I recently watched Eugène Lourié's turgid 1958 sci-fi parable, The Colossus of New York, on Blu-ray. It looked fantastic, but the movie itself was just so flat and dull that there was no enjoyment to have outside of the brief, and rather silly, way that New York City was actually incorporated into the narrative. It bares no similarity to Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space other than it being a Z-grade black and white science fiction from from the '50s (that famous movie was released one year later), but I was struck my the similarity in my viewing experience of each.
Would I have enjoyed Cat-Women of the Moon and Robot Monster half as much if seen at home with all the distractions that my meagre wage can afford? I assume no. There's something about watching an overweight, pelvic-thrusting gorilla in a space helmet tip toe around the desert as he(?) tries to destroy the American nuclear family that doesn't pack quite the same punch when by one's lonesome. I would like to see more, quite frankly. And at only 65 minutes each, it's certainly a quick and very entertaining way to spend a couple of hours of one's evening. Despite the incredibly Z-grade quality of both movies, they provided far more genuine entertainment than most of the films I have seen from 2012. No, they're not good movies by any stretch of the imagination, but gosh they're a riot to watch in the right setting.
Cat-Women of the Moon, to those who've seen both films, is clearly the inferior of the two. The effects are all but non-existent, the women are hilarious cliches, and the romance is startlingly abrupt, but you don't watch something like this for the thoughtful presentation of ideology about space colonisation and the dilemmas of faith around searching for life on other planets. You just don't! You go to giggle at the "space age" look and marvel at the naive simplicity of it all. How these rocket scientists use a tiny window to judge their moon landing on the dark side of the moon is a true miracle of science.
Still, it's a far more competent film - if one can use that term to describe these things - compared to Robot Monster. An absolutely hysterical post-apocalyptic sci-fi rumble that uses the magic of public domain stock footage to warn moviegiers that they're destroying the planet and that if they keep going the way they have been, we will all be invaded and killed by gorillas in space suits with posture issues, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and sensitive feet. How does one even begin to comprehend? There's a wedding (and honeymoon under a shrub) for no apparent reason other, the women don't wear bras, stop-motion dinosaurs are sent down to Earth via lightning, and a giant alligator battles a giant lizard out of any context. It's mad, I tellsya. Mad! What else could we expect from a film written by somebody with the name of Wyott Ordung?
Has anybody else experienced this films of this type. Is Plan 9 from Outer Space a must see on the big screen, or is its inherent badness not even able to be overcome by a crowd of cult-like devotees and their riotous laughter? I anticipate the day when I get the chance to see it in such a scenario.