Jean-Claude Forest’s comic book adventuress is given the Mid-Sixties psychodelic Dino de Laurentiis treatment in “Barbarella”, a vapid, would-be sexploitation vehicle directed without a successful snooze alarm by that most odious of dirty minded Euro-sexual imps, Roger Vadim.
Loosely based on the first volume of adventures (as serialized in V-magazine), the film features the then-Mrs. Vadim Jane Fonda (she passed on “Rosemary’s Baby” for this role) in constant states of undress while searching the galaxy for the missing scientist Durand-Durand (played by an eye-popping Milo O’Shea light years away from Strick’s “Ulysses”), all the while encountering killer dolls, a blind angel (played by John Philip Law in full depressed mode, having probably viewed the rushes), a bumbling revolutionary (Is there any other kind in a film like this?) and her first encounter with missionary sex. (The position, not the profession.)
It cannot go unnoticed that the large budget must have been channeled toward the endless supply of body stockings Ms. Fonda is semi-garbed in (she must have a closet the size of Neptune) as the production design and special effects are of an uncanny cheapness; one wonders where in deep space they found such an ample supply of cardboard and plywood?
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