Friday, January 20, 2017

Ship of Monsters (La Nave De Los Monstruos) - 1960

Review by Steve D. Stones

This south of the border science fiction feature, "Ship of Monsters," has everything a good low budget cult film should have - sexy space girls in bikinis and high heels, a giant robot, a phallic rocket flying through the universe and ugly space creatures trapped in a cave.

Sexy Venusian gals Gamma (Ana Bertha) and Beta (Lorena Velazquez) have been assigned to bring back "perfect male specimens" to Venus. The male population on Venus has been destroyed by atomic destruction.  Their spaceship lands in Mexico where they meet cowboy - Laureano Atrevino Gomez, played by Eulalio 'Piporro' Gonzalez. Gomez was hoping the universe would bring him a lovely female companion as he watched Gamma and Beta's ship soar through the sky. Now, he has encountered two of them. He will have a difficult choice to make.

Gamma and Beta tell Gomez that they are part of a traveling circus and are looking for a place to stay while their giant robot Torr makes repairs to their spaceship. Gomez decides to allow the two to stay at his home. He is puzzled that the two sexy gals do not have boyfriends and have never heard of love and marriage. Lucky for them, they've never had their hearts broken. Gomez proceeds to explain what love and marriage is. Beta wants to take Gomez back to Venus to have him for herself.

Some of the male specimens in the spaceship have gotten out of control. With the help of Torr, Gamma and Beta encase them in frozen blocks and hide them in a remote cave. These male specimens are obviously not human, for they are ugly and look like space aliens.  One of the specimens is named Tawal - Prince of Mars. His head is shaped like a giant brain, similar to the aliens in Invasion of The Saucer Men (1957). Another is a cyclops with vampire teeth named Uk - King of The Fire Planet.

Beta is sentenced to death after Gamma witnesses her turn into a vampire and murder some local villagers. It is never explained how or why Beta becomes a vampire. Perhaps Uk bit her on the neck? She escapes the spaceship and frees all the aliens from the cave. Uk slaughters Gomez's cow, and eventually his horse.

The film tries to merge several genres - science-fiction, comedy, a musical and a western. Gomez has a number of scenes in which he sings. In one sequence, Torr says to the jukebox in Gomez's home "Oh baby, what lovely bulbs you have," which is an obvious sexual reference, after the fact that Gomez has sang a love song to Gamma.

Ship of Monsters would make a great double feature with the 1966 Larry Buchanan film - Mars Needs Women. One film has women searching for men to bring back to their planet for breeding purposes. The other film has men looking for women for breeding purposes on their planet. Perhaps director Buchanan may have been inspired by Ship of Monsters when he made Mars Needs Women? Happy viewing.

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