Moonage Daydream

JOURNEY TO THE MOON is an Egyptian sci-fi comedy from 1959, kind of a remake of ABBOT AND COSTELLO GO TO MARS (you know, the one where they go to Venus). I sometimes wonder if I’m getting too obscure here, so this should restore my populist touch.

I remember seeing A&CGTM as a kid, and liking the giant cat, which appears very briefly.

Slight problem with an Egyptian lunar exploration movie — would North African audiences be particularly impressed by the lunar deserts in this film, which resemble rather closely the view they could get from their own windows?

Anyhow, this flick has the same rocketship, and stars a guy who looks kind of like Fernandel. He tries very hard to be amusing. But you know that expression, “funnier than shit”? This guy is less funny than shit.

Still, by comparison with the scene where we meet the Lunar army, all disabled and radioactivized in the Atomic War, who are played by genuine amputees, I guess we could say he’s moderately humorous. I wonder which conflict these limp-on players were maimed in? Still, at least this sequence imparts a pacifist, anti-nukes message, and isn’t intended to be mocking the afflicted. It’s pretty strong stuff for a comedy, and when the atomic veterans learn that our heroes traveled by atomic rocket, they confidently predict that our own world will shortly be a desolate rockface soon. Thanks, fellas!

JOURNEY TO THE MOON is probably just as funny as A&CGTM, a black-and-white film which lives in my childhood memories as luminous colour. And I suspect it’s quite a bit more interesting, even without a giant cat.

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14 Responses to “Moonage Daydream”

  1. Egyptian sci-fi. Hm. Admit it, it’s one of those word games (call it non-sequitir?) where the subject and object in the sentence don’t go together in any reasonable fashion, and you just found an example of it.

  2. Abbot and Costello Go To Mars is best enjoyed as a double feature with Fellini’s City of Women

  3. The Egyptian movie doesn’t pull the “society run by women” thing, which in sci-fi always stands for “a world GONE MAD!” But there are a bunch of pretty women somehow preserved from the atomic war.

    There’s nothing inherently crazy about the idea of Egyptian sci-fi. It would make far more sense for Stargate to be an Egyptian movie, for instance. The notion only seems strange because it’s so unfamiliar. I think.

    I do recall enjoying the Bollywood movie Mr India, which had a James Bond type baddie in a control room with a big map of India, which he intended to take over. It seemed strange, and yet, why?

  4. Maybe the Bollywood lacked a certain sense of, um, grandeur in the villiain’s aspirations? It would be like a supervilliain in a Canadian movie taking over Canada. Seems kinda piddling.

  5. Christopher Says:

    when I was a kid I thought surely by 2010 we’d all be buzzing around in rocketships and there would be a planet o’ dames!

  6. Between the late Fifties and now I’d have to say we kind of got off track, if we’d just stayed on course we would be living in an age of rocket ships and space women with teased ‘dos and go-go boots.

    As I was watching the clip from QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE the thought came to me that her malfunctioning earth destruction device must have been manufactured by Acme, the same company that gave Daffy and Porky so much grief.

    And why didn’t anyone tell me that Dennis Hopper was in QUEEN OF BLOOD?! His versatility as an actor continues to surprise me.

  7. Well of course he was in Queen of Blood. Dennis was very loyal to Curtis Harrington.

  8. Christopher Says:

    Basil?..Basil?..whatareyoudoingupthere?..come down from there this minute!
    Wow..I can’t honestly say I’ve ever seen Queen of Blood,to my knowledge..I’ve only heard about it all my life..is it as good as it looks? :o)

  9. Yes. It’s an important precursor of Alien.

  10. That view of the Earth in queen of Outer Space looks great. Did they nick it from another film?

  11. Most of the costumes and electronic noises are swiped from Forbidden Planet, but I don’t recall an Earth shot in that. Probably nicked from elsewhere though, I don’t think they had a budget for planets!

  12. Christopher Says:

    my favorite part in Queen from Outer Space is the Joi Lansing “bon voyage” bit..I was terrified of this movie when it would turn up on like Chiller Theatre in the early 60s..Frankenstein..Dracula..no problem..

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