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Space Thing
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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"Look--naked space chicks!"
1 stars

Here's a sure sign that the DVD format is finally taking off: not only are the traditional blockbusters (like "Jaws") getting the disc treatment, but some absolutely useless obscurities are beginning to crop up as well. Case in point: "Space Thing," made in 1968, and now, thanks to the DVD boom, taking up rack space in video stores all over the world. But why the hell would anyone want to watch this grindingly tedious sci-fi/nudie-movie confection?

Space Thing comes to us from the folks at Something Weird Video, an outfit singlehandedly responsible for rescuing from oblivion hundreds of cheesy genre flicks from the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Of course, roughly ninety-eight percent of them shouldn't have been made in the first place, or at least should have been dumped into the Pacific some years ago--but, hey, film preservation, vital as it is, ain't a glamorous line of work. Somebody has to ensure that John Holmes' early period will remain available on tape for the perusal of future generations. But anyhow...

An all-too-typical SWV movie, Space Thing is an utterly botched attempt at a light-hearted risque sci-fi film. The nominal plot has an evil alien terrorist sneaking aboard a space ship (called--ha, ha--the S.S. Supreme Erection) and getting sidetracked with the frisky behavior of its oversexed crew. This brings to pass a fair amount of female nudity--the male characters quite literally keep their pants on--and even some lesbian-with-a-whip action. But while I'm sure this sort of thing sold plenty of tickets back in 1968, it's all very mild stuff by today's standards.

The movie fails dismally to sustain the infectiously silly tone it's clearly aiming for. Mindless farce is fine with me, but it needs to be carried off with zest, speed, and at least some semblance of wit. Space Thing, with its endless scenes of half-dressed actors rolling around in bed, just moves too slowly to sustain interest. And as for wit... it's worth pointing out that the script is credited to "Cosmo Politan."

The sets here don't even come up to the standards of a high school play--Ed Wood, Jr. couldn't have shot a movie like this. The lighting is beyond dreadful; everything is either too bright or too dark, and at one point you can even see the shadow of a crew person on the wall.

Incidentally, the DVD contains an audio commentary track from director/producer David F. Friedman. Space Thing, he cheerfully confesses, is one of the worst movies ever made.

And on that note...

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originally posted: 05/06/01 12:48:54
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3/07/04 B-Bop So Bad It's Good! 2 stars
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Directed by
  David F. Friedman
  Byron Mabe

Written by
  Cosmo Politan

  Bart Black
  April Playmate
  Mercy Mee
  Ronnie Runningboard

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