Queen of Outer Space (1958)


(director: Edward Bernds; screenwriters: Charles Beaumont/story by Ben Hecht; cinematographer: William Whitley; editor: William Austin; music: Marlin Skiles; cast: Zsa Zsa Gabor (Talleah), Laurie Mitchell (Queen Yilana of Venus), Eric Fleming (Capt. Patterson), David Willock (Lt. Cruze), Patrick Waltz (Lt. Turner), Paul Birch (Prof. Konrad), Barbara Darrow (Kaeel), Gerry Gaylor (Colonel Base Commander), Marilyn Buferd (Odeena), Lisa Davis (Motiya); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Ben Schwalb; Warner Home Video; 1958)

It belongs on a list for worst film ever made.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The futuristic tongue-in-cheek sci-fi film is ineptly directed by Edward Bernds (“The Bowery Boys Meet The Monster”/”The Three Stooges in Orbit”/”World Without End”). It’s based on Ben Hecht’s agonizingly dumb story, and the weak dialogue and screenplay is by Charles Beaumont. It belongs on a list for worst film ever made, but won’t win because casting Zsa Zsa Gabor as an alien is priceless.

There’s a minor problem at an outer space way station and the base commander (Gerry Gaylor) sends three American astronauts, Capt Patterson (Eric Fleming), Lt. Cruze (David Willock) and Lt. Turner (Patrick Waltz), along with Professor Konrad (Paul Burch), the station’s designer, to straighten things out. When they arrive at the station, they witness it destroyed by a ray beam and are kidnapped to Venus–where their spaceship crash-lands. The astronauts are held as prisoners on the all-female planet by the masked, man-hating Queen Yilana (Laurie Mitchell), and learn that the embittered Queen plans to destroy the Earth with her ray beam disintegrating weapon. The nutty despotic Queen mistakenly thinks Earth is planning to attack Venus and uses as proof the space station was erected to launch from there its attack. Talleah (Zsa Zsa Gabor), one of the Queen’s subjects, secretly works with the men captives to prevent Earth’s destruction and has supporters who accept her as the Queen when Yilana is overtaken.

It’s just a bad film, not one that’s so bad that it’s good. It’s camp, but lacks wit, is silly, poorly acted and the story is ludicrous. The women aliens, clad in mini-skirts, look as if they were dressed for a roller rink. The Hungarian accented Zsa Zsa struts around in evening gowns and jewels, as if she was at a Hollywood nightclub greeting fellow airhead celebs.