To say there are no similarities between BARBARELLA and the last movie I reviewed, EVERLY, would be false. They both deal with very attractive women dealing with a difficult situation, and along the way they end up getting tortured.
That’s about the extent of the similarities.
There’s no doubt in my mind that BARBARELLA is a classic, and one that I’d recommend watching, but not necessarily for good reasons. Sure, the special effects were decent for the time, and a space sexcapade about a beautiful women obviously has some titillating moments, but it’s an interesting watch because I can’t think of another film like it.
I called it a sexcapade, but it’s more of sexploration across the universe. In Barbarella’s time, sexual relations on Earth are much different than what currently exists, and the film explores that topic just enough to make that aspect of a frequently-nude heroine interesting.
I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much from Jane Fonda in her lead-role performance, and while she certainly doesn’t deserve any nominations for what she did, oddly, she made the role seem somewhat believable despite how campy the film was.
And it was campy.
Some of the problems Barbarella gets herself out of harken to the Batman television series being filmed roughly the same time this movie was being made, coming up with some gadget to magically save the day or at least make things safe. In that respect, there are a few more laughs to be had than I was expecting, even if some of them are groan-worthy and eye-roll inducing.
If you’re looking for a decent science fiction film to watch some evening, I’d recommend you look elsewhere. But if you like to have a wide array of films on your viewing resume, I’d absolutely recommend checking this out.
My rating: 55 out of 100