Sunday, September 1, 2013

El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras (1967, Alfredo B. Crevenna)

Another film by Alfredo Crevenna (El Santo Contra la Invasión de los Marcianos), which also features personal favorite Maura Monti. This one is in Spanish on YouTube, so I am guessing at the overall plot.

A flying saucer lands on Earth near a carnival. At said carnival there is a ride "to the moon!" which looks a lot like their ship. Two women emerge from the flying saucer and go into the fake saucer. There they find the two men who run the ride and quickly dispatch them.

Hot-pants are a staple of '60s space uniforms.

We meet our hero, a boxer, who is talking with his girlfriend, some guy, and his corner-man who reminds me of Peter Lorre. After the guy and girlfriend leave, two bumbling gangster types come in. They want him to either throw a fight, or to at least fix the round. The film clearly takes a comic turn with these guys, and in the scene everyone except the boxer runs into a door. Slapstick. At the boxing match, our hero accidentally(?) wins in the second round, which makes the head gangster upset. Upset enough to have his two thugs try to kill him and Mexican Peter Lorre.

"Mexican Peter Lorre" getting roughed up by our bumbling gangsters.
"These are my fists. I will be punching with them."
"Cool! I won! Oh, wait..."

All the best marksmen know a loosely held, stomach height pistol stance is best.

Unperturbed by the attempted murder, the gang goes to the carnival. They find the "to the moon!" ride and enter. There is a family that will likely annoy everyone already inside, but stranger still, the space women are running the ride. The gangster and his crew follow the boxer in, but Mexican Peter Lorre stays outside. The space women are having some difficulty breathing, it seems. Eventually they announce that the ride is starting, and it really does. The once fake flying saucer is now (I assume) replaced by their flying saucer, and it takes off. They must have been looking for Earthlings to take home, or some-such. Everyone is having a ball (even the gangster is behaving well), until they find out that they are really moving. The gangsters threaten the women, who use their ray guns to dissuade them. The old man from the family complains, but his words fall on deaf ears.

Is it bad that I hoped they'd die?

I believe this is Maura Monti, and she takes no shit.

Back on Earth, Mexican Peter Lorre has a friend with some technology that can track the flying saucer. he is obviously concerned about his friends, and likely relieve that he stayed outside. On the ship, the boxer playfully taunts the space women, as is his roguish way. Soon everyone is falling asleep. Back on Earth, the techie guy has video of the ship landing on another planet. A planet he has never seen, but somehow has a camera in place. The ship lands, the Earthlings put on face shields...? and its off to meet the queen.

The Queen

The queen and the princess... Say, they look a lot alike...

After one of the gangsters gets a little violent, the guards kill him, then the queen dismisses them and they are shown to some living quarters. Via a video screen, the queen makes a rather threatening speech. The boxer decides it is time to act, and leaves his unlocked quarters. Nothing gets by the queen, though, who has cameras everywhere. We also see some sort of experiment being performed, but it is unclear what, or to whom, the aim is. The gangsters and the boxer decide they need to work together.
"Crap, I hate TRL."

Soon, we see a ragged man wandering through the alien landscape. he seems troubled or in pain. he clutches at his face, which might explain the need for face shields earlier, which I assumed to be a bad attempt at space helmets. Soon, a few guards go to get the man and return him to the palace. Some of the Earthlings are talking to one of the aliens, who is likely the princess. The Earthlings are understandably concerned, but the princess tries to put them at ease. Unless I am mistaken, the queen and the princess are both portrayed by Lorena Velázquez (Santo contra las Mujeres Vampiro).

The princess seems to be taking a liking to the Earthlings. The boxer's girlfriend writes a note, presumably for Mexican Peter Lorre, and the princess conspires to have it delivered. She gives it to one of her guards. Either they never left Earth, or she got back somehow, but she is followed by the two original space women. They try to catch her, but she gets in the trunk of a car, inadvertently locking herself in. Mexican Peter Lorre arrives, and the pursuing space women hide. The note was left, but torn up. he gets in his car, not knowing the guard is inside, and drives away. The girl in the trunk is suffocating. She bangs on the trunk lid, and he notices, so he opens the trunk. The guard is unconscious. Mexican peter Lorre goes to get his scientist friend (I am unsure why he doesn't drive there, except it may be a plot device to have the pursuers catch up. They decide she is not worth carrying and leave. The two men show up, and discuss what to do.

It's a skirt and a belt. Its all in how you wear it, I guess.

Next... we see a rocket take off...

Back at the palace, the queen is trying to make nice with the Earthlings. I did not figure this out, but apparently the space women need the Earthlings for their lungs. They can't take Earth's atmosphere long, and plan to have Earth lungs placed in their bodies. Trying to prevent a rebellion is a good strategy, I assume.

Remember that rocket? It seems to belong to science guy. He and Mexican Peter Lorre are off to save their friends. Somehow they find the planet, and the boxer sees the rocket landing. How he knows it is his friends and not another space women ship is unclear. It becomes clearer that the face shields are to protect you from the sunlight on the planet. When people are exposed in these scenes, it seems to make them either hurt, or crazy. The rocket lands, and the two men get out. They are quickly approached by a troop of guards. For some reason, Mexican Peter Lorre knocks his friend out. He picks him up, and goes off with the women, after some discussion.

The gangster leader appears to be in cahoots with the queen. Later, the queen shows science guy her death ray (I assume it is a death ray; isn't it always?) and shows him the special gyroscope, which is very likely the same one from El Santo Contra la Invasión de los Marcianos. Then things get a little complicated. It is clear that the Earthlings, particularly the boxer, science guy, and Mexican Peter Lorre are planning an escape, but the specifics are hard to divine.

"Do you like my death ray? Do you?"

Time to call The Batman. Oh, sorry.

For how often this dude bumps into doors, he should know better than to stick a gun in his mouth.

Things get a little fight-y at the palace when the escape begins. Back on Earth, our main spece women are at a grade school. Suddenly the death ray starts blasting the adults, and the two women begin leading the children away. Back on the planet, the Earthlings have escaped the palace, except the gangster leader. The search for the Earthlings begins, and taking a page from the "James T. Kirk Command Manual", the queen takes part in the away team. The Earthlings overpower her and her single guard.

I am starting to think the skirt-to-belt thing is less a fashion choice, and more a design flaw.

A weapon that requires a bank shot.

"I hated grade school."

Here is where it becomes clear that the queen and princess are both Lorena Velázquez; a) they exchange clothes and the princess returns to the palace while the queen is held under guard outside, and b) the IMDb lists Lorena Velázquez with a dual role. Suddenly, everyone is back at the palace, and the Earthlings and princess use the death ray to kill the space women who abducted the children, then they begin using it on the guards. They make their way back to the rocket. The queen and the gangster are waiting for them. The women confront each other. The gangster shoots the princess, but the bullet kills both women. She imparts some dying words, and then everyone leaves for Earth.

Yes, this got a little hard to follow at times, but was an awesomely fun movie. Just enough on the campy side. The running gag of the gangsters bumping into doors was nicely done. The super leggy Lorena Velázquez puts on an "all eyes on me" performance. I like that prior to the first man on the moon, Crevenna is making atmospheric conditions part of the story. Certainly people were aware of this, but so many sci-fi films ignored this until they couldn't any longer. This one is well worth your time, even without the dialogue making sense.

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