In the not too distant future, humanity has turned into a species of space travelling, sexually repressed squares. People no longer engage in fluid exchange for sexual pleasure, but have instead replaced physical intimacy with drugs and hand holding. One adventuring astronaut on a mission to save humanity rediscovers the value of “doing things the old way” and proceeds to sexually conquer many new and strange humanoid species in the process. This hero for the ages is Barbarella.
Based on a French comic strip, Barbarella feels poorly adapted to film as it follows several barely related sexcapades of our heroine. Upon its debut in 1968, the movie was a critical and financial flop. The sexual revolution was already in full swing, and seeing Jane Fonda outperform an orgasm machine was a little heavy handed for audiences of the time. Upon re-release a decade later, the film found a wider and more accepting audience of the film’s camp sensibilities and it has continued to influence generations of viewers ever since. The dubious claims of representing the ideals of free-love and women’s lib do not stand the test of time, but stylistically Barbarella has left an obvious and lasting impression on science fiction that has followed. If you are not already familiar with Barbarella, you are in for a totally bonkers ride that will include sexual adventures in birds nests, laughable early green screen effects, and killer hair-do’s. If you are an old fan of this cult classic or discovering it for the first time, we hope you will join us in our live tweet as we collectively celebrate this bizarre cinematic experience.
WWAC’s first Classic Nerd Movie Club livetweet will be on Wednesday, July 30th at 8 pm EST with hashtag #WWACNerdMovie. Barbarella is available on both Netflix and Amazon Prime.