Tonight's Double Feature consists of two low budget science fiction sexploitation films: Cinderella 2000 (1977) and Space Thing (1968). Trust me, the Space Thing movie is nowhere near as explicit as the movie poster would have you believe. Neither one takes itself too seriously, fully self-aware of their major league campiness. Enjoy the shows.
Cinderella 2000 (1977)
Catharine Burgess is the titular Cindy who is being abused by her stepmother (Renee Harmon) and made to clean, etc. The usual Cinderella stuff. What makes this different is that it's set in the future - a future where sex is forbidden, and....it's a musical!
When the wicked stepsisters and stepmother break into song, my jaw nearly hit the floor. WTF? I went into this film pretty blind; having not even read the IMDb summary, I was gobsmacked by the cheezy spectacle of it all. This is either going to be really good, or really, really awful.
In the next few scenes we learn what happens to those caught having unauthorized sex - they're shrunk to Barbie doll size for six months. As demonstrated in the picture above, sex isn't entirely forbidden - you just have to couple with those chosen by a computer.
Next, Cindy is wandering through the forest, mopey and depressed.when a spaceship lands, and we are introduced to her Fairy Godfather.
He can't believe there are restrictions on sex on this planet. This observation prompts what may be the worst, most cringeworthy scene in cinema history. I know it sounds like hyperbole, but I mean it as a statement of fact...
He starts singing "We All Need Love" and all the woodland creatures (i.e. people in shit costumes) and these weird lip aliens start dancing around. Sid and Marty Krofft couldn't have come up with anything this weird... and that is saying a lot.
You have to think that Catherine Burgess was wondering what the hell she got herself into with this production.
And speaking of regrets...
The wicked stepmother has come down with "the horning" and starts dry humping the furniture. The two topless stepsisters check her into the hospital where she launches into a song-and-dance number called "Doin' Without"...
Renee Harmon, the actress, had plenty to be proud of. The buxom German married a GI, moved to the States and started a theater group, taught acting at the college level, and even wrote books on producing, acting and writing.
And here she is singing "Doin' Without". Painful I tell you. Painful.
Another musical interlude - this one mostly instrumental and a fairly decent disco number featuring Roscoe the Robot. The choreography would make a Solid Gold dancer weep, but the beat is surprisingly funky.
So, the Prince (Vaughn Armstrong) convinces The Controller (Erwin Fuller) to hold an "Uncontrolled Ball". The wicked stepsisters are on the guest list, but poor Cindy is left behind.
Thankfully, the Fairy Godfather is on hand to get Cindy a new dress and a ride to the event.
Everyone knows how this part plays out: Cindy arrives at the Ball, and Prince is smitten by her ravishing beauty. But, unlike the story we all know and love, Prince and Cindy have sex on a rotating circular bed.
Alas, it's almost midnight, so she's got to run. Prince is left wondering who was this mystery woman with this concept of "free love"?
Eventually, Prince finds her - together, with the Fairy Godfather, they convince The Controller that sex isn't bad. Everyone lives happily ever after, free to have consequence-free sex.
...Aaaaand this may be the worst movie I have ever seen. I had low expectations going in, but nothing could have prepared me for the humiliating music numbers, the ridiculous dialog, the inhumanity of it all. If there were at least a fair amount of T&A, things could be forgiven. Besides a few intercut sex scenes (which have a noticeably different film quality), it woefully under-delivers. A complete bust... let's hope the next flick can save the day...
Space Thing (1968)
From right to left: Colonel James Granilla (Steve Vincent) is a Planetarian who has crashed into an asteroid, so he must board a shop of Terrarians commanded by, shock of shocks, a woman. That woman is Captain Mother (Cara Peters). At left, is a crewmember who looks like he's wearing pajamas.
Cara Peters is a stone cold fox. She didn't have much of a filmography, but she appeared in hundreds of issues of men's magazines throughout the sixties such as Adam and Knight. She was also - surprise - a stripper. I'm not sure whatever became of her - her filmography ends in 1974.
A look at the ship's bridge. Hmmmm. Not exactly Star Trek; a few bar stools and a cardboard dashboard. Still, I can't get past low budgets if it can deliver in other departments.
In this scene, Portia (at left - Merci Montello, the wife of Mickey Rooney, Jr.) reports to Captain Mother that the guest, Granilla, has made the moves on her (a bold faced lie).
Granilla is locked in an isolation cell, but, no worries, he pops an invisibility pill and explores the ship - intent to learn about this Terrarian species . Being a man's man, he hangs out in Mrs. Rooney Jr.'s room and watches her have sex.... or as he rationalizes it, "a learning session in Terranean lovemaking".
Captain Mother catches them going at it on the monitor. She strips the poor guy of rank, demoting him to private and assigning him latrine duty. This works perfectly for Granilla, who is only too eager to fill his position.
It seems Granilla, the Planetarian, views these Terrarians as enemies, although it's never explained why.
I guess Captain Mother forgot she had just imprisoned him. No matter. Granilla is quickly learning the ropes. He soon is able to fill-in for the pajama-wearing navigator, and learns they are headed to a planet to collect plants for research.
Granillia watches Captain Mother and Mrs. Rooney, Jr. making kinky love on the security cam. Another opportunity for a lesson in Terranean lovemaking - what luck!
Granilla is propositioned by Connie, another shipmate. This will be his first sexual encounter with a Terranean, and he is nervous and conflicted about it. In the end, Connie rocks Granilla's world.
Connie is played by Karla Conway, a Playmate and bunny at the Denver Playboy Club. She'd go on to be a successful painter, calling herself Sachi. According to IMDb, collectors of her work include Al Gore and Michael Richards!
Dinnertime - and what horribly uncomfortable seating. The crew takes some time to eat food consisting of pills. As I mentioned, Granilla is a Planetarian, a race of people who have moved beyond the despicable habit of eating their food in pill form.
Indeed, despite his positive experience with Terranean lovemaking, he still holds his pointless grudge against Terrarians. While they chow down, he slips out for a moment and navigates the ship to crash into an asteroid. Granilla is prepared to die for his racism.
Their ship emergency lands on a mysterious planet (filming location, Bronson Canyon). It's actually the perfect spot, as Star Trek had numerous episodes filmed here, not to mention a host of other B movies (including this film's kindred spirit, Flesh Gordon).
Anyway, the girls explore, wearing little to no clothing. Granilla makes love to Mrs. Mickey Rooney, Jr. while Connie pouts on a rock.
Captain Mother wants to see what this Planetarian brings to the table, so she lays with Granilla next. At this point, Granilla has shagged with every girl on the ship except the overly tan girl (actress Fancher Fague), which suits me just fine.
But, no worries, Captain Mother is only too willing to let Granilla have the controls in their place. It seems she's taken a shine to her Planetarian stowaway.
The girls play some lame game, with Overly Tan Girl probably having to play 1 against 2. Girls can be so cruel.
The idea of being stuck on this ship, being the only male with four Terranean women, is unthinkable to Granilla. He has one more racist plot up his sleeve.
Incomprehensibly, the movie ends with Granilla planting a bomb on the ship and evacuating. Literally, everyone on the ship dies in the explosion. THE END
Obviously, this is an awful ending... but you aren't exactly emotionally tied to anyone. Overall, this was a fun movie - much better than the first of our double features. It was just campy enough, and provided just enough eye candy to keep me entertained. Granted, the acting was horrible and the budget is woefully lacking - but, when you sit down to watch Space Thing, you're not expecting anything more than campy, sexy, sci-fi fun, and that's exactly what it is.