The Beast in Space/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Beast in Space

First off, I have to say that this movie was bugnuts crazy. I pressed play and I was transported. At first, I thought I was watching an old episode of the 1980s Buck Rogers in the 25th Century TV show, then after a little bit I thought I was watching Star Trek, then when the main character ordered a refreshing glass of "Uranus Milk" and invited a girl to have some sex, I knew I wasn't in any of these alternate universes. This was some kind of far out Antonio Margheriti and George Lucas meet Joe D'Amato space erotica world.

Captain Larry Madison (Vassili Karis) has arrived home after a journey searching for the precious ore known as Antalium. While Larry is relaxing at a cool space bar, he sees a pretty woman named Sondra (Shirpa Lane), who is being hit on by a drunk guy named Juan Cardoso (Valentino Valentini) who gets on Larry's nerves. Larry beats him up fast and leaves with Sondra and they go to bed together. Sondra has been having strange sexual dreams where she is attacked in the forest by a large man-beast. She is haunted by this. After making another date, Larry waits for Sondra at the bar, but another sexy space nymph arrives looking to get it on. Larry assures her she is hot, but he's waiting for Sondra so he can't go with her. Soon after, Larry's in a fight with Juan Cardoso again, who assures Larry he won't lose this time cuz he's not drunk and we get another Star Trek type beat-em-up sequence.

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After all this hullabaloo, Larry and his crew plan to go back into space to look for Antalium. They get on their ship and take off on their next adventure. One thing you'll notice is the dialogue and technical terms the crew use are very funny. They also stare directly into the camera a few times (nothin' like breakin the fourth wall in a low budget sci fi film)! They are soon blasted by another ship (Juan Cardosa getting some payback!) and they have to land on a nearby planet. When they get out of the spacecraft they are soon confronted by a huge evil robot that tries to kill them. The crew crap themselves and run back into the ship and wait until daylight to disembark again. The next day they begin to search the planet for any signs of life. They walk through the forest (hey, its a space forest!) and use the Antalium meter to pick up any signs of the ore. In probably the most bizarre sequence of the film, they come across two horses having sex. Horses...on another planet? (NOTE: If you look closely you can tell this footage is from an old nature film as it doesn't match up with the actual movie.) The crew stop and stare and the women begin touching themselves and licking their fingers (hot stuff!). After this very weird break, they go right back to looking for life on the planet (which strangely looks like Earth). They enter a cave which leads them to another underground lair where they meet the owner of the planet, named Onaph (this guy looks like a refugee from an 60s Hercules movie). Like any good host does, Onaph invites them into his "Arabian Knights" inspired pad for some Uranus Milk and a nice sex orgy, you know, the usual type of space meeting. Sondra finds herself in the same forest from her dream and she realizes their humble host is actually the one and only half man-half beast that rapes her. In an extended sexual sequence we watch the man-beast hump Sondra. After that steamy beastly action, the crew come across the owner of the precious ore. His name is...Zocor. This came off like some kind of Wizard of Oz encounter. The large machine bellows and barks at the crew that no one can steal its Antalium! But he doesn't know that he's dealing with THE Captain Larry Madison!

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The crew have to escape, but before they do, they must fight their way out using light sabers (actual solid glowing lights on a stick!) and other weapons (definitely capitalizing on the Star Wars craze here). They finally get to their spaceship and take off to head for home.

The production/clothing designs in the film echo older films by Margheriti and Mario Bava, as well as touches of George Lucas. The spacesuits the crew wear look like the same material bean bag chairs are made of. One thing I noticed is that apparently, in outer space, there are alot of glowing columns. These people love a good glowing column. They also love to wear cloth beanies in place of helmets. Hey, I guess it's better to be comfy than worry about hurting your head in a space crash, right?

I recommend watching this film with a large bowl of suspension of disbelief and big glass of uranus beer.

The Beast in Space is a very weird sci-fi/sex flick that is a perfect example of early 80s grindhouse cinema. A true Italian cult film artifact.

Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. He is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life.
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