THE PLOT THUS FAR
In the far future, a highly sexual woman is tasked with finding and stopping the evil Durand-Durand. Along the way she encounters various unusual people.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Jane Fonda used to be quite the sex symbol. I mean that if you take a look at “Cat Ballou”, “Barefoot in the Park” or “Barbarella”, you will be overcome by her beauty. But, like all things…beauty passes. Her ability to do quality flicks seems to have also passed, seeing as how she came out of retirement to do “Monster in Law”. This is the woman who kicked unholy ass in “Klute” and “Coming Home”, and she returns to do “Monster in Law”. It’s a waste. But, there are always the highlights of her glory days. And, this film is one of them.
After a brief sexual encounter with Mr. Hand, Barbarella is on her way. She soon meets Pygar (John Phillip Law), a blind angel who serves as her flying companion. Of course, they have sex before too long. The two end up going to SoGo, in order to rescue Durand Durand. It’s not long before they run into the evil Black Queen (Anita Pallenberg). What comes next is an orgasmic torture device and various other scenes of sexual debauchery. “Barbarella” is a one of those flicks that are influential to a select few. You can find its disciples in the numbers of Duran Duran, Terry Southern and Roman Coppola. Hell, Roman Coppola’s film “CQ” was practically an entire tribute to “Barbarella”. The sex, the science fiction and the freaky freedom make this film into its own bizarre experience. Sure, “Danger Diabolik” and “The Magic Christian” touch upon similar themes, but nothing beats the fun of this film.
Still, “Barbarella” holds a special place in my heart. It was one of my first introductions to international cinema. Sure, Paramount picked it up in the US and conveniently re-released it when “A New Hope” came out, but it’s still a very European film. When you watch it, you can see the influence of Italian cinema and the French new wave. It’s a film about freedom vs. American releases about talking apes and calculating computers that plot to ruin your space odyssey. Most importantly, it’s the Sci-Fi film that brought tits into the genre. Where would flicks such as “Species” and “Flesh Gordon” be without the ground broken by “Barbarella”? Nowhere, that’s where. It was revolutionary in its attempts to take a genre from Saturday matinee to full fledged Adult wonderland.
The Blu-Ray comes with a trailer as its sole special feature. The A/V Quality is flawless with a perfect 1080p transfer. However, I found that the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track showed great depth and range for being an older flick. However, dialogue came across way too soft at times where I needed that extra oomph. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to classic camp fans.
RELEASE DATE: 07/03/2012