Cave Women on Mars
Kevin G. Shinnick
Horror & science fiction parodies are hard to pull off. For every ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEETS FRANKENSTEIN (1948, Universal) we have several films the level of BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA (1952, Realart).
The reason is the affection as well as the skill of those making the film. SAINT EUPHORIA PICTURES has a definite love for the Genre, especially for the films that filled Drive ins in the 1950s and sixties. This Minnesota based company (the state that gave us MST3K-hmmm, I wonder if there is something in the water?) has so far made three films that show the affection that they have for these low budget gems.
The first, THE MONSTER OF PHANTOM LAKE (2006, B&W) is a send up of underwater ghoulies, in particularly those of HORROR OF PARTY BEACH (Fox, 1964) with it’s bug-eyed monster and plot of radioactive dumping.
The following year gave us IT CAME FROM ANOTHER WORLD! (2007, b&w) that references everything from IT CONQUERED THE WORLD (AIP, 1956) to THE BLOB (Paramount, 1958).
Now we have perhaps their most ambitious film yet, CAVE WOMEN OF MARS. (2008). I knew that this film was made by a fan when I heard him use the title music of HORROR HOTEL (Trans-Lux/Vulcan, 1960) for their trailer.
The film is a tribute (if that word can be used) to such films as CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON (Astor 1953) and FIRE MAIDENS FROM OUTER SPACE (Eros/Topaz, 1956).
The story: The opening narration against a star background (which made me think of DUNE <Universal, 1984>) tells us it is the far off future of the year 1987, where humanity has finally ventured deeper into the solar system. The two man crew Captain Jackson (Josh Craig) and Lieutenant Elliott (Daniel Sjerven) travel to Mars in their futuristic Mars 1 space ship (complete with office chairs, and leftover machinery like so many of the classic B films had). Landing, they separate to explore, and are surprised by very earthlike conditions – and even humanoid life.
Lt Elliott is captured by the brunette tribe of the Cave Women (led by Rachel Grubb as Hagra), leaving Jackson to search for his buddy and rescue him. The dark haired cave women (by the way - they should be called FOREST women, as we never see a cave... but, if bad eye shadow made CAT WOMEN, then animal skin outfits can constitute CAVE women) hope to use the male as a slave, since men are basically only thought worthy of serving.
Elliott escapes, only to encounter blonde cave women Eina (Brooke Lemke) and Orla (Alana Bloom). Eina starts to take a shine to this extraterrestrial, for he may be he who was prophesized would come rescue them from the all powerful High Priestess (Stephanie Mihm, also the director's wife).
Will the friends find each other? Will evil be defeated? Will love conquer all? What do you think?
While not up as spoofy on as AMAZON WOMEN OF THE MOON (Universal, 1987), CWOM’S humor derives from playing the scenes as they were played back in the 1950s, perfectly serious. The cast is surprisingly good, with several people wearing multiple hats before and behind the camera. The effects are actually too good (digital cannot quite capture that shaky V2 rocket superimposition effect, though they try) for films of the 1950s, but they are well done. The music is mostly stock music from www.archive.org.
The disc is full of extras, including a running commentary by the director and several of the actors, plus subtitles (that, amusingly, even add *Bif!* for Sound effects), a special effects demonstration featurette, blooper reels/line flubs, trailers for this film, as well as the other titles available from SAINT EUPHORIA PICTURES, and a generous photo gallery.
Like so many independent films lately, it has become harder to find them, but you purchase get the titles directly from http://www.sainteuphoria.com/ for only $12.99 each.
Recommended, & I look forward to seeing the other films from this studio.