After having recently viewed the film classic Plan 9 From Outer Space, we decided to see Cat-Women of the Moon. My wife and I highly recommend this fine motion picture for your viewing pleasure. (It’s available on Netflix)
With an all-star cast including Sonny Tufts, Victor Jory and Marie Windsor, this 1953 film tells the story of our first manned Moon mission. Upon arrival, the crew explores, and finds an underground city inhabited by a small troop of cat-women, apparently the remnants of an ancient civilization, now running out of breathable air. (How they managed to keep the air within their unsealed redoubt was unexplained.) They had long ago dispensed with males, apparently having no need to reproduce, though this nuance was unexplained too. Anyhow, some of the cat-women had never seen a male, and get a taste of what they’d been missing.
But love is not really on their minds. The cat-women plot to steal the spaceship, take it back to Earth, and conquer the planet, using their telepathic powers (which only work on women). They use those powers to enlist the one female crew member, Helen, in their cause; Helen’s loyalties go back and forth, as do her declarations of love for the Tufts versus Jory characters. The cat-women need to inveigle the crew to teach them how to operate the spaceship. In furtherance of this scheme, they hide the crew’s space suits, without which they cannot leave.
The climactic scene is a chase to the ship, with three cat-women donning space suits. It ends abruptly, with two of them simply shot by a revolver (off-camera) and the other just whacked on the head. The earthlings returns to Earth. They don’t seem to notice one missing crewman, who had earlier been lured away and murdered by a cat-woman. Also, one could quibble about the space suit count, and whether two of the suits would have been rendered useless by bullet-holes.
However, we found this film far more entertaining than the iconic Plan 9 (often considered the worst movie ever). Virtually every scene of Cat-Women was a gem of hilariousness. We particularly enjoyed the portrayal of the crew as a bunch of slacker bozos, entirely devoid of the gravitas one might expect for humanity’s premier extraterrestrial voyage. (No “One step for a man …” upon first setting foot on the Moon.) At one point, seeing three of the men in a wrestling clinch, my wife remarked, “It’s like the Three Stooges,” and I replied, “No, the Three Stooges wouldn’t act so dumb.”
We give it two thumbs up, five stars, and the Palme d’or.