Plot: A lot of men dream of being surrounded by countless females, but when one group of space explorers is transported to an all female planet, they learn how difficult that kind of life can be. The planet the crew lands on forbids the mere presence of men, which is bad news, since the crew happens to be all male. In addition to the hatred of the men, The planet’s ruler Queen Yllana (Laurie Mitchell) plans to annihilate Earth and ensure her established way of life continues. But not all of her fellow females despise the men and for some Talleah (Zsa Zsa Gabor) believe the males could serve a purpose, or perhaps even several purposes. As the sides clash over the masculine crew members, which side will win out and what will become of the space crew?
Entertainment Value: Queen of Outer Space is a concentrated blast of pure 50s b movie magic, a wild and campy romp that never fails to entertain. The story is a familiar one, as an all male space crew winds up on a female only planet, which divides the natives and leads to melodrama and of course, ham handed performances. The movie is over the top and stacked with so bad, it’s good elements, which raise it above the crowded field of 50s sci/fi b movies. I can see how some would dismiss it as just bad, but to me it has ample camp and more than enough bizarre moments to entertain, not to mention the dated, hilarious dialogue. The banter between the sexes is always humorous and thanks to the the acting, which ranges from wooden to melodramatic, those lines pack way more of a punch than they should. Queen Yllana is immense fun, especially once she is unmasked and really loses her mind, so she makes a terrific b movie style villain, with grand plans and a twisted brain. I also love the sets and general production design elements, as we have bright, vivid colors, cool little pieces of fake tech, and costumes that are a real treat for genre fans. So yes, Queen of Outer Space is pure camp and hokey throughout, but it is also an absolute blast for those who appreciate old school b movies or 50s sci/fi epics, as it hits all the right notes.
As I mentioned above, Queen Yllana is a lot of fun to watch here and that’s thanks to Laurie Mitchell, who turns in a terrific b movie performance. She dials up the melodrama and goes soap opera style here, unraveling and throwing out shade like there’s no tomorrow. Her venom toward the men borders on Bond villain levels and of course, that is just a blast to watch. As wacky as Mitchell is here, she is upstaged by a once in a lifetime performance from Zsa Zsa Gabor. Gabor’s presence is likely to be the main lure for new viewers and even if you dislike 50s b movies, you might be won over by her ridiculous turn. She struts around with god tier swagger, with her unique accent and just shines here, adding immense humor and b movie vibes. You just can’t beat Zsa Zsa in a sci/fi b movie. The guys just can’t keep pace with the ladies, but Eric Fleming is the best of the dudes, with a wooden, but fun performance. The cast also includes Lisa Davis, Dave Willock, and of course, a giant rubber spider.
The Disc: Warner Archive has teleported Queen of Outer Space onto Blu-ray with a rock solid, colorful visual presentation that fans should be quite pleased with. The print looks quite clean and detail is much improved over the DVD release, though a little soft in places still. The real star of the transfer is the color, which delivers rich, bold hues that bring the production design to life, while contrast is stark and effective, so no detail is lost in the shadows. On the extra side, we have audio comments from Laurie Mitchell who is joined by sci/fi expert Tom Weaver, which yield some fun anecdotes from the production. You can also watch the film’s trailer.