A new Shameless release is like Halloween to me, so the arrival of the 1980 Italian sci-fi The Beast in Space was met with a lip-smacking, hand-trembling excitement. Ooh! To see the sexy Sirpa Lane (notorious for frolicking with Walerian Borowcyzk’s La Bete) back in action – this time playing a Barbarella-inspired space siren. What will she get up to? Well, what I didn’t know is how much this 1980-made Euro-trash borrows from Borowcyzk’s 1975 film, dressing it up to look like a porno-version of an episode of Space 1999.
Lane plays a space lieutenant on a mission to extract a vital fuel source from a distant planet. After landing the craft, Lane and her crew are met by the planet’s ruler, Onaf, who invites them to dine with him. But Onaf is actually the manifestation of the planet’s real controller – a gigantic computer that wants to seduce Lane.
The Beast in Space was never intended to be anything other than porn, and it shows with its bad dubbing, terrible continuity, cheap special effects and pathetic costumes (Onaf’s guards really do look like Jimmy Saville clones). But strangely, I rather liked its badness – particularly so the computer (it looks like one of those 50’s wind-up robots) going walkies and the film’s money shot in which the half-man, half-beast Onaf ‘rises’ to the occasion. Oh, and Marcello Giombini‘s music score’s not bad either. But it’s no Planet of the Vampires or Forbidden Planet.
Out now (just hide it out of sight from your mum and girlfriend)