Februrary 16, 2013

Amazon Women on the Moon (1987)
Starring Everyone

Comments:   A couple of days ago I wrote about The Kentucky Fried Movie, which is one of my all time favorite comedies, but really isn't a movie so much as it is a bunch of R-rated comedy sketches strung together.  Well, if you like movies like The Kentucky Fried Movie, then Amazon Women on the Moon should be right up your alley.  In fact, a lot of people consider this to be the sequel to the Kentucky Fried Movie.

Right down to the fact that the last sketch in both movies is practically the same idea

Amazon Women on the Moon and Kentucky Fried Movie have nothing to do with one another, and one really isn't the sequel to the other, but if you watch them back to back you sure can understand why people would assume that they are.  After all, Amazon Women on the Moon is the exact same thing as The KFM.  Just take a bunch of R-rated sketches, throw them back to back to back, and cast a hundred different actors to star in them.  

The only real difference I can see when I watch the two movies is that The Kentucky Fried Movie was made in the 70's, when standards were very loose and you could get away with a LOT more in movies compared to what you can get away with now.  And Amazon Women on the Moon was made in the 80's, when the MPAA was starting to crack down on stuff like sex and nudity in movies.  So of course Amazon Women on the Moon is a lot less racy.   And some (including me) would say a lot less funny.  In fact, Amazon Women on the Moon was actually considered an enormous flop when it originally came out in 1987.

Why was Amazon Women on the Moon such a big flop?  Why is it that you have probably never heard of it if you are under the age of 25?

Well for starters, the very nature of a movie like this requires that the whole thing will pretty much be hit or miss.  Some of the sketches will be good, some of the sketches will be bad.  Since every one of the scenes was made by a different director and features different actors, there is no underlying theme or pattern or style at all.  There are just some sketches that connect with some people, and then some sketches that you will think are the stupidest thing ever.  It is more or less like every single episode of Saturday Night Live.  How you respond to a movie like this sort of depends on what type of mood you are in.

However, despite the fact that Amazon Women on the Moon is considered to be the tame, less ballsy version of the Kentucky Fried Movie, there are several things that I have always loved about it, and that I will recommend to you.   Like I did with the Kentucky Fried Movie, I will give you my top ten reasons why everyone should watch Amazon Women on the Moon at least once.


A young Kelly Preston at her hottest is in this movie.  But she isn't one of my top ten.

10.  Monique Gabrielle

Ah yes, remember our old friend Monique Gabrielle?  I wrote about her in my Deathstalker 2 review.  She is my all time favorite B movie actress.  And she now officially makes my 200 Movies That Deserve More Love countdown for the THIRD time.  First for Bachelor Party, then for Deathstalker, and now for Amazon Women on the Moon.  Which is funny, because I think they are the only three mainstream movies she ever did.  That is quite a track record.  

Monique is the one on the left

There isn't much to say about Monique's performance in Amazon Women on the Moon, except to say that she is fully nude the entire time.   It is nowhere near as racy as some of the stuff in the Kentucky Fried Movie, but hey, this is the most they would allow you to show in a movie in the 80's.  It was a much more puritan time.

The Monique Gabrielle segment is the second one in the movie and it is one of the segments that most people remember.  Especially when she is walking around buck naked in church.

God bless you, Monique Gabrielle.  Never change.

9.  The Arsenio Hall sketch

Yes, that's right, talk show host and Celebrity Apprentice legend Arsenio Hall stars in Amazon Women on the Moon.  It was in fact his very first movie.  And as a matter he fact he actually opens the movie.  The very first sketch in Amazon Women on the Moon is Arsenio Hall being attacked by his apartment.  

If you like slapstick, this is a funny one.

Oh and, as always, remember that there aint no fuckin' Thelma here

8. The Gute

Yay!  Another Steve Guttenberg movie!

A lot of people claim to ironically like Steve Guttenberg, but I have always genuinely liked him.  I think he is one of the more underrated comic actors from the 1980's.

He isn't as funny here as he was in Police Academy, but hey, any Steve Guttenberg movie is one worth mentioning.  Just like Michael Bolton, I celebrate the man's entire catalog.

The Gute trying to get lucky with Rosanna Arquette

7.  The Comedy Roast for a Dead Guy

This is a sketch that a lot of people remember from this movie, and I just watched it the other day and it is still pretty funny.  Old timey comedians come out a roast the dead body at a funeral.  It is about as tasteless as you would expect.   This is one of my favorite sketches in Amazon Women on the Moon.

The Dead Guy Comedy Roast

6.  Girls Throwing Spears

Unlike Kentucky Fried Movie, they actually do attempt to tie all the sketches together in Amazon Women on the Moon.  They do it by having a wraparound movie that sort of pops up in between all the sketches.  The effect is supposed be like you are watching an old science fiction movie on TV (called, of course, Amazon Women on the Moon), and every so often the signal cuts out and instead we cut over to watch commercials.  

Well, the wraparound movie never really works for me.  In fact, whenever it cuts back to Amazon Women on the Moon this movie sort of drags to a halt.  However there is one part of Amazon Women on the Moon that always kills me.

Towards the end of the movie, all the Amazon Women are supposed to launch their spears into the air as a furious assault.  Except since they are girls, the spears go like two feet and that is as far as they go.

Call me a simpleton, but that is a very stupid joke and it always makes me laugh when I see it.  See below:

Bombs away!  Look out in the front!

5. Lana Clarkson is in it

Hey remember the Phil Spector murder case a couple of years ago?  Remember the actress that he shot, Lana Clarkson?  Well this is one of the few movies she ever did.  

She doesn't really add much to Amazon Women on the Moon, and she is only in the wraparound movie for a couple of minutes, but hey, if you read about the Spector murder trial at least now you will know who they are talking about.

Lana Clarkson

4.  The Son of the Invisible Man

There are four really funny sketches in Amazon Women on the Moon, and this is one of them.  In fact I just showed it to my kids the other day, and they thought it was funny too.  So it still kinda holds up.

Ed Begley Jr. plays a man who thinks he is invisible but who really isn't

Son of the Invisible Man is stupid, and you can see most of the jokes coming a mile away, but I don't really care.  It is silly and it makes me laugh.  It will probably make you laugh too.  Provided you can handle seeing a completely naked Ed Begley Jr. of course.

The best of Ed Begley Jr.

3. The Titan Man sketch

Ah yes, one of my favorites.  A young man goes into a drug store to buy condoms and he faces his worst nightmare.  

This sketch will make any teenage boy very uncomfortable.

Don't listen to Kelly Preston.  She's a Scientologist!  It's a trap!

2.  Interactive Video Dating with Ray

Gentlemen, start your boners

In 90% of other anthology movies, this sketch (which is the last sketch in the movie) would by my number one.  It is really funny.  Featuring Andrew Dice Clay, Russ Meyer (above), one of the hottest women I have ever seen named Corinne Wuhl, and Marty McFly's brother.

Marty McFly's brother

Corinne Wuhl, who I just looked up on IMDB and who is now a professional tarot card reader.  I'm not kidding.

Okay, those are nine of the things that I have always enjoyed about Amazon Women on the Moon.  Fans of the movie will notice that I left out Video Pirates and the fact that Sybil Danning is in the movie too, but hey we can't have everything.

Even though Sybil Danning really should have been in more movies too

And now we come to my number one.

And this is a biggie.  

Because, in my opinion, there is really only one reason to watch Amazon Women on the Moon.  

And I would actually say he is as funny as anything that was in The Kentucky Fried Movie.

Yes, I can only be talking about 1. Don "No Soul" Simmons.

As played by David Alan Grier.

If you have never seen Amazon Women on the Moon before, run out right now (don't walk) and find a copy of it anywhere you can find it on the internet.  And look for the two segments featuring Don "No Soul" Simmons.  Hands down, he is the reason this movie should never be forgotten.  He is easily one of my favorite movie characters of the 80's.

The original Carlton Banks

There is an infomercial about midway through Amazon Women on the Moon that features B.B. King, and seeks to raise awareness for black people who were born without soul.  And of course the poster child for this particular affliction is the tragic Don "No Soul" Simmons.  

Seriously, I have talked to a lot of people about Amazon Women on the Moon over the years.  And to a man, EVERYONE remembers Don "No Soul" Simmons.  People might not remember 99% of the rest of this movie, but all I have to do is mention the name Don "No Soul" Simmons and I will get a reaction.  EVERYONE loves him.  In fact I can guarantee I will get dozens of emails just because people opened this entry, they saw that picture of David Alan Grier at the top, and they laughed so hard that they had to send me an email.  

He, and he alone, is the reason that this movie will always be in my comedy movie Hall of Fame.  I don't care how much the rest of the movie is hit or miss.  Amazon Women on the Moon will always be awesome because it has Don "No Soul" Simmons in it.

By the way, quick side note.  David Alan Grier appeared in Amazon Women on the Moon in 1987, and like I said, everyone loved him.  Like Big Jim Slade in Kentucky Fried Movie, he became an instant cult comedy celebrity.

He was such a big celebrity that when David Alan Grier joined the cast of In Living Color two years later, he was actually the biggest star in the cast.  For the first couple of episodes, I just remember In Living Color being "Hey it's that show with Don "No Soul" Simmons!  And a bunch of other guys!  And that one white guy!"  In fact I was always a little sad that DAG never actually played Don "No Soul" Simmons on In Living Color.  I always felt that was a missed opportunity.  His fans would have loved it.

The facial expressions are just perfect

In any case, there you go.  Amazon Women on the Moon.  Featuring Don "No Soul" Simmons and a bunch of other stuff.  Some of it is funny.  Some of it is not very funny.   But if you are a fan of comedy you should at least know about it.  And I do have to say that the interactive dating sketch at the end is actually also pretty awesome.

Loves his Sweet Dixie Rose

By the way, be sure to stick around for the end credits, because Don Simmons pops up there too.  The producers realized what a big deal he was going to be.

* My favorite IMDB user reviews about Amazon Women on the Moon:

Very funny, especially David Grier - 27 October 1998
The movie is funny in general. Several segments are good, and they are smart enough to know when their welcome is worn out.

The highlight for me is Don "No Soul" Simmons, the unhippest black guy ever born, and poster boy for the charitable campaign to aid black people born without soul.

David Grier singing "Blame it on the Bossa Nova" over the closing credits is worth the price of the rental.  

A feel-good, light-headed pleasure - 5 December 2000
This is not a great film by any means, but there are some really hilarious, unforgettable sketches in this movie. There's the Playboy bunny who goes grocery shopping naked, goes to church naked and everyone else acts like its normal. The Amazon Women on the Moon sketch is a scream. David Alan Grier is fantastic as the man without soul. There's the Siskel and Ebert-style critique of a man's life. There's also Andrew Dice Clay's finest moment (not like he's had any others) as he screams from a TV set at someone watching his girlfriend's porn video. A very silly movie, but with lots of great moments.

A Fun Niche Movie! - 13 March 2005
While most people will think this film is plain silly, which it is, it is really quite fun too.

With a few exceptions, the film is about your typical late night television and the crazy ads that used to permeate the airwaves before all the infomercials started taking over in the 90's. In this film, they make fun of those crazy ads and programming by doing outrageous spoof ads interspersed with an old 1950's B movie with a lot of projection problems.

Any couch potato with a good sense of humor and a memory of the 70's & 80's television programming should enjoy this one! This is why I call it a niche movie.

Donate your money to Don Simmons - Black without a soul :) - 7 July 1999
After I saw this film I was positively surprised of the varied amount of excellent little surprises this film offered in form of little jokes. The film itself is in a way a sequel to the "Kentucky Fried Movie" so if you have seen it, you might know what to expect. The movie itself is built around a 50's b-movie "Amazon women on the moon" which has some serious troubles while showing and the jokes are then presented as commercials etc. One of the most memorable moments IMO in this film include: "The blacks without the soul", "Petmate of the month" and several others. I'll give this 9 out of 10. RECOMMENDED

This film is the very reason DVD players have the chapter skip button! - 2 November 2007
Don't get me wrong; I really like this movie...most of the time. It amazes me how in only 20 years the "modern" scenes highlighting the "wonders" of the VCR age are almost carbon-dated; the VIDEO RENT-A-DATE scene, or the Computer-Background-Dating-Check bit (which you can pretty much DO nowadays!) have fossilized! The old Jewish guy sucked into his "high-tech" TV (circa 1987) is a little dumb; and the baby Mr. Potato Head joke is not very good. There, got all that out of the way! Now, despite these shortcomings, there are enough truly hysterical scenes to make this film worth the rental/purchase. The titular sketch (spoofing '50s sci-fi space films) is spot-on perfect!. Another good one is the IN SEARCH OF parody (called "B.S. OR NOT?") w. Henry Silva. It names the Loch Ness monster as Jack the Ripper (using "as yet undiscovered evidence"). It is pretty funny (especially the salacious gaze the monster gives the prostitute as she walks away). One of my favorite sketches (which I always chapter skip to if I'm in a hurry) is the VIDEO PIRATES sketch, with William Marshall (Blacula himself) as the leader of a band of old-world pirates boarding a ship full of videotapes and discs. The pirates mocking the FBI warning at the beginning of the tapes ("Oooh, I'm soooo scared!") is classic! And the SON OF THE INVISIBLE MAN sketch with Ed Begley Jr. (in a full-throttle performance) as an all-too visible invisible man ("Ever see a shirt make a phone call?") is hysterical. It has a bit of a YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN vibe about it (as both capture the look of those '30s Universal monster films EXACTLY). Carrie Fisher's sex-ed, VD film parody is also wickedly funny (and only a slight exaggeration of films like REEFER MADNESS). The BLACKS WITHOUT SOUL/DON SIMMONS sketches (w. B.B. King, and a perfectly cast David Alan Grier) are like the glory days of Saturday Night Live in their subversive humor ("Chim-chimeny, chim-chimeny..."). Yes, this film is the very definition of uneven; but the highlights ARE worth the trouble. The film works even better if you're old enough to REMEMBER cheesy, late-night, local TV station programming. And if you DO remember the parody origins as fondly as I do, then the film's highlights will really hit their mark; making the other, "filler" segments a perfect time to use the old chapter skip button (or go to the kitchen for a snack). Just don't miss the aforementioned sketches and a few other bits in between. And if you can't sleep, it's perfect counter-programming to those crappy paid programming/infomercials clogging up all the late-night time slots that used to be the haven of wonderfully bad, cheesy movies! AMAZON WOMEN lets viewers re-visit some of that cheesy nostalgia of late-night TV past!

Don 'No Soul' Simmons is God! - 17 March 2000
It's not a brilliant movie - any kind of sketch compilation is going to be variable at best (look at Monty Python's "And Now for Something Completely Different" and "The Meaning of Life") but this has more standout moments than "Kentucky Fried Movie" (with which it's often unfavourably compared).

Highlights for me include the Great Mysteries Of Our Time documentary show, "Bullshit or Not?" The revelation that Jack the Ripper was actually the Loch Ness Monster makes more sense than some theories I've heard. ..

Monique Gabrielle is gorgeous as the Pethouse Video Pet trying to appear intelligent by going to art galleries (but doing it naked because that's what people are watching the tape for).

If there's one let-down it's the framing film which gives the compilation it's name - the movie it parodies, "Queen of Outer Space" featuring Zsa-Zsa Gabor, is simultaneously better AND worse and a lot funnier!

By the way, Don has his own Usenet newsgroup, alt.fan.don.no.soul.simmons. No-one posts to it, which seems fitting somehow.

* My favorite trivia about Amazon Women on the Moon:

* There are numerous references to The Kentucky Fried Movie, also directed by John Landis.

* The names in the "Titan Man" sketch (George Bailey, Violet and Mr. Gower) are taken from It's a Wonderful Life.

* The "release date" for the movie keeps changing: "We now return to our feature film, the 195? classic, Amazon Women on the Moon...".

* In the film within a film, "Amazon Women on the Moon," which is supposedly occurring in 1980 but made in the 1950s, Butch continually refers to things which have been long gone as though they are still around. The Brooklyn Dodgers, Ebbets Field, and a Studebaker are just a few examples. There is also a reference to the 48 U.S. states, when in actuality there have been 50 states since 1959.

* John Landis originally approached Al Franken and Tom Davis, who had previously starred in Landis' Trading Places, with the idea for a segment comedy in the likes of The Kentucky Fried Movie and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask. He assigned them to write a script. After his bad response towards their first ideas Franken and Davis pulled back from the project and took their material with them (with the original title being "Shameless"). Landis moved on to realize his vision in "Amazon Women on the Moon".

* In French, the movie is called "Cheeseburger Film Sandwich", because it's considered as the sequel of "Kentucky Fried Movie", translated as "Hamburger Film Sandwich".

* My favorite scene in Amazon Women on the Moon:

Amazon Women on the Moon at the IMDB

Amazon Women on the Moon at Wikipedia

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