With the world's attention diverted by the search for minuscule signs of life on Mars, few of us contemplate a secret civilisation of murderous lesbians on the moon. Fortunately, we always have 1953's Cat-Women of the Moon to remind us. Honestly, though, mocking this film feels so easy it feels cheap. There are some sincerely interesting things about it.
Yeah, it was probably put together by guys who had trouble getting laid and were bent out of shape about it. It begins with a curiously urgent narration, a shot of a star field while the narrator wonders why we have to wait to explore the stars, why not now? Already it sounds like a horny young man and the shot of a white rocket piercing the ether says plenty. But inside the rocket is a peculiarly casual bunch of astronauts.
One guy (Douglas Fowley) is all too eager to report back to Earth whose shirts he wears. He uses his precious time with the radio to plug a product. The only woman in the crew, Helen, played by the great Marie Windsor, uses her time to send a peculiar message to someone called "Alpha" and later claims not to remember saying anything.
Her boyfriend is in charge of the mission, an indecisive, passive older man called Grainger (Sonny Tufts). Another crewman, Reissner (Victor Jory), suspects Helen is really in love with him and that there's something wrong with her brain that makes her think she likes Grainger. We see that Reissner is much more decisive and aggressive--he's the only one who insists on carrying a gun to the moon, and of course it comes in handy. Interestingly, Helen makes the other unexpectedly useful decision to bring cigarettes and matches. They end up helping the crew determine if there's oxygen in the vicinity.
Few guys have their suspicions about the aloof girl confirmed so dramatically. It turns out it really isn't him, it's lunar hypnosis. It's even kind of sweet that the hypnosis goes through her hand and Reissner can break the spell by holding her hand.
The moon women themselves in their black leotards seem like caricatures of lesbians and/or Beats. The point is, they ain't natural. I guess counterculture can be pretty scary. Nowadays they just look cool.
Cat-Women of the Moon is available on Amazon Prime.
Twitter Sonnet #1445
To where the moon disrupts the black we fly.
To where the air is thin and light as thought.
We talked for years about the endless sky.
We levelled metal behind the empty lot.
Devices rendered flat devise a guard.
The money spread between the shaky men.
It wasn't cake but never really hard.
We sorted scripts to stuff the oldest bin.
With crumbly scones, the night succeeds the tea.
About the table, hammers beat the meal.
With gleaming shields, the knight commands the free.
Around the stable, hamsters eat the peel.
When bread's a hybrid, eggs become a joke.
When rocks are white, the magma makes the yolk.