La bestia nello spazio (1980)

“La bestia nello spazio” (1980)

IMDb

barbarella

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is yet another trash film. I think it’s worth noting that, at least to me, trash designates merely films with incredibly low production values. Often these films also press hard on the exaggeration of sex and/or blood. Not violence though. Mostly, and this film is no exception, these films work as parodies of other serious films. Not fully intentional as parodies, but as ways to capitalize on the success of other films. That’s why here we have cardboard light sabers, 3 years after the original Star Wars came out.

I come to films like this once in a while, first for the sheer fun of sharing its makers self- referential passion, enjoying the consented flaws as much as i appreciate the good things.

But also, i come here to enjoy interesting concepts and sometimes subtle layering that often come up in pieces like this film. Usually, the disgrace of every aspect of filmmaking, from sets to acting, from blocking to framing, ruins the experience. But still, you can often find interesting things to consider, on the narrative level. Such is the case with this film.

Check how this is built. A crew with the mission to go to a distant planet to collect some precious material. One of the elements (the sex star) of the crew has been dreaming about a place she doesn’t know, where she is repeatedly raped (in the dream) by a beast, half human half goat (with a human penis). In the meantime she screws the leader of the mission. On the planet, interesting stuff happens. The planet is controlled by a machine, with power to enable sexual fantasies on its inhabitants, basically placing the crew under the illusion of consented sex with each other. This is made by the computer to enable its avatar, the half man half goat beast, to reach the girl and make her live the dream she’d been having. A final battle happens, the computer is destroyed, they leave the planet.

What works fine for me is how we get buried deeper in the layers of the story. We supposedly start in the real universe of those characters. Sex between both of them makes her reveal her (sex) dream and we submerge one level below the reality of the world of film. The distant planet is itself the descent into a different buried world. The dreams induced by the computer, the initial illusion that we have that those are not dreams, that takes us to a different level. And the final doubt on whether the “real” rape was real or yet another computer induced illusion, that’s interesting.

Sex surrounds everything of course, as the producers need it in order to sell the film. So the premises are clear about what you’ll see here. But how it is done can be appreciated, despite the trashy feel of the whole thing.

My opinion: 1/5

This comment on IMDb

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