• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

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Queen Of Outer Space

TITLE: Queen Of Outer Space

YEAR: 1958

GENRE: Science Fiction

It is interesting to watch films from another era in time to see how social and political attitudes have changed over the decades. For example, the treatment of women in the movies have changed dramatically since the days of silent pictures. In terms of science fiction, it took until 1951 to find even a remotely strong female role model in The Thing From Another World and it was another 28 years before the butt-kicking Ripley appeared in Alien. Before than most women were mostly used for looking pretty onlyand in many cases would swoon at the nearest sight of an alien, monster, or thug. Whether intentional or not, sometimes these movies almost come across as a parody of themselves in terms of machismo attitude and male chauvinistic bravado, and Queen Of Outer Space would be one of those films. Queen Of Outer Space may have been serious science fiction at the time of its release but now comes across as ridiculous satire that is fun to watch for most fans of older productions.

Four American astronauts headed by Captain Neal Patterson (played by Eric Fleming) blast off to a space station around Venus for a routine mission. Just before arriving at the orbiting space station it is blown out of the sky by a mysterious ray which also forces their ship to crash land on the planet. Much to their surprise, Venus is a lush planet with lots of plant and animal life, but the biggest surprise when they discover a society ruled by women where men have either been killed or banished. Their leader is the vicious Queen Yllana (Laurie Mitchell), a male hating she-devil whose face was permanently disfigured in a war with an all-male planet. Captain Patterson and his men are held captive, but a lady scientist Talleah (Zsa Zsa Gabor) harbors resentment against her queen and a deep desire for male companionship. Yllana does not trust the Earth men and imprisons them, but a rebel group of females passionate for the gentleman persuasion work with the men to stop Yllana from her most diabolical plan: to destroy the Earth with a  death ray.

Queen Of Outer Space is famous for its male chauvinistic appeal so women who find it offensive to watch intellectual, scientific females swoon at the sight of any remotely good looking piece of meat with a penis probably should stay away from this cheese fest. The warriors of the Venus culture wear revealing tops, ultra small skirts, and high heels as well, and many of the lines are downright sexist: for example, when Captain Patterson proposes that the laser ray that forced them to crash may have been invented by the Venetians, Lieutenant Mike Cruze (Dave Willock) states “How could a bunch of women invent a gizmo like that?” and Lieutenant Larry Turner (Patrick Waltz) adds “Even if they invented it, how would they aim it? You know how women drivers are!” However, if one can understand the time the film was created and can put aside the sexually discriminatory remarks this film is downright funny. Although not politically correct today, viewers must remember that this was released in a more male-dominated time and many of the sexist lines are delivered tongue firmly planted in cheek. Most of the sets and props look pretty good for a low budget production, as they were borrowed from previous higher budget films such as Forbidden Planet (1956), World Without End (1955), and Flight To Mars (1951) among others. However, the space flight scenes are downright terrible even for the 1950’s and will cause even the most forgiving low budget sci-fi fan to shake their head in shame. The best part of Queen Of Outer Space is the fact that the ridiculous dialogue is played as straight as humanly possible and at times it almost looks like the cast is presenting a serious sci-fi drama which makes some of the lines even more hilarious and unintentionally presenting the entire production as comical satire.

Director Edward Bernds had a prolific career directing many nerd-style cinema offerings including numerous Bowery Boys and Three Stooges productions, sci-fi films like Space Master X-7 and Return Of The Fly, and juvenile delinquent pictures such as Reform School Girls and High School Hellcats. In order to fill in the all-female Venusian cast members, Bernds raided several beauty pageants for women to fill in mostly non-speaking roles and as backdrop eye candy. Queen Of Outer Space may rile up some feminists, but those fans who can remember that this film is a 1950’s relic will find the lines hysterical and the actions of the women downright funny. By no means is this a deep film, but Queen Of Outer Space is a time capsule of a more male dominated time that understands enough to chuckle at its own discriminatory thoughts. Queen Of Outer Space is good for a laugh for those who approach it as light, fluffy satire whether it planned to be or not.

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