Thursday, December 8, 2016

moonshed.

Having a wee bit of a scifi fest in preparation for THE film of the year (yes I know I'm a sad man).

But did you younger readers realize that there was such a thing as science fiction pre-Star Wars?

Indeed there was you see before Rogue One there was another number featuring space shoot out spectacular....

Moon Zero Two (1969).
Dir: Roy Ward Baker.
Cast: James Olson, Catherina Von Schell (AKA Catherine Schell), Amber Dean Smith, Simone Silvera, Warren Mitchell, Adrienne Corri, Ori Levy, Neil McCallum, Dudley Foster and Bernard Bresslaw.


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The year is 2021.

Man has visited Mars (it was shut) and colonized the moon where regular shuttle flights bring prospectors from Mother Earth all hoping to lay claim to the moon's mineral riches.

At the arse end of space type jobs are the hardworking crew of space tug Moon Zero Two; the sexy comb-overed, ex-astronaut William Kemp (seventies scifi regular Olson) and his porn mustachioed co-pilot, Karminski (Levy from Entebbe: Operation Thunderbolt ) who earn an honest crust salvaging space junk.

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Tash, brash and a butchers shop window yesterday.


Landing at the originally named Moon City after picking up a satellite constructed entirely from egg boxes, Kemp comes across an old space captain pal (and useful fountain of exposition) from his space hero days who, after pointing out that Bill is the best pilot ever, offers him a job as a passenger pilot for the Corporation.

Being a cool rebel dude, Kemp flatly refuses the offer, saying he's happy as an intergalactic Steptoe (or Sanford for our American friends) and heads off for a shower, giving his pal enough time to bump into the rich, powerful (and patently evil) J.J. Hubbard (Alf Garnett himself, Mitchell) and his sexy entourage.

But more from them later.

With a running time of only 100 minutes and having a lot to fit in, Bill's shower is interrupted by the arrival of the shapely (and frighteningly torpedo breasted) Miss Clementine Taplin (uber sexy and doe eyed Schell, better known as Space:1999's Maya) who's turned up on the moon looking for her brother Wally.

Tho' why she thinks she'll find him between Bill's manly buttocks is anyone's guess.

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Schell: I would. Twice.


Bill isn't too interested in Clementine's dilemma but realizing that she's the best looking (and least whorish) of all the girls onscreen he decides to give her not only the grand tour of the city but also takes time out to explain every detail regarding mining on the far side of the Moon before suddenly dumping her outside a space boutique.

This is because he has a previous engagement with his girlfriend (well, I say girlfriend but she looks more like his auntie), United Nations Bureau of Investigation Agent Liz Murphy (A Clockwork Orange's Corri) who's dead angry because she's spent the last two hours hanging about in her pants waiting for a shag and is now late for work.

It's for this reason (possibly) she threatens to ground his ship.

Being a real man Bill deals with this rejection by heading off to get pissed but is interrupted by a big butch bastard with a bowl haircut named Harry (Carry on God and former Ice Warrior Bresslaw), who insists on taking Bill to see Mr Hubbard.

But not up the casino.

It seems that Hubbard needs an experienced pilot to divert an asteroid (composed entirely of the ceramic crystalline form of corundum aluminum oxide - sapphire to me and you) so it'll crash on the far side of the Moon.

As you would really.

Tho' this would be breaking about ten very serious space laws, Hubbard sweetens the deal by offering Bill a brand new spaceship.

A big silver one with fins and everything, like on the poster.

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Hel-mets.


The next day, accompanied big Harry and the weasley Whitsun (Foster) Bill takes off for the asteroid in order to set up the three engines that will alter it's orbit and send it crashing into the moon.

The only problem is that because he got the engines from the pound shop, Kemp has to stay on the asteroid to fire them manually (well, hit them with a hammer) then jumping off the big lump of rock before it starts moving too fast.

This is called 'the science' and may come in useful later.

When Bill returns to Moon City he heads straight to the bar, finding a very worried (yet still incredibly sexy) Clementine drinking alone with neither hide nor hair of her brother.

Grateful of a sympathetic ear (and a shiny head to look at) she explains that nobody has seen her errant sibling for several months and unless he can register his recent mineral claim within the next forty eight hours he'll lose everything.

Batting her luscious eyelashes Clementine asks if Bill fancies taking her where the sun don't shine (the dark side of the moon, not up the shitter) to find out what's happened.

Our hero, obviously delighted at the prospect of taking Clementine over the craters agrees, however Harry has different ideas and a (very slow) fight ensues in which the bars gravity is turned off and everyone walks around pretending they have porridge legs.

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"I wouldn't want that zooming up my arse".


Quickly leaving the scene of the crime, Bill and Clementine arrive at the local cash and carry, Farside Five and realizing the cost of the optical effects needed to fly the ship to Wally's land, decide to hire a moon taxi instead.

After a long and uninteresting journey punctuated by even more back story, the duo arrive at Wally's mining site, only to find his shed empty and his lunar digger covered in cobwebs.

Oh and his corpse standing behind a rock ready to fall on the next person who touches it.

What originally appears to be a simple case of bad luck takes a sinister turn when three garishly clad hitmen turn up and try to kill the terrific twosome, forcing Bill to unload his own weapon into their faces before stealing Wally's digger and quickly heading back to the shops.

Unfortunately the fan is broken meaning that Clementine has to strip down to her undies for a bit.

Arriving safely back at Farside Five (and now fully clothed), our heroes find a still grumpy Liz waiting to arrest them for taking part in the crap fight earlier.

Bill quickly explains that Wally Taplin has been murdered - to death - before forcing the tubby base supervisor into confessing that it was him what done it.

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"Fuck me! a wasp!"


Just as the fat man starts to sing who should turn up but Hubbard ready to fill the rest of the cast in on the full story behind the asteroid job.

But not before he shoots lippy Liz (no loss there then) and threatens to fill Clementine's face with hot lead.

Bastard.

It transpires that the asteroid's final destination is slap bang in the middle of Wally Taplin's mining site, Hubbard paid to have him killed so that he can grab the claim for himself and be even richer.

His maniacal laughter is still filling the air as Moon Zero Two blasts off toward the asteroid ready to set the knock off engines for it's final journey to the moon's surface.

In a matter of minutes they've reached their destination, giving Hubbard another excuse to gloat whilst Bill fiddles about with some wires (and sweats a fair bit).

Karminski and Clementine, meanwhile, are struggling bravely to regain control of the ship.

This involves making it lurch a wee bit before shooting a couple of folk and staring worriedly at Bill who, remembering the trouble with the engine earlier, shouts "Look out behind you! Swans!" before slamming it with a wrench really hard and finally leapfrogging over Hubbard and Witsun leaving them hurtling towards the moons surface.

Sorted.

Heading back home and with his girlfriend dead, Bill's only option is to ask Clementine for some sex.

And the cash for a new spaceship.

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"Sorry, I farted".


Riding on the coat tails of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Hammer Films one and only foray into the world of the space western features the two things that would elevate Kubrick's movie to classic status.

Namely a sexy lady in space undies and a crudely animated title sequence featuring two badly draw ball headed astronauts fighting over whose flag should be up on the moon.

I mean, imagine how much less pofaced Stan's film would be if the entire 'Dawn of Man' scene had been hand drawn by under fives.

And been given a swinging 60's beat.

Am I allowed to say sheer genius?

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"Shite-ski in mah mooth-ski comrade!"


No big black Stickle Bricks, dodgy drug fueled trips and deep comments on mans place in the universe for this movie, just a good old fashioned jewel heist jazzed up with brightly coloured rubber spacewear, go go dancing, a variety curvy hipped 60's vixens in multicoloured wigs and a collection of oh-so slightly miscast British comedy stars in semi-serious roles.

Oh, and I'm not too sure if I've already mentioned it, Catherine Schell in a skimpy bra and pants.

And if nothing else, director Baker should be applauded for having the audacity to even consider attempting to make a huge space epic on a typical Hammer shoestring budget and, despite it's 60's paraphernalia and almost fetishistic use of plastic shiny thigh boots, at least trying to use a little bit of 'the science' in regard to the space travel bits.

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Catherine Schell: Smooth milky thighs
you could quite happily ski down.


Brighter than Outland, sexier than Alien and considerably shorter than Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Moon Zero Two deserves to be seen by a much wider audience than it has till now, cos no doubt poor James Olsen wouldn't say no to the cash.

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