica, Barbarella was not the feminist hero that I thought she might. Barbarella was in traps and dangers constantly and required plenty of rescue.

Barbarella was sent by the Earth’s president to retrieve Durand Durand (Milo O’Shea) from the Tau Ceti planetary system. She then spends the film in all sorts of compromising situations, with all sort of people, including a blind angel Pygar (John Phillip Law) that does not make love, but is love..

Marcel Marceau was here too, playing Professor Ping.

I’m not sure that I have seen a film more campy than this one. It was like a weird, psychedelic dream (particularly a dream that might be had by a teen boy).

This is another film that I would pay good money to see the RiffTrax crew riff on. It is utterly ridiculous.

The soundtrack was fun and the costuming was actually pretty good. Even the special effects for 1968 are not bad. However, the story and characters are thin and lacking any real cohesiveness to them. It is fun at times. Stupid, stupid fun.

Barbarella seemingly has inspired countless of people. It is considered a cult film, which in this case means a bad one. It reminded me of films like The Room or Manos: Hands of Fate in its badness. Those might be considered cult films too.

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