Amazon Women on the Moon

Ironic takes on our campy, cheesy, American pop culture (everything from B-Movies to Infomercials) have been done to death a million times over, but Amazon Women on the Moon did it best, way back in 1987. Basically a collection of comedy sketches woven together through the conceit of a late night UHF television broadcast, we’re treated to a film-within-a-film, the main feature being an old sci-fi b-movie entitled, of course, “Amazon Women on the Moon.”

While the b-movie parody itself is clever, funny, and accurate (watching the film jump a few frames here and there because the film print is really old is a nice, finely-crafted touch) it’s all the other sketches that make this film great- like the story of Harvey Pitnik, who sits down to watch a Siskel & Ebert-like movie review show, only to discover they’re reviewing his own life story. This segues nicely into a second sketch at a funeral which turns into a roast- all the great old skool Borscht Belt comedians make an appearance, including Rip Taylor, Henny Youngman, Jackie Vernon and Steve Allen. In between the longer sketches are commercials and PSAs advertising groups like “Blacks Without Soul”, all of which are hilarious and very 80’s: boobs and hairspray galore. Yup, many of jokes would never fly today, but despite their sophomoric nature, they’re all still really funny.

Produced by the great John Landis, Amazon Women… is actually directed by 5 different people: Landis himself being one of them, but also Joe Dante and Robert Weiss- a wise move that allows each sketch to have its own distinct style and truly feel like you’re watching TV. Dante also made short parody films for Grindhouse, Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino’s ode to slasher films that totally rips off Amazon Women‘s entire structure. Landis, by the way, is ripping off himself, too- he directed Kentucky Fried Movie, the great Zucker Bros & Abrahams comedy that takes the same basic approach and established the over-the-top parody style that team would employ so well in Airplane! and The Naked Gun.

Though there are earlier examples of this type of B-movie / tv parody film (The Groove Tube, Disco Beaver from Outer Space) and later ones as well (UHF,) there just isn’t anything quite as brilliant, outrageous, or hilarious as Amazon Women on the Moon. Carrie Fisher in an old Reefer Madness-esque film, Griffin Dunne messing with Michelle Pfeiffer’s maternal instincts, Ed Bagley, Jr. as an invisible man who isn’t so invisible, Andrew Dice Clay as a jilted lover in a porn that breaks the fourth wall… Amazon Women may be a product of its time, but it’s also a classic piece of American comedy and an essential piece of American pop culture’s crazy history.


5 thoughts on “Amazon Women on the Moon

  1. Thanks for posting this! There might be an issue, it seems to be unavailable for download: (could not decrypt datakey)?


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