Also known as: Love Maidens of Outer Space (alternative title), The Thirteenth Moon of Jupiter (script title)
Release Date: July, 1956 (UK)
Directed by: Cy Roth
Written by: Cy Roth
Music by: Trevor Duncan
Cast: Anthony Dexter, Paul Carpenter, Susan Shaw, Harry Fowler, Sydney Tafler, Jacqueline Curtis, Rodney Diak
Criterion Films, 80 Minutes
“I’ll go with my beloved to Earth but I shall return!” – Hestia
The first sentence from the plot section on this film’s Wikipedia article pretty much got me pumped for its 1950s schlockiness: “The discovery of signs of life on the 13th moon of Jupiter leads to the sending of a crew of five chain-smoking male astronauts, armed with handguns, to investigate.”
Another selling point was that this was riffed on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and I hadn’t seen the episode yet.
Upon arriving on the moon, guns and testosterone blazing, they save a beautiful girl from a monster. This leads to them discovering New Atlantis, a dying colony made up of descendants from the original Atlantis.
The colony has seventeen survivors, only one of which is a man, who happens to be middle-aged and a sort of adoptive father of the sixteen women. While that sounds like a great existence, he’s pretty old and useless and he needs the Earth soldiers to destroy the monster that keeps terrorizing them. However, one of the women wants to hold the men captive and force them into being their mates. That also doesn’t sound like a bad existence.
Anyway, some women die, the soldiers kill the beast and the remaining women allow the men to return home with one of the ladies. The men then promise to send spaceships of men back to the moon so that the remaining ladies can procreate. Sign me up!
After summarizing the film, I don’t think that this is something that could get made in 2019 with everyone being easily outraged snowflakes that spend all day looking for shit to be offended about.
If this were made today, hopefully it’d be done much better because this is a fairly mundane movie. The premise isn’t that original, especially for the ’50s, and even though the monster is kind of cool, he doesn’t seem like that big of a threat. Sure, he’s impervious to bullets but he’s also just some humanoid lummox. I feel like you could easily lure him into a pit and bury him alive in a multitude of things. Or hell, trick him into walking through some grease and then laugh at him when he keeps trying to get up and busts his ass, again and again.
The film is riddled with bad acting, sets that look like community theater stage props and too much clunky dialogue.
But, I did find it pretty watchable for what it is and it is something I could sit through, even without the added humor, as provided by Joel and the ‘Bots.
Pairs well with: other ’50s & ’60s sci-fi movies shown on MST3K.