Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ryan Watches A Motion Picture #89: Forbidden World (1982)

Hello Space Marine. Care to have space sex?

The innuendo
drips like the slime from
black meta-mutants

Another Roger Corman alien-ripoff oh shit we're stuck in a space lab movie! When will it end? Hopefully never, because it's like a beautiful dream.

I was smitten with Forbidden World from the start because it gives you this trippy opening montage where a robot wakes a guy out of cryogenic stasis with some Beethoven. While the ship is being attacked by raiders. That's how I'd do it.

This one's actually pretty cool. I'm pleased to say that there's an attempt to keep the camera interesting throughout most of the movie, since we get a pretty wide variety of shots of things from places you wouldn't expect, but not so many that it starts to look like an overenthusiastic student film wank. You will get gratuitous ass shots of women walking in high heels, though. Quite a few. They're made to walk up and down the corridors in what must be standard space lab attire: skin-tight silvery jump suits with low cut chests and high heels. There are nighties too, and many situations where the female characters feel the need to be topless. Babes will literally bump into the protagonist and introduce themselves by batting their eyes. As one scientist puts it, the women there are apparently starved for new faces.

I absolutely love how often people will stop to have sex when there's a killer mutant loose in their science facility. It's got to be a space fetish of some kind. There's this ridiculous and great sequence where a security guard, who is watching for the goddamned deadly mutant, watches the blonde scientist get it on with the dopey space marine protagonist instead. It's an amazingly creepy violation of security camera protocol. As he watches, he pulls at some kind of light up space yo-yo and sweats profusely. This is the greatest form of space sex innuendo possible.

The scene is extra funny because the security guard looks exactly like Tim Roth. We get some fantastic space porno music evidently coming from a token black guy playing a screechy clear plastic space saxophone. This all goes on for a full two minutes, and the song actually gets pretty darn catchy by the time they hit orgasm. Forbidden Planet has a genuinely cool soundtrack by the way, a very Goblin one.

So while watching, the guard catches a glitch on a sensor and decides to investigate. That, of course, is serious trouble. What I love about his cautious search for the alien is that every 25 seconds or so we get a split second of the scientist and space marine having sex in their room. At first I was confused - is this guy afraid he's about to die and is reliving the happiest moment of his life? The one a minute ago when he was watching space marine fuck that girl he probably wants so badly? Then I thought: no, wait, the monster is using psychic projections of her getting it on to lure him in, because every time he hears something or looks over, it cuts to a few frames of sex. By the time the monster hits it's clear that they were going for a sex and murder montage that actually turns out to be fairly effective. An orgy of blood! An orgy of love! Everything the viewer might want in a scene! We get a shot of a different scientist smoking a cigarette afterwards, and I feel in my heart that it was Roger Corman in spirit.

The lab facility has a space sauna, and in the morning the space marine gets it on with girl number two there. The actor's attempt to look seductive just looks really weird - this doofy smirk and wide eyed "Heh heh, eh baby?" expression that makes the guy wholly unlikable. This look of course works within seconds on girl two, who's boyfriend was killed by the monster the previous day. Incredible. Space marine walks in and 'EEEK GET OUT! LEAVE NOW LEAVE NOW!' and after that pervy look, switches to (and this is a quote) "Fair's fair, get naked."

After the mutant attacks them both, some guy actually bulldozes over the fact that there's a killer creature on the loose by asking "Hey you know what I wanna know? I wanna know what you and Tracy were doing in there dressed like that." Just so girl number one can add a catty comment. Clearly, what they were doing in the sauna is much more important than the fact that they were nearly transformed into a digestible food tissue by a vicious mutant, and somebody better damn well take care of it. Nobody seems to give a shit about the mutant until it's attacking someone.

Hmm...maybe we should do something about this soon?

Now, you might have read my review of 1991's Dead Space. Turns out that Dead Space was in fact Roger Corman's remake of Forbidden World. Same plot. Same characters. Different names. At least three lines of dialogue that I noticed in Forbidden World found their way into Dead Space. The opening space battle in DS is lifted from the opening of FW, and I'm guessing that FW probably takes it from some even earlier Roger Corman film. Probably Battle Beyond the Stars, though it's been a while since I've seen that one.

So: You really have to watch any movie where characters hit computer keys with glowsticks. Standard, ordinary dollar-store glowsticks. Because fingers just aren't good enough.

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