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Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity
Tonight's Feature Presentation

SLAVE GIRLS FROM BEYOND INFINITY (1987)

Starring: Elizabeth Cayton, Cindy Beal, Brinke Stevens, Don Scribner, Carl Horner

Written and Directed By: Ken Dixon

The Short Version

One of the most entertaining film adaptations of “The Most Dangerous Game” out there.  Seriously.

Great poster.

A sex scene so horribly soporific that it would feel like necrophilia if it hadn’t crossed the line into being unintentionally hilarious.

A villain who gives all of the bad Shatner impersonators out there a run for their money.

Incredibly high rewatchability value.  A cheez classic!


The Long Version

What Kind Of Cheese Is It?

CHEDDAR.

Everyone knows it; everyone loves it.  Tasty, flavorful comfort cheese that you can’t settle for just a single bite of.


Pairs Well With...

PABST.

Definitely Pabst.  Few movies scream “PBR Me ASAP!” like Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity.

“Did we have to steal such an expensive ship? Do you know how much time these things spend in the shop?”


Okay, folks.  It’s called Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity.  Of course it’s going to end up at the Doom Cheez Cinema.  And why not?  As far as these things go, it’s turned itself into be a classic.  It also happens to be one of the best reinventions of Richard Connell’s 1924 short story “The Most Dangerous Game” (if your school system was worth even an ounce of salt, you’ve read it; it’s the one about the aristocrat who hunts human beings - pick up a book, people!) that doesn’t star Rutger Hauer or involve creatures originally designed by Stan Winston.  This may or may not be a sad commentary on the state of screen adaptations as whole, but for those of us who are connoisseurs of cheap movie nights, we’ll take it.

The setup comes with the poster, which happens to feature some of the best hand drawn art for any cheap 80s flick out there.  Seriously; major kudos to the artist for taking a very low budget ball and running with it, showing way more respect for the end product than most others probably would have while still paying appropriate homage to its inherent cheesiness.  (There’s a slight hint of Barbarella to it, but honestly, I like this poster better.)  The tagline below takes it to the next level, promising three things: “Big Movie. Big Production.  Big Girls.”  Hmm. Let’s see how they did, shall we?


“Big Movie.”  Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity certainly is ambitious.  (The title, anyone?)  I’m sure that people behind this movie would go to bed at night and dream of something that made Cleopatra look like a high school musical.  Then they’d wake up and find themselves back in the world of used cars and happy meals.  However, much like the in fact diminutive Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain, they’re very good at making themselves and their movie look and feel a lot bigger than its in fact diminutive budget could actually pay for.  (Nevermind that the movie really did turn out to be bigger than its original budget could pay for, but even with the extra cash tacked on at the end, Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity still cost less than a modest house with no yard to speak of, even at 80s prices.)  Even while you spend 80 minutes picking apart its shortcomings, you’ll still feel like the budget was at least enough to buy a duplex.


“Big Production.”  As suggested above, it wanted to be.  That much is obvious.  However, the accountants had other ideas.  So try not to notice the sneakers being worn by the alien/mutant/undead.  Or the prominent stage echo whenever any of the cast members talk, even when they’re supposed to be outside.  Or the fact that in most action sequences, some of which include rather heavy duty looking weapons, there appears to have been no budget to allow for makeup, so none of the resulting wounds appear on camera.  Okay, you’ll probably notice that there wasn’t much cash in the budget for clothing the actresses in anything but scraps for more than ten minutes, but I’m guessing that, like me, you’ll be willing to chalk that one up to an artistic choice that the bean counters just happened to agree with.  Speaking of which…


“Big Girls.”  Needless to say, we all know what that phrase is really supposed to mean, don’t we?  Here’s a hint: if you expect any female in this movie to weigh more than a hundred and a quarter soaking wet, you’re nuts.  Of course they’re talking cup size, but on that score (because let’s face it, if you’re watching a movie called Slave Girls Beyond Infinity, damn straight you’re keeping that score even if the tagline isn’t), there’s a wee bit of exaggeration.  As in a disturbing number of American men over the age of 50 (Jack Nicholson, for example) have bigger boobs than two of the three ladies in this movie, with only Elizabeth Cayton (aka Elizabeth Kaitan) looking to come in at a size not involving one of the first two letters of the alphabet.  The movie actually has the self-awareness to poke fun at this small fact in a great line from Cayton/Kaitan after a map falls out of Cindy Beal’s understuffed bikini top, but when all is said and done, to flip a phrase, does cup size really matter?  Besides, the third actress here is Brinke Stevens, one of the bona fide Queens of Cheez.  You can’t go wrong with Brinke Stevens.


Nor, apparently, can you go wrong with William Shatner.  No, he’s not in Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity, but the influence of Hair Helmet Era Shatner is everywhere.  Take the opening and end credits, for example.  That theme music sound familiar?  Here’s a hint: listen to the Klingon theme music from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  Slight echo, anyone?  (Not that STTMP composer Jerry Goldsmith has been above lifting notes for his own themes, mind.  News flash: most musicians do.  Carry on, Mr. Dante!)  And Carl Horner, who plays our reasonably useless token male good guy (take that, stereotyping!)… doesn’t he look like a dead ringer for Adrian Zmed, who played Shatner’s reasonably useless partner on TJ Hooker?  And… dammit… Spock… is… our… villain… played by Don Scribner… actually… channeling Shatner?

If he’s not, then he’s channeling a bad impersonator.  Giving IMDB a whirl, this is Scribner’s first credited acting role, and, well, you can tell.  (Though about twelve million of you may be shocked to learn that you’ve heard his voice before: he did voice work for the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King video game.)  If you decide to make a drinking game out of pounding one down every time Scribner inserts a period in the middle of a sentence (“Perhaps. You. Will. Join. Us. Later.”), you’ll be blitzed before his first scene ends.  Best to just remember that he looks like a lunatic villain and decide that the random speech pattern does perfect justice to the wackiness that is the script.  Come to think of it, so does the idea of a drinking game.

It’s not hard to imagine the genesis of this script arising from a frat boy being assigned to read “The Most Dangerous Game” for an English class, only to wake up the next day to find this script and two empty cases of cheap beer where his essay was supposed to be.  I’m not saying that writer/director Ken Dixon actually did this, of course, but it’s not hard to imagine.  The dialogue is so incomprehensibly bad and yet cheesily sublime all at once that it’s just impossible to conceive it as having coming from a sober mind.  The two allegedly menacing robots arguing like ditzy Valley Girls on the beach make for a scene that must be seen for oneself to be fully appreciated.  (“Tattle tale!”)  I hesitate to repeat the line spoken by Elizabeth Cayton in reaction to the ridiculously sudden death of Brinke Stevens’ character (Brinke just stands up and basically announces that it’s that part of the script where she’s supposed to die in order to save the secondary female lead, so see ya!), and yet, how can one not hear an epitaph like “Fate certainly does weave a twisted tapestry” without jaws agape?  Did Ken Dixon pick up a Ouija board and channel the spirit of Ed Wood, or what?

Oh, but wait.  For truly, everyone’s saved the best for lust.  It’s time to cue up the cheesiest scene in the entire movie (which is saying a lot, all things considered).  Yes, boys and girls: it’s time for The Big Sex Scene.  (DVD Chapter 16, by the way.  You’re welcome.)

Elizabeth Cayton is our heroine, Daria.  Adrian Zmed is not our hapless token dude, Rik, but Carl Horner is.  Don Scribner is our dastardly villain, Zed, who is moments away from discovering that Daria and Rik have been running freely through the jungle all night unless they can somehow make him believe that they have, in fact, been innocently fornicating in an empty castle bedroom.  “We’d better make this convincing,” our heroine says…

And they don’t.  For one thing, they never remove their pants.  Don’t even pretend to hike them down a little.  But even this doesn’t compare to the godawful one-sided thrashing and moaning being done by our heroine while our hero just lies there half asleep trying to figure out what to do with a girl he didn’t have to inflate first.  Despite the fact that even junior high school kids aren’t buying it, Zed appears satisfied with this as he peeks through the door, after which he struts away and tries not to ponder the fact that later on, he’ll be smart enough to sidestep a trap that the others have spent nearly ten minutes of screen time setting up, only to walk into The Galaxy’s Most Obvious Punji Stick during the very next frame.

As soon as Zed leaves, clueless dope Rik manages to fall off the bed.  Apparently, Daria thinks this is a real turn on, because she then hauls his dead weight carcass back up on to the bed and decides to stop pretending (unless you count the whole pants thing… oh, nevermind).  The script may claim that the creatures outside are zombies, but for this scene, my money’s on Rik and Daria.  They are literally so lifeless here that their little interlude borders on necrophilia.  If it weren’t for the fact that he moves his arm a little, Carl Horner looks to be completely asleep, and Elizabeth Cayton looks less like a woman in back arching ecstasy than one who’s about to pitch forward in a dead faint.  However, like so much else in this movie, what on the surface can only be described as a train wreck with boobs (yes, frat boys, you get the topless payoff frame you’ve been waiting for) ends up being inexplicably hilarious.  The scene is so soporifically bad that it really is nearly impossible to not laugh at it.

To top it all off, The Big Sex Scene is followed up by The Horrible Afterglow Dialogue, wherein Daria makes the either dubious or ironic (take your pick) declaration that Rik made her feel alive again, and Rik, in turn, replies that he could die today with no complaints.  There’s no loud crack of thunder or flash of lightning on the tail end of that line, but you can safely assume that this is less of an oversight on anyone’s part than it is a side effect of the film’s limited budget.   Grim Reaper, cleanup on Aisle 5…

When all is said and done, though, the cheez is the charm.  No one who picks up a movie with a title like Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity should be expecting to take it seriously, and neither, for most part, do the people making the film.  But they don’t go to the opposite extreme and insult the audience’s intelligence, either.  They have jobs to do, and they do them, albeit with varying levels of success.  They have fun with the movie without rolling their eyes at it.  Sure, Brinke Stevens is better than the dialogue she’s made to read (and certainly better than her death scene), but she has respect for what she does and the fact that someone’s going to pay to see the end result.  That can’t be said for a lot of seven figure Hollywood types in their quarter billion dollar budget hypebusters.  Elizabeth Cayton won’t be bringing home an Oscar anytime soon (especially now that she quit her acting career), but even understanding that the target audience is more interested in her golden globes than anything that might come out of her mouth, she still takes the idea that she’s playing a bikini-clad super mercenary type and runs with it.  (Except, of course, while she’s on top of Carl Horner, but I’m not really sure I can fault her for that.)  Sure, the mutant alien zombies wear sneakers and pretty much show up from nowhere, but hey!  Mutant alien zombies!  It’s these sorts of little things that make Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity the type of low budget cheez that can be watched over and over and over again.

Bottom line, I’m ready to watch it again right now.

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- Reviewed by Ziggy Berkeley, September, 2011


You can email Ziggy at ziggy@cinemaontherocks.com. You can also find us on Facebook.


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