Monday 15 May 2023

Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity (1987)

Most of the time I watch movies purely for entertainment. But occasionally I want a movie with a bit more substance and depth to it. Something a bit arty and intellectual. Which of course made Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity an ideal choice for tonight’s viewing.

This movie is one of countless movie adaptations of Richard Connell’s classic 1924 adventure thriller story The Most Dangerous Game.

The movie does indeed begin with two slave girls, Daria (Elizabeth Kaitan) and Tisa (Cindy Beal). They’re being held in a dungeon on a prison planet. But they don’t remain prisoners very long. They escape with ridiculous ease and steal a spaceship with even more ridiculous ease.

Sadly things go wrong and the girls crash-land on a remote uncharted planet. To be more specific, on an island on a remote planet.

The girls are unharmed and there’s a house on the island. Zed (Don Scribner) tells them they’re welcome to stay. Zed lives alone in the house with two robot servants but at the moment he was two other guests, Rik (Carl Honer) and his sister Shala (Brinke Stevens). Zed entertains his guest with hunting stories. He likes to hunt. He has lots of trophies.

If you’ve read Connell’s story or seen any of the multitude of movie and TV adaptations you’ll already have figured out that this is yet another version and you’ll know what it is that Zed likes to hunt.

Rik has his suspicions which he confides to out two heroines. There were four people on the ship in which he and his sister were wrecked. All four survived but two have since disappeared after joining Zed on hunting trips. Rik suspects that he’ll be next.

His suspicions are well founded. And then Daria and Tisa find themselves as Zed’s intended prey. He gives them a sporting chance. There’s a ruined temple containing a cache of sophisticated weaponry. If they can reach the temple the odds will shift in their favour. Zed likes a challenge, and he believes that women can be even more dangerous than men so he expects to enjoy that challenge.

The acting is what you expect. Don Scribner tries to play Zed as a charming psychopath, with some success. Elizabeth Kaitan and Cindy Beal can’t really act at all but they’re likeable.

There are several ways in which a movie such as this could have been approached. It could have been done as a gorefest, or as a sleazefest. I was rather expecting a sleazy women-in-prison movie but it contains absolutely none of the features that define that scuzzy but entertaining genre. This movie does not take any of these obvious approaches. The gore quotient is extremely low. There are a couple of brief topless scenes but that’s the extent of the nudity. There’s one sex scene but the guy keeps his trousers on and the girl keeps her panties on. The girls have some scary experiences but they’re not brutalised.

This is an extraordinarily tame movie. I can only surmise that the idea was to avoid an R rating at all costs.

Amazingly this ultra-tame movie aroused controversy in the U.S. Senate when it was shown on cable.

Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity doesn’t offer buckets of blood or any more than very mild nudity and it doesn’t boast spectacular action sequences so what does it have to offer? Mostly it’s the sheer likeability of the two girls and the good-natured tongue-in-cheek cheerful silliness of the whole exercise.

It’s a movie that offers mildly amusing mildly exciting fun which doesn’t make you feel like you need to take a shower afterwards. The two lead actresses do wear very skimpy costumes and they are pretty. Pretty in a natural way - there are no silicon-enhanced breasts in this movie.

The first significant film adaptation of Connell’s story was made in the pre-code era - The Most Dangerous Game (1932). Other versions which added varying degrees of trashiness (in a good way) are Bloodlust! (1961) and Seven Women for Satan (1976).

Full Moon’s DVD presentation offers a good anamorphic transfer. The only extra is a collection of snippets from Elizabeth Kaitan’s other movies. And Full Moon have released this movie on Blu-Ray as well!

Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity is pretty mild stuff but it has a certain goofy charm. Plus Zed's robots and the cheesy special effects are fun. It’s entertaining if you’re in the mood. I was in the right mood so I enjoyed it. It will never make anybody’s greatest movies of all time list but I’m still going to recommend it.

No comments: