Jane Fonda may regret opting Barbarella as one of her earlier films, but fans of bad camp and cult sci-fi are happy to see the actress in this horridly funny sixties film.
Fonda plays the title role of a spaice vixen / astronaut in the exceptionally distant yet sixties-fied future. When genius but mad scientist Dr. Duran Duran (presumably from whom the band took their name) disappears, Barbarella is sent to track him down and given weapons she has no clue how to use (war has been outlawed for ages) and little warning of the planet she'll be landing on.
Pursued by evil children with cannibalistic dolls and rescued by a tough man in furs, Barbarella finds out about real sex (thankfully not pictured) when she offers to use a mood-linking pill, the 41st century method of copulation. From there she's off to a city of evil, avarice, and sin, to be caught by the demented Dr. Duran and put through such tortures as a cage of pecking budgies to the doctor's notorious and sensual machine for execution by sheer pleasure to a lake of liquid evil whose effects look to have been done by lava lamp. Along the way she meets various helpers (most of whom she ends up sleeping with), including a blind angel named Pygar.
Barbarella's costumes vary with each scene, all skin-tight and definitely satirizing the garb of women of golden-age science fiction. On the whole, the movie pokes fun at the field of early science fiction rather well with a heaping helping of sixties hippie culture thrown in for good measure.
Barbarella is by no means a good movie, but it is excellent fare for fans of campy sci-fi that would be right at home on MST:3K and quite humorous when taken with a grain of salt.