Retro Film Report #46: Beast in Space (1980)

What is this scene from?  Is it an old sci-fi drive-in classic from 1958?  But then, those were mainly B&W; so, maybe it's from 1966....

Nope, it's from 1980.  And it's a mess.

Yes, Beast in Space is a bit dated in its sci-fi design, but, otherwise, it is definitely of its time: Filmed in the late seventies in Italy, it's full of gratuitous sex and pulsating synthesizers.  Definately a disco era production.

I'm not really sure what audience they're going for with Beast in Space: on the one hand, it tries to appeal to the Star Wars crowd... on the other, it's got more sex than skinamax.  Which you might think was a great combination... you would be wrong.

But I'll spare you a detailed review and plot summary on this one, folks. Because that would be fundamentally impossible. Instead, I just want to hit some of the highlights and share some of the amazing visuals of this largely unknown space oddity.  Let's have a quick look...

For starters, I'm not digging the headwear. But then, sci-fi has always had issues with delivering cool looking helmets that don't don't look laughable in retrospect.

Lt. Sondra Richardson (Sirpa Lane) in your standard sci-fi unitard.

The crew abandons the goofy headgear in favor of squeaky rubber suits to patrol a planet in search of a rare element called Antalium.

Will they ever find the elusive Antalium?  Hopefully it'll be soon - these rubber suits are getting moist underneath.  I'll be it's like a swamp inside those things.

Take note: starship captain Larry Madison (Vassilli Karis) gets to wear a different colored suit. If you watched Star Trek, you know that means he's vastly more important than everyone else.

They've come across a residence of some kind and they decide to investigate.  Here we get another good look at those breathtaking rubber space suits.

Suddenly, the crew is all dressed like hippie Romans and hangin' with the ruler of the planet, Onaf (Robert Hundar).  I'm not sure why, but plot is basically meaningless in this film.  It's best to focus on the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century fashions instead.

And let's not forget the set designs...

The crew gather round Onaf's table.  That is some serious psychedelic decor.

Dinner is served.... by a legion of gold Brian Jones robot servants.

After dinner, everyone starts having sex while Onaf steals away Lt. Richardson.  They make sweet love on the forest floor.... only to reveal that Onaf is a satyr (!), and an anatomically correct satyr at that (and I'm not referring to the hooves.)

What in the ever-lovin' f---?  Who thought it would be good to make the main villain, not a Darth Vader type bad guy, but a faun instead?

As I said - just focus on the sets and fashions... and just keep repeating to yourself that it's just a movie - you are not insane.

(Note that a Rated X version of Beast in Space was also released, which I have no desire to see.  satyr sex isn't something I'm real into.)

Captain Madison against the golden Brian Jones androids. Worst lightsaber battle since Obi-Wan v. Vader in A New Hope.

Captain Madison and his friend Juan, who's dressed like Han Solo with puffy sleeves, discover that the planet is under the control of a robot called Zocor.  The well-endowed faun who's currently mounting Lt. Richardson is just the physical manifestation of the robot. (Makes sense, right?)

The two destroy the robot while the rest of the crew dispatches the rest of the golden Brian Jones androids.

The satyr subsequently dies in the most comedic manner imaginable and Lt. Richardson escapes to the ship... but not before she is raped by the dying robot Zocor.

Back on the ship, everyone puts on the headgear we all know and love, and has a good laugh over the whole affair.  Yes, Lt. Richardson has been raped by a grotesquely endowed faun and a ravaging alien robot... but it's all good now.  Mission accomplished - time to head back to Earth.

The End


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  2. I saw this flick online (YouTube?) a few months ago, but I wouldn't have been able to remember the title if my life depended on it. Wasn't there some kind of fight in a "space bar" early in the film, or am I thinking of another cheesy Euro-space-sex film from the same era? Yeah, it's a pretty weird.

    1. Yes, there's a fight between the Madison and Juan (Han Solo). Like everything else in this movie it's like Buck Rogers in the 25th Century but with lots of sex and lots of Euro-weirdness.

  3. AnonymousJune 27, 2015

    The Zocor Robot. He battles cholesterol when he's not killing people. Nick

  4. AnonymousJuly 10, 2015

    Looks very similar to Alfonso Brescia's other space films War of the Planets and War of the Robots.