Space Girl Blues

This week I will be attending shows by Versus, Yo La Tengo and Sebadoh. It’s 1994 all over again! The goal is to report further on these shows, as long as I can handle that much sweater-core.

Here, via hyperlink, is my latest post for Bestcovery, the succinctly titled Best B Movies. I tried to cover all the bases as quickly as possible, but didn’t get into any non-U.S. films because that would have been like opening a can of stylish, sexy and artistic worms.

One quick note on Queen of Blood (1966): I watched this the other day on Netflix streaming, which is slowly becoming the go-to place to see rare “psychotronic” flicks. I feel bad about all the independent video rental stores this company has put out of business, but the fact is that the rental business has evolved, streaming is the future, yadda yadda yadda…

Anyway, I used to watch this on TV as a kid, and it was fun seeing it as an adult. The plot involved a crew of spacemen (including John Saxon and Dennis Hopper) who respond to an alien distress call. They pick up the only survivor, a green chick with a beehive haircut (Florence Marly). It turns out that she feeds on human blood, and one by one the astronauts are reduced to dried husks of their former selves.

Sound familiar? It’s very similar to the plots of Alien (79) and Lifeforce (85), both written by Dan O’Bannon. Not to mention Planet of the Vampires (1965), the Mario Bava film often credited with supplying the inspiration for Alien.

Overall, the film holds up as an enjoyable slice of B movie history, complete with psychedelic space effects and a strong female astronaut character who was probably ahead of her time in 1966 (again, possible inspiration for Ripley?) Director Curtis Harrington had an interesting career, and also directed the early Dennis Hopper chiller Night Tide (1961).

For more Netflix madness, check out this excellent blog Rupert Pupkin Speaks. Facebook fiends may also want to join the group Psychotronic Netflix.


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