Cult Movies 101- Episode 24: Amazon Women on the Moon
“Amazon Women on the Moon” is the hysterical, decade-late sequel to “The Kentucky Fried Movie,” and is far more polished. “The Kentucky Fried Movie” was very funny, but suffered from low-budget constraints and some seriously unfunny sketches that were outdated before they were filmed. 1987′s “Amazon Women on the Moon” assembled an all-star cast of recognizable actors from the ’80s, and the humor is still very potent today.
Not only that, but it is the product of five separate directors. (Parts of each director help create a Frankenstein’s monster of a movie.) The five directors include John Landis (“An American Werewolf in London,” “Animal House”), Peter Horton (Actor from “thirtysomething,” “Children of the Corn”), Joe Dante(“Gremlins”), Carl Gottlieb and Robert K. Weiss. Each director adds a unique flavor to his own sketches, creating an intriguing experience in cinema. It is also one of the most underrated comedies of the ’80s due to negative critical response, but for each bad review it received each critic singled out a particular sketch that was very funny. The funny thing about that is that each critic picked different sketches, meaning each director did a great job and, as a whole, most of the sketches work. The humor is offbeat and unexpected, which can tend to throw off audiences, but in the right frame of mind a wildly outrageous good time can be had by anyone.
The sketches are held together to give the notion that you are channel surfing. That premise is kept alive with a recurring sketch called “Amazon Women on the Moon,” which is a spoof of campy B-movies from the ’50s, complete with cheesy dialogue, poor scientific theories, Joey Travolta and bad special effects. Every couple of sketches we return to this B-movie, and it is obvious that we missed a lot each time, because the characters are never where we last left them.
Overall the sketches are really funny, with only one or two being dated, and the humor starts rolling right away with “Mondo Condo” featuring Arsenio Hall. He plays a man who is having a bad day. He comes home from a long day at work and gets caught in many calamities while trying to relax in his apartment. This is very old-school, physical comedy, and a great way to open this wacky film.
Then stay tuned for “Hospital,” which is a very offbeat and crazy sketch featuring gratuitous use of a Mr. Potato Head. How often can do you hear the line “That’s not a baby, it’s a Mr. Potato Head”? Peter Horton and Michelle Pfeiffer play a young couple that just delivered their first baby, which the hospital has misplaced. Griffin Dunne (“After Hours”) plays the doctor that tries to desperately find their lost baby, and also tries to cover up his big blunder.
What follows shortly after is the funniest sketch, which is broken up into two parts and starts with B. B. King in “Blacks Without Soul,” which is a PSA to inform us on a growing epidemic in America. He introduces us to several people with this affliction of being black with no soul sensibilities, including a couple of republicans and David Alan Grier (“In Living Color”) as Don “No Soul” Simmons. Simmons is a black man who only knows how to sing white music.
Don “No Soul” Simmons returns a few sketches later with a record commercial. He turned a personal affliction into a recording career. He sings classics like “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” “Honey” and “Gypsy Rose” with such sincerity. Grier is perfect, and the commercial is a reminder of all those bogus album compilations that were a staple of daytime television in the ’80s. This sketch just has away of putting a smile on your face, no matter how depressed you are.
Every guy’s worst nightmare is the subject of the very funny “Two IDs.” What if women had a machine (which looks like a fax machine) that could give them a guy’s history of his past relationships before they went out? Steve Guttenberg (“Diner,” “Police Academy”) and Rosanna Arquette (“Pulp Fiction”) have some really strong chemistry together as the couple about to go out on a date. What starts out as a simple blind date turns into an argument because of Guttenberg’s sketchy past, and most guys will be glad this machine doesn’t exist.
More highlights include “Son of the Invisible Man” featuring Ed Begley Jr. (“St. Elesewhere”), “Titan Man,” which is just about the worst thing that can happen when you need to buy condoms and “Video Date” featuring a very young Andrew Dice Clay in a strange but very funny premise.
Watch the entire credits and receive a bonus sketch featuring Carrie Fisher.
Based on your particular sense of humor, opinions are subject to change, but without a doubt this movie has something for everyone. The sketches are fast-paced and never wear out their welcome – if something isn’t funny, you won’t realize it until three sketches later.
The antidote for a really bad day is watching “Amazon Women on the Moon,” which is a comedy that never takes itself too seriously. All this movie wants to do is put a smile on your face, and there is no deeper meaning. Don’t think about any of these sketches, and you will be surprised just how many times you end up laughing.