I watched Barbarella when I was a young girl, those years of forming delicate attitudes about sexuality, self esteem, and spaceships with all fur interiors. How can an impressionable human female in the early stages of pre-adulthood emotionally survive movies like Barbarella? More movies, better movies, and life, that all washes away the bizarre influence, I suppose. I don’t go around wearing one boobed plastic corsets and laying around in orgasm machines, so it didn’t make me a deviant in any way…so far. I did just watch it again after about 30 years and my mind is older, more mature, better equipped to sort through the mixed messages. An anti-war message mixed with copulation and extravagant self indulgence sounds like the perfect way to learn the truth about life.:)
There is so much to say about Barbarella, about an 80%/20% split, bad/good. As I write this the page is scrolled down just enough where I can see the poster from the waist down. The painted poster look, shapely woman parts, knee high metallic boots, a weird futuristic thing in the background and a man in a diaper, it’s all exactly what this movie is all about, strange and wonderful, or awful and terrible…..I choose the former.
The story is a good thing, Barbarella is an agent for the Republic of Earth on the search in some distant region of space for a man who invented a weapon. This is a shock to Barbarella because the world has avoided war for several centuries. She makes a few comments about the idiocy of war, more good stuff. We get a look at the inside of her space ship, all covered with long fur, gross, and some of the worst props I have ever seen in a movie. This could be a good thing because it adds to the charm, or a bad thing because it’s so bad you want to call the director and get your money back.
The scope of the trip she takes feels kind of small. The representation of space is the lamest part of the movie. The trippy globby badly concieved view of the vastness of space required a bit of creative viewing. I had to divert my eyes and brain from what it was, and what it was supposed to be. I might just be spoiled with so many awesome movie space visions, but whatever the reason, I was grossly disappointed by the view from Barbarella’s windows.
The bad woman is excellent. The good rebel guy is so funny. The blind angel is really awesome. Many of the other characters are either super great or really boring and too crappy to mention. It’s a combo bag, making up the 80%/20%…get the picture?
I don’t even care about the bad parts, honestly, it is one of those movies that just makes me happy in a very questionable way. I laughed, I rolled my eyes, I cringed a few times, let out huge sighs at the illusion of progress we have made in women’s rights and men not pretending to rule the world welding their inappropriate views of women. The most important thing is that I had a great time and I want to watch it again and again and again. I love the look of the poster, the experience of watching the movie, the memory of watching it at a way too young age, the whole flipping hairy furry leggy thing.
- Theatrical Trailer – The trailer actually makes the film look crazier than it actually is. Unfortunately that is all you get on the disc though.
Cover Art and Menus: 10/10
It’s rare. I love this cover. Did I mention it’s rare that I would like, let alone LOVE a Blu-Ray cover. Barbarella’s sexist, “never mind womens’ rights and women are not just sex objects” vibe somehow captures my eye and that’s that. I just dig it. I want it as a poster in my house. I WILL HAVE it as a poster in my house. I must have it as a poster in my house. Update to come at some point in the future.
Audio & Video: 8/10
For a 44 year old movie Barbarella looks incredible on Blu-Ray. This is an incredible 1080P transfer that really makes the film look like it was made 10 years ago. The enhanced resolution of Blu-Ray shows off the old school special effects you even get to see the strings that hold Barbarella’s ship in the air. There are occassional dust artifacts in the print but this is really stellar stuff from Paramount.
I noticed on the box that Barbarella is presented in Dolby Mono, at first I was expecting a tinny sounding track that didn’t do the film justice. What you actually get here is a very clear, crisp, energetic track that gets the dialog across crisp and cleanly. There is no Bass during the film though so it really does sound like an old soundtrack. Hopefully for Barbarella’s 50th anniversary we get a 5.1 mix similar to the one Warner did on The Wizard Of Oz.
Another rare thing is about to happen, first I love the cover, and now I think it’s a good price for a weird and amazing, freaky-ass movie to have on the shelf for those days when life needs a man with wings and a man with a freakishly hairy chest. There are no extras, but what the hell. Spend the 15 bucks on this movie and just give up something stupid like food and water for a few hours.
Overall Score 9/10