One of the first R-rated comedies I saw when I learned how to watch them on the sly (thanks mid-’80s HBO!), Amazon Women was juvenile, smutty and profoundly stupid. Needless to say, I loved it. It’s one of those proudly adolescent R-rated comedies made by adults but obviously intended for teens (and aspiring teens) that Hollywood churned out in bulk back in the ’80s, but generally only turn up in dribs and drabs today, like last year’s Project X or the 2006 Adam Sandler-produced guilty pleasure Grandma’s Boy. (It’s encouraging to see that Movie 43 went for the hard R rating as well; a PG-13 version might be more marketable, but entirely pointless — as if the movie has a point in the first place.)
Not having seen it in a good two decades, I have no idea whether Amazon Women has stood the test of its 26 years. My guess is probably not, although I’m betting I’d find the central sci-fi sketch — which was helmed by Police Squad producer Robert K. Weiss and featured B-movie queen Sybil Danning as the queen of (what else?) a group of Amazon women on the moon — even funnier now because I’ve actually seen the movies its spoofing (think Forbidden Planet and Plan 9 From Outer Space) and can more fully appreciate its Grindhouse-like stylistic touches. Also, now that I know who Russ Meyer is, that John Landis-directed segment about the guy (Marc McClure a.k.a. Jimmy Olsen from the Christopher Reeve Superman movies) whom Meyer gifts with a special VHS tape that sends him on a date with Penthouse Pet Corinne Wahl is extra amusing. It even ends like a Meyer movie… in bloody violence — after copious nudity, natch.
Due to their, let’s say racy content, the most memorable skits from Amazon Women on the Moon (like the aforementioned video date) aren’t readily viewable online. But here are a few clips that at least give you a taste of its peculiar, oh-so-’80s charms. And if you want to see more, the movie is available in a Collector’s Edition DVD with deleted scenes and outtakes. (There’s no Blu-ray edition yet and you shouldn’t hold your breath expecting one.) And should you prove interested in tracing Movie 43’s origins back even further, track down the two ’70s sketch comedy features that begat Amazon Women, 1974’s The Groove Tube and 1977’s Kentucky Fried Movie, where the famous ZAZ team (as in David Zucker, Jim Abrams and Jerry Zucker) behind Airplane! and Top Secret! got its start.