Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 1958. Allied Artists Pictures. Screenplay by Charles Beaumont, based on the story Queen Of The Universe by Ben Hecht. Cinematography by William P. Whitley. Produced by Ben Schwalb. Music by Marlin Skiles. Production Design by Dave Milton. Film Editing by William Austin.
Familiarity with 50s science-fiction camp still can’t prepare you for the corniness on display here. A group of astronauts are sent into outer space to board an orbiting space station but nothing goes according to plan. A mysterious weapon destroys the station before they get there, and then their ship is drawn against their best efforts to the planet of Venus, where they land and are introduced to its inhabitants. That’s where things get fun, as the men find themselves amongst a bevy of statuesque beauties who wear evening gowns while holding ray guns, proudly in charge of a society that has done away with men as per the commands of its fierce, masked leader. The astronauts soon discover that the queen of this planet intends to turn her doomsday weapon against the planet Earth and destroy it completely, but don’t worry, we all know that females in power are just waiting for men to come and show them how it’s done. Zsa Zsa Gabor plays the citizen who is immediately sympathetic to her visitors (because she cannot live without the company of men!), while the brightly coloured yet strangely cheap production design looks like the entire thing takes place on a fifties game show. It’s hilarious and should be seen to be believed.