You might think that a movie with a title like Amazon Women on The Moon is either going to be bad, funny or a mix of both. You might also think it would be some kind of science fiction movie. Well, it’s all of these and none of these. It is a science fiction movie (but not quite) and it is both funny and bad (but funny because it’s bad).
Enough talking around it: What it is is a sketch movie (comprised of 21 sketches to be exact) and all of the sketches revolve around the airing of a fictional 1950s science fiction film, Amazon Women On The Moon (a recurring gag is that they announce the year the movie came out wrong). According to the credits, the film stars “lots of actors” but for some curious reason, it listed all five directors; the most notable are Joe Dante (Gremlins, Small Soldiers) and John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers).
You would think that all of the sketches would be parodies of commercials so that it would give the movie some kind of cohesive structure. However, there are many sketches that don’t seem to revolve around the airing of the movie at all. A good chunk are commercial parodies, but most of the sketches are just, well, sketches. I think the movie could have been more linear if they focused on a character who was flipping through the channels while the fake movie malfunctions. That’s not to say there aren’t elements that tie the movie together (there’s a guy who gets trapped in the TV who shows up once in a while), but I guess this is what happens when you have too many directors.
As I say that, I can’t fault the movie for that because the best sketches are the ones that don’t relate. Because of the large amount of sketches, I won’t go through and tediously review each one, so I’ll assign an individual rating to each of them at the end of this review.My personal favorite is called “Two ID’s“, in which Jerry (Steve Guttenberg) is taking Karen (Rosanna Arquette) out on a blind date. Before they do that, Karen takes his driver’s license and credit card, which prints out a long sheet that reveals Jerry’s misogynistic dating past.
The main reason I think that the commercial parodies and the “Amazon Women On The Moon” segments don’t work is because they’re dated. I mean, it’s safe to say that this whole movie is dated; nobody watches TV like this anymore. The better ones like “Two ID’s” work are because they are timeless and fresh; some of them could be Saturday Night Live sketches.
Even then, some of the best sketches have their limitations. A large majority of them have a great premise that have the potential to be funny, but don’t quite come off. One example is “Video Date” in which nerdy teenager Ray (Marc McClure) is given a videotape that turns out to be a beautiful girl trying to seduce him. However, she is killed by her ex-boyfriend (Andrew Dice Clay) who then shoots himself; Ray is then blamed for the crime. Now that doesn’t necessarily read funny, but it could have been a great slice of black comedy. Instead, it’s just black.
To be fair to the movie, it is comprised of 21 sketches. There’s no way that all of them are going to be great. Even the best sketch movies like The Kentucky Fried Movie and Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) suffer from that problem. If there’s anything that it does achieve, it’s that the large majority of the sketches strike a similar absurdist tone. However, if you’re looking for a laugh out loud movie, this one unfortunately won’t deliver. More of a chuckle movie.
“Mondo Condo“- 3/5
“Penthouse Video”- 2/5
“Murray in Videoland”- 2/5
“Amazon Women On The Moon”- 3/5
“Blacks Without Soul“- 4/5
“Two ID’s”- 4/5
“Bullshit Or Not“- 3/5
“Critic’s Corner“- 4/5
“Silly Pate”- 3/5
“Roast Your Loved One”- 2/5
“Video Pirates“- 2/5
“Son of the Invisible Man“- 3/5
“French Ventriloquist’s Dummy“- 1/5
“Art Sale”- 3/5
“First Lady Of The Evening“- 2/5
“Titan Man“- 3/5
“Video Date”- 2/5
“Reckless Youth“- 2/5