Saturday, February 9, 2013

Space Thing (1968)

Directed by Byron Mabe
Starring Karla Conway, Cara Peters, Merci Montello, Fancher Fague

This 'love' thing was getting out of hand.”

A Diane Lane-esque ginger beauty lays in bed next to her shlubby middle-aged hubby Jim (Steve Vincent), who's embroiled in his science fiction magazines. He loves 'em, can't get enough, spends most of his time thinking about  space travel and babbling about alternate dimensions. She's had enough of it, and tells him that if he doesn't pay her some attention, she's throwing all his goddamn sci-fi bullshit out. So he bangs her to shut her up. She's appreciative, but even as they bathe in the aferglow, he finds himself distracted by his outer space stuff.

Soon, he drifts off to sleep, dreaming about his life in another galaxy. Cue the Laugh-in-esque credits, scrawled in dayglo swirls on the bodacious bods of the the space girls.

In Jim's dream, he is a Captain Kirk-esque starship captain, the victim of a mutiny by “rapscallions” and set adrift in his “space canoe” to fend for himself. He spots an enemy ship and, bravely, steers himself into its orbit. Then he attempts to board.

Connie (pint-sized Playboy playmate Karla Conway), who is naked except for a constantly slipping towel,  lets him in. Through the front door. How else?  They are soon joined by Captain Mother (Cara Peters, another playmate), who, by her name and the looks of her ridiculous/bonerific outfit, is running this ship, and a chubby oaf named Willie (Dan Martin). On the voiceover, Jim talks about how repulsed he is by these disgusting creatures.  Damnit Jim,  have you gone space-mad? Anyways, he tells Capn' Mother that his ship was blown up, but he escaped using his supersonic sneakers. She tells him he can stay and do her grunt work. He tells her he's a Colonel back in Kansas, and therefore not required to do any heavy lifting. She laughs in his face.

Meanwhile Connie gets dressed. Sort of. I dunno if an outfit that skimpy counts as 'dressed'. Then she wakes up her roommate Portia (Merci Montello, playmate number 3), to let her know there's a handsome man on board. Portia doesn't like getting up without a good reason.

Jim wanders around the ship and finds a mirror. He is shocked when he sees what he looks like as a “Terranian”. So that's why he was freaked out by bare-assed Connie! Maybe he's usually a lizard?

Anyway, man-hungry Portia sidles up to him and tells him she's from Kansas, too. Then she makes out with him, but her jealous boyfriend Cadet (Stan Isfloride) shows up and knocks Jim the fuck out.

She runs to Captain Mother and tells her it was all Jim's fault. Capt Mother storms off to deal with him. Too-tan Astrid (the incredibly named Fancher Fague) rolls her eyes and calls Portia a liar, so they tussle a bit until Willie breaks it up. Don't you know the rules of girl-fighting, Willie? Nobody breaks up a, sexy girl fight!

To keep himself out of trouble, Jim pops invisibility pills, and then just skulks around the ship, watching all the amorous antics. Like when Portia and Cadet get it on while wearing silver boots that I'm pretty sure are covered in duct tape.

Or later on, when Portia and Captain Mother canoodle.

Willie sticks around to catch that one, too.

Things get a little weird when Captain mother pulls out a whip, but that's space love, baby.

Apparently there's a “no men” rule on the ship, and Portia's been breaking it all over the place.

And then an asteroid smashes into the ship! Which I think is a meatball pinging off a pie plate.

Luckily they all survive. Connie celebrates by seducing Jim while wearing what looks like a torn-up green curtain.

Then everybody sits down for dinner. Their futuristic space stools are very clearly garbage cans. They eat steak-flavored jelly beans. On the voiceover, Jim complains that he misses “juicy meats”. Then he storms off, sneaking into the control room to fiddle with some knobs. What are you up to, Jim from Kansas?

Turns out, Captain Mother is on a mission to Kansas to scoop up some 'specimens' for experimentation.  When Jim found this out, he figured the only solution was to alter the ship's course so that it would smash into an asteroid and kill them all, thereby sparing Kansas from an attack by hot chicks with space leotard wedgies. But Mother orders Willie to land on the nearest planet before they can crash. Thwarted!

The planet turns out to be pleasantly warm, so they lay down some blankets and mellow out. Captain Mother gets it on with Astrid, which is nice, because I was beginning to think she wasn't going to get naked like all the other girls. Whew.

But what about poor Willie? Doesn't he get to bang somebody? He runs into Connie, who's been running around in circles, topless, with Portia for the past ten minutes, and offers his services. She just shakes her head at him and wanders off. Sorry, Willie.

Meanwhile, Jim has sex with Portia while wearing shiny gold pants. “This is ridiculous,” he says. No kidding.

Captain Mother, determined to keep her ship strictly lesbianic, decides to have sex with Jim, just to prove...well, I'm not sure what it's supposed to prove. But she does it. And then she realizes that maybe men aren't so bad after all.

And then she gets back in her space ship and blows up the Earth. Or something like that. The end.

Directed by the same nutball that made the infamous She Freak, Space Thing is incredibly cheap and clunky and stupid. There's no getting around that. However, the film looks great (camerawork is credited to 'Sy Klops', who is most likely sludge-flick DP wizard Gary Graver), and the girls are hot and naked for pretty much the entire running time which, mercifully, is only 80 minutes. If I saw this when I was 14, I'd probably think it was the greatest film ever made. I sorta feel that way now. Boners will be popped!

Space Thing is available from Something Weird.

- Ken McIntyre

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