From the Wade Williams Collection and Image Entertainment, we get the definitive science fiction space extravaganza of 1959 (can you sense the sarcasm? I'm laying it on pretty thick here) directed by Richard E. Cunha, the man responsible for such cinematic schlock as She Demons (1958), Frankenstein's Daughter (1958), and Giant from the Unknown (1958). This film is actually a remake of 1953's Cat-Women of the Moon, which wasn't done by Cuhna.
This movie has nearly everything, from lovely international beauty contestant winners cast as moon maidens, a spiffy rocket ship, less than exciting space travel, meteors, rock monsters, lunar caves fraught with danger (and breathable atmosphere, go figure), diamonds as big as your fist, a giant, hairy spider with big, pointy teeth, and even a catfight...what it doesn't have; a coherent plot, decent special effects, a lucid script, good characterizations, realistic sets, or passable acting, but, in the world of B movies, this one certainly stands out.
Okay, here's the deal. Seems a scientist has built a missile he intends to fly to the moon. The government, seeing the value and advanced state of his work, decides to take over the project, much to the scientists' dismay. He pouts a lot and makes a lot of statements you'd expect from a petulant child who doesn't get his way. Meanwhile, two criminals have escaped from prison, and have taken refuge within the moon missile. The scientist discovers them, and decides to convince them, at gunpoint, to help him fly his missile to the moon before the government takes away his cardboard spacecraft...er, I mean futuristic, atomic powered spacecraft. The scientists' assistant and his fiancÃ© get caught on the ship, and all five blast off into the great unknown of space.
After some danger involving meteors and such, this unlikely group reaches the moon. There they encounter some rock monsters that seem not to like people as they begin to attack our unlikely, yet plucky, cosmic travelers. It's funny watching the scenes with the rock monsters as all involved try to create tension and a sense of danger as one actor shouts out, "Look out! They're trying to surround us!" but the rock monster suits provide very little mobility causing the horrific creatures to move at a snails pace, allowing for even the most feeble to escape easily, that is unless someone trips...they take refuge in a cave, and soon find themselves transported to a lunar city, which we never really get to see, filled with a bevy of beautiful moon maidens. I can see why the scientist wanted to get here so badly, as there are no men, only bunches of lunar babes, ripe for the picking. Stuff happens, words are said, and soon we learn of the imminent danger the lunar women, and a catfight happens somewhere around here. Oh yeah, there's a wonderful scene where the scrappy space travelers are in a cave, and the order is given to release 'the Dark Ones'. As a really fake looking grate rises to a section of the cave, the suspense builds, and finally....nothing..oh wait! A big, hairy spider! And a particularly frisky one at that, based on what he's doing to that moon maiden... What happens next? Well, I don't want to give away too much, but it's all pretty predictable.
There's plenty of fun to be had here for lovers of campy movies. The disc contains a very decent print of the film, which does have minor, expected flaws, but the black and white looks crisp, and the audio is very clear. The only special feature is a photo gallery of mostly the beauty contestant winners in their moon maiden garb. I thoroughly enjoyed this better than average presentation of a late 50's sci-fi camp fest, but I was also glad that its' run time was only 77 minutes as Hollywood cheese is good, if taken in moderation.