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Universal, the studio that brought you such classic motion pictures as "All Quiet on the Western Front," "E.T.," and "Out of Africa," is proud to present..."Amazon Women on the Moon."
The 1987 portmanteau comedy feature Amazon Women on the Moon lampoons several film genres in general and the 1954 sci-fi cheapie Cat Women of the Moon in particular. Other sketches in Amazon Women include an opening bit with Arsenio Hall; a vignette titled "Son of the Invisible Man" wherein a naked Ed Begley Jr. runs around in full view of the nonplussed supporting cast; the It's Alive parody "Hospital", which offers the spectacle of Michelle Pfeiffer giving birth to Mr. Potato Head; and a Siskel & Ebert takeoff, featuring Arche Hahn as a TV viewer whose entire life is given a "thumbs down." Directed by several hands, including Joe Dante, Carl Gottleib, Peter Horton, John Landis, and Robert K. Weiss, Amazon Women on the Moon also features a satire of the Kroger G. Babb school of "sex hygiene" exploitation cheapies, with syphilis victim Carrie Fisher being counseled by unctuous doctor Paul Bartel.
Amazon Women on the Moon is a 1987 American satirical comedy film that parodies the experience of watching low-budget movies on late-night television. The film, featuring a large ensemble cast, was written by Michael Barrie and Jim Mulholland, and takes the form of a compilation of twenty-one comedy skits directed by five different directors: Joe Dante, Carl Gottlieb, Peter Horton, John Landis and Robert K. Weiss.
The title Amazon Women on the Moon refers to the central film-within-a-film, a spoof of science fiction movies from the 1950s that borrows heavily from Queen of Outer Space (1958) starring Zsa Zsa Gabor, itself a movie that recycles elements of earlier science fiction works such as Cat-Women of the Moon (1953), Fire Maidens from Outer Space (1955) and Forbidden Planet (1956).
Film actors making cameo appearances in various sketches included Rosanna Arquette, Ralph Bellamy, Griffin Dunne, Carrie Fisher, Steve Forrest, Steve Guttenberg, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kelly Preston and Henry Silva, alongside television actors such as Ed Begley, Jr., Bryan Cranston, David Alan Grier, Howard Hesseman, Peter Horton, William Marshall, Joe Pantoliano, Robert Picardo and Roxie Roker.
Other notable people in the cast included voice actors Corey Burton and Phil Hartman, talk show host Arsenio Hall, adult film actress Monique Gabrielle, science fiction writer Forrest J Ackerman, B-movie stars Lana Clarkson and Sybil Danning, musician B.B. King, radio personalities Roger Barkley and Al Lohman, composer Ira Newborn, director Russ Meyer, model Corinne Wahl, comedian Andrew Dice Clay, Firesign Theater member Phil Proctor and independent film actor Paul Bartel.
John Landis had previously directed The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), which employed a similar sketch anthology format.
The majority of critical opinion agreed that the quality was inconsistent throughout the film. Variety called it "irreverent, vulgar and silly... [with] some hilarious moments and some real groaners too." Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times felt that the exercise was somewhat unnecessary: "Satirists are in trouble when their subjects are funnier than they are."
Janet Maslin of the New York Times, in a largely positive review, described the film as "an anarchic, often hilarious adventure in dial-spinning, a collection of brief skits and wacko parodies that are sometimes quite clever, though they're just as often happily sophomoric, too."
Certain portions of the film were singled out for praise. "The funniest episode probably is 'Son of the Invisible Man,' directed by Carl Gottlieb, in which Ed Begley, Jr. plays a man who thinks he is invisible but is not," wrote the Chicago Sun-Times. "The film's best sight gags come from Robert K. Weiss, who deserves kudos for the inspired idiocy of his Amazon Women segments", was the opinion of the New York Times.
In a retrospective article for Entertainment Weekly, Chris Nashawaty called this film "the beginning of the end of Landis' career". He cited the episodes featuring Monique Gabrielle, Archie Hahn, Ed Begley, Jr. and David Alan Grier as "inspired", but criticised others for their failure: "You'll never see Michelle Pfeiffer look as trapped as she does in her skit with thirtysomething's Peter Horton, or Joe Pantoliano and Arsenio Hall as unfunny as they are in their skits."
Amazon Women on the Moon has a rating of 64% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 11 reviews, indicating a mixed critical response.
Release Date: September 18, 1987
Boxoffice: $548,696 2014: $1,171,800