Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Department of Nudity Prepares You for Space Travel

So you and your buddy have decided to build a space craft in your garage to explore the moon. But what if the moon is ruled by topless women? Have you even thought about that? 1961's Nude On the Moon is an unvarnished portrayal of such lack of forethought. And by unvarnished I do mean we behold every second of small talk shared by the guys on their leisurely drive to the launch site.

One of them decided to see a movie the night before, they both remark on how nice a day it is in Miami, crucially never discussing the potential of encountering a lunar nudist colony.

Actually, they're not sure the place where their rocket ship takes them is the moon because they both fall asleep in flight, being exhausted from the night before. Shouldn't have stayed up for that movie, Professor!

Incredibly, they land in a place eerily reminiscent of Miami except for the lumps of gold lying on the ground. The elder of the two men, the Professor, picks up a nugget the size of a baseball and decides to take it back with him despite fears the extra weight could prevent their ship from taking off. The two continue gathering rock samples happily until a topless woman hypnotises them with a blue tulip wand.

Eventually deciding the Earthlings are friendly, the alien nudists (except they wear panties) decide to let the humans roam free. The Professor cautions his young comrade to remember he's a scientist, that he shouldn't talk too much with the lovely Queen, that he ought instead to take pictures of all the women. Unfortunately, the young man falls in awkward, starchy love with the vaguely bored beauty.

You'd think those boots would liven the party up a little at least.

Nude On the Moon was co-directed by Doris Wishman, one of the few women working behind the camera in sexploitation films. The film feels very much like a group of amateur filmmakers having a nice little holiday. The dullness of its unimaginative compositions and vacant long takes is diminished a little by the earnest ridiculousness of the concept. Though it maybe would have been better if the topless women showed up sooner than around three fifths through the film. On the other hand, the vintage colour footage of Miami is kind of interesting.

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