Friday, October 05, 2012

Barbarella (1968) ***

It’s hard to know what to say about “Barbarella.”  The movie is at once silly, amateurish, campy, and hot.  With sets and special effects from a Dr. Who episode and a plot straight out of a porno film, one has to wonder what the filmmakers thought they were making.  Nonetheless, they got one thing right: They showed as much of Jane Fonda’s body as possible as often as possible.  It turns out if you get that right, you don’t have to worry about the rest.
Fonda plays Barbarella, a space-traveling government agent who gets dispatched to find a missing scientist named Durand Durand (This is where the band got its name.)  Durand had invented a powerful weapon called the positronic ray, and Barbarella is supposed to find him before the weapon falls into the warlike hands of the inhabitants of Tau Ceti.  All of this is explained to Barbarella while she is buck-naked, proving that this movie knows how to get things started!  Barbarella goes to Tau Ceti, meets a lot of people and has sex with some of them.  In the evil city of Sogo, she meets a gorgeous, evil brunette (Anita Pallenberg, who dated three of the Rolling Stones) and gets thrown into a torture device that kills by inducing orgasms, but fear not, Barbarella is up to the challenge!
Fonda doesn’t so much act in “Barbarella” as she wanders from scene to scene and costume to costume with a look of amused tolerance.   Let’s face it, this is the silliest movie ever made, but it sure is easy to look at.  I usually just include one photo per movie here, but I had to go with multiple pics of Jane Fonda in “Barbarella,” because basically that’s what the movie is about: Fonda in various bizarre, skimpy outfits.  “Barbarella” is basically the best porno ever made; they just cut out the actual porno parts.  Everything else is classic porn, from the props to the music to the silly plot setups that lead Barbarella (Fonda) to have sex with one alien guy after another.  I’m convinced that in director Roger Vadim’s basement there are some film cut-outs of seriously hot, full penetration scenes.  They could probably only show the complete version of the movie in Scandinavian countries.

3 stars out of 5

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