MY GOD…IT’S FULL OF STARS
Article by Matteo Molinari
So one day I was there (no, not there… A little to the right… A smidge more… Yes. There), when I started to think, “Why is it that every now and again, in order to bring a little more pizzazz to a saga or a TV show, they decide to transfer the action to outer space?”
Not only did that thought make me extremely happy because it opened a lot of opportunities, but I was truly ecstatic for having finally used the word “pizzazz” in a written article. I celebrated by eating two whole jars of Cheez Whiz ®, and then I started thinking about movies in space.
“Critters 4”: Granted, the first movie of this series starts in outer space, but those titular hungry aliens quickly land on Earth and begin an assault that lasts three movies — one of which features Leonardo DiCaprio, who stars as ALL the Critters (That is how I remember it. I saw it a long time ago). Anyway, for the fourth chapter in 1992, here comes the twist: let’s bring the action back…in outer space! Brilliant. And the plot of this last installment is even more brilliant: there are some Critters. They kill people. Eventually, men will prevail. And all of this… in space! (ace… ace… ace… ace…) Amazing!
“Hellraiser IV — Bloodline”: The good news: this was the last one of the “Hellraiser” movies to be theatrically released. The bad news: it was directed by Alan Smithee — in actuality, Kevin Yagher and Joe Chappelle. Not always a good sign. I’m kidding! Always a horrible sign. This movie also takes place in the year 2127 — so it’s in space AND in the future! Must have been a twofer! Here’s the plot: somebody can’t stop fidgeting with the Lament Configuration (one of those puzzle boxes that if solved, as a reward, it opens the gates to Hell — for my taste, a lollipop would have sufficed), unleashing the Cenobites who kill a lot of people. Eventually, men will prevail. And all of this… in space! (ace… ace… ace… ace…) Stupefying!
“Leprechaun 4 in Space”: All right, was there a rule towards the end of last millennium that the fourth chapter of a horror had to be in space?! Because if that’s the case, the makers of “Jaws: The Revenge” didn’t know about it (pity; I think moving the action from the sea to outer space would have improved the actual “Jaws: The Revenge” — then again, receiving a root canal with no anesthesia performed by a caffeinated orangutan would have improved on the vision of “Jaws: The Revenge”. But I digress). Here’s the tantalizing story: The Leprechaun is in space. He kills people. At a certain point, he even grows to become King Kong-sized. Eventually, men will prevail. And all of this… in space! (ace… ace… ace… ace…) Mind-boggling!
“Jason X”: Ignoring the rule of four of the previous movies, this chapter of the “Friday the 13th” saga is the tenth one in the series. Like “Hellraiser IV”, this movie takes place in the future, too — in the year 2455. Apparently, nobody has told the kids that they are over 400 years in the future, as they still speak with the lingo of the early 2000s. Oh, well. This movie is set on a starship, where Jason awakens from being cryogenically frozen and kills people. Eventually, men will prevail. And all of this… in space! (ace… ace… ace… ace…) Stratospherical!
Now, I hear you crying, “Is this ‘in space’ thing an exclusive of horror movies?”
No, of course! A few movies have been set in outer space after their predecessors have lived peacefully on Earth for many many many years. And no, I’m not talking about “Muppets from Space”. Those are FROM space — a whole different concept. Here I’m talking about IN space. Care for some examples? (I thought you would)
“Pinocchio in Outer Space”: …yes. Someone had the outstanding (term used very loosely) idea to send the beloved puppet into outer space, accompanied by Nurtle the Turtle to fight Astro — not the Jetsons’ dog, but a large space-whale that was abducted by a race of Martians. Now, there could be SO MUCH to say about this cartoon… First of all, how come Pinocchio is now once again a puppet? Last time we saw him, he was a boy of some sort, thanks to the Blue Fairy. When did the reversal process occurred? And why? It’s not said. Then, what’s with Nurtle the turtle? Couldn’t the cricket afford a trip into space? It’s not said. But mostly, why bring a stupid little puppet from Earth into space to fight a creature that’s angry with the Martians? It’s not said. BUT the most important thing is that all of this happens… in space! (ace… ace… ace… ace…) Marvelous!
“Space Buddies”: Five puppies — golden retrievers, for you canine aficionados — get to space camp, find space suits that fit them perfectly, manage to sneak into a shuttle (hooray for security!) and get shot into outer space. I hate when these things happen! Anyway, they’ll manage to return to Earth thanks to a ferret. Don’t ask. I have to say, even if this movie lacks the thrills and the chills of the far superior “Treasure Buddies”, the most important factor is that it takes place… in space! (ace… ace… ace… ace…) Ecstatic!
“Power Rangers in Space”: I know this is a TV show — but it’s the fifth installment of the Power Rangers series and clearly picks up where “Power Rangers Turbo” left off. If you haven’t seen Turbo, you might find yourself a little lost. Here’s a helping hand: four of the former Turbo Rangers and the robot Alpha 6 travel in a NASADA space shuttle and fight foes of all kind. At first they seem like they’re about to lose, but then they win. Always. Of course, while they are… in space! (ace… ace… ace… ace…) Magical!
“Emmanuelle in Space”: After a long series of porno movies in the ’70s, some creative mind decided to grab the protagonist of the series (a beautiful woman who seems to be allergic to any item of clothing), shove her into a space module, send her into space hoping that one day she’ll be recovered by some aliens who’ll eventually bring her back to Earth. And what do you know? That’s exactly what happens. In order to thank them, Emmanuelle teaches the aliens about sex (allegedly there was a similar sequence in “E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial”, but it got cut for pacing), and the aliens seem all happy to learn about it. Needless to say, most of this happens… in space! (ace… ace… ace… ace…) Stellar!
“Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space”: After singing forever and ever in their show, the animated Pussycats in 1972 got “accidentally” launched in outer space. In every episode of the new show they always meet new alien races, get kidnapped but somehow manage to escape — thanks also to Bleep, a fluffy alien adopted by the band, who is almost as annoying as Scrappy-Doo. The series lasted only 16 episodes and then was mercifully canceled — but not before they sang… in space! (ace… ace… ace… ace…) Remarkable!
“Barney in Outer Space”: The most despised dinosaur of them all grabs a bunch of stupid kids from their Astronomy Club and make them use their imagination to pretend to blast in outer space, to reach a planet where a friend alien was looking at them. Unfortunately, they do not burn to a crisp upon re-entry from their trip… in space! (ace… ace… ace… ace…) Wondrous!
“The Return of the Loch Ness Monster from Outer Space”: …yes, it does exist. But it looks like the only fun thing about this movie (term used loosely) is its title. Oh, well — you can’t win them all.
So, this is pretty much it — for now. I’m sure there are other “in space (ace… ace… ace… ace…)” movies, and as soon as I’ll find them, I’ll be sure to make you aware of them.
Oh, I almost forgot: I’m sure that many of you are pacing furiously back and forth because you want to know what the NASADA acronym of the Power Rangers stand for. Well… I’m not sure. It’s never been revealed in the show. Highly probable, it’s a combination of two real organizations, the American NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the Japanese NASDA (National Space Development Agency). Of course there’s also the computerized system for trading in securities, NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) and the NASADAD (National Association of State Alcohol / Drug Abuse Directors), and how could we forget about the ever-so-popular NASADIYA SUKTA (the 129th hymn of the 10th Mandala of the Rigveda, related to the origin of the Universe)?
Maybe we’ll discuss about this in another article… on Earth! (arth… arth… arth… arth…)
Then again, maybe not.