Friday, September 18, 2015

NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT: Five Films About Planets Of Women

Hot yoga class to start your morning off right!
Mark Sawers is a Canadian director who's been in the film industry for a couple of decades, starting off in the 1990s with iconic TV series The Kids in the Hall (it's on my personal Top Ten list of Bestest TV Shows Evar) and moving on through a variety of projects on the small(er) screen as well as 2012's feature Camera Shy.

His latest, No Men Beyond This Point, is screening at Vanguard.

This wry mockumentary from Vancouver director Mark Sawers envisions a world where women have become asexual and are no longer giving birth to males, and where the dwindling population of men are desperate to reclaim their place in the sun.

The list of films about planets of women is kind of staggering and we know that as the end of the Festival approaches, your brains are overwhelmed, so we picked five films to highlight as possible inspirations for No Men Beyond This Point.

Behold my shoulder pads OF DOOM!
Amazon Women of the Moon, 1987
Itself a satire of late night reruns of B-movies, Amazon Women On The Moon presents a series of loosely connected comic sketches, one of which includes a planet of women. Hence the title. In the titular segment of the film, Sybil Danning portrays the imposing Queen Lara.
The planet of prehistoric women takes puka shells to the next level.
Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, 1968
If you've ever wished for be-ascotted director Peter Bogdanovich and 1950s sexpot Mamie Van Doren to team up, you're in luck! Credited to director "Derek Thomas," this film was a Roger Corman production (big surprise) that added ten minutes and English dubbing to a Russian sci fi film called Storm Clouds of Venus. According to Bogdanovich, Corman asked him to shoot the additional footage because "AIP won't buy it unless we stick some women in it."
Women of the Prehistoric Planet, 1966
This movie should not be confused with Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women OR Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet, OK? These are all vastly different movies! Now that it's been settled... Arthur C. Pierce (writer of the peerless The Human Duplicators) directed this film about human astronauts rescuing a race of Centaurians after their home planet was destroyed for unknown reasons. Look, all you have to know about this movie are two things: John Agar and Mystery Science Theater 3000, Season One.
Earthlings cower in terror at MAN WITH THE HEAD OF A BEAST.
Fire Maidens Of Outer Space, 1956
A team of male astronauts visit the 13th moon of Jupiter (which wasn't actually discovered until 1974) after signs of life are discovered and find a bunch of dancing women clad in diaphanous gowns, a.k.a. the remaining citizens of the colony of New Atlantis. The colony is threatened by "the man with the head of a beast," and the astronauts defeat him and save the day, promising to send "husbands" back to the planet once they return to Earth. (No mention of La-Z-Boy recliners, though.) Like Women of the Prehistoric Planet, the film was famously spoofed on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Not Star Trek, but an amazing simulacrum.
Planet Earth, 1974
The shortest movie title on this list is no less important. John Saxon stars in this post-apocalyptic tale of Earth set in the year 2133. It's actually a made-for-TV movie written by Gene Rodenberry, so you know it is quality. Saxon is Dylan Hunt, member of PAX, a group tasked with bringing back civilization and peace to the planet through science. During the course of a mission, PAX meets an Amazon-inspired society called the Confederacy of Ruth, which enslaves men (who are referred to as "dinks" - I'm not even making this up). Trouble ensues.

Be sure not to miss the final screening of No Men Beyond This Point! And don't refer to them as dinks, please. Think of the children.

Sat. Sept 19, 9:30PM SCOTIABANK 10

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