June 28th, 2008


Caroline Munro Film Festival

Tonight I attended a Caroline Munro film festival at a friend's house. We watched two of the delectable 1970s actress' films, both notable mainly for Ms. Munro's skimpy wardrobe, impossibly large eyes and silky black hair.

The first entry was 1978's Starcrash, quite possibly the worst of the European Star Wars ripoffs that followed in Lucas' wake. Even worse, this was the second time I'd seen it in as many months. The plot is incomprehensible, the special effects awful and every time Christopher Plummer appears on screen as The Emperor (in a gold cape!) you have to wonder if it was drugs or a summer house that made him sign the contract. Or maybe he thought he'd be like Alec Guinness in Star Wars. The movie is insufferable. But Caroline Munro, as intergalactic smuggler Stella Star, wears a series of ever skimpier outfits, including one vaguely Vampirella-like bikini/cape combo -- while doing hard time in a penal colony! Everyone else in the penal colony is dressed in frumpy rags, but she gets to be all fabulous and show off her cleavage and abs? Not that I'm complaining, but it did strike me as a bit odd. Or awesome. I'm not sure which. Plus, who knew there was this much eyeshadow, lipstick and hair conditioner in space?

The second film was much better, a childhood favorite of mine from 1976 called At the Earth's Core. Caroline Munro plays Dia, a tribal woman who lives, well, at the earth's core and falls in love with scientist Doug McClure, who has traveled there in a giant, phallic drill rocket with his doddering old scientist friend, played by Peter Cushing in full bumbling-awesome-old-British-guy mode. Oh, and all the humans at the center of the Earth speak English. The monsters are crazy, all pretty much union guys in rubber suits, but even so, this movie rocks. I was surprised how much I still enjoyed it. Rubber monsters and Caroline Munro wearing the equivalent of a split napkin -- what's not to love? Plus, who knew there was this much eyeshadow, lipstick and hair conditioner at the earth's core?

Oh, Caroline Munro. Every day should be a film festival in your honor. I think it's time to break out Dracula A.D. 1972, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter and The Spy Who Loved Me again!