Before you start in about how your favorite femme was
left off the list, be aware, some of my personal favorites
didn't make the cut for one reason or another. Faith Domergue
is fabulous, but does her role as a scientist in This
Island Earth qualify her as a Babe From Beyond?
Darlene Tompkins' turn as Trirene in Beyond The Time
Barrier was terrific, and who can forget Dolores Faith,
"The Girl From Outer Space" (as she was billed on posters)
in The Phantom Planet? And what about The Astounding
She Monster? Longtime B Monsterites may think we've
written enough about that flimsy film already -- but they're
wrong. (I love the movie for reasons only my analyst might
understand, so consider this an honorable mention.) We're
limited to 10, and, as the list demonstrates, "memorable"
and "good" are not necessarily synonymous. That being said
10. Devil Girl From Mars
Holy Hannah, what a dopey movie. Lovely Hazel Court gets
preferred billing, but it's Patricia Laffan as the Devil
Girl who gets most of the attention, if not quality screen
time. She's parked her spaceship just outside a pub in some
remote part of the British Isles, strutting about in a tight,
black-leather ensemble. There's not much plot here, (Mars
Needs Men, if you will) but the laughable, Maytag refrigerator
robot almost makes it worth sitting through.
9. Fire Maidens Of Outer Space
You'll be hard-pressed to find a science fiction film dumber
than this one. Tedious, talky scenes, thoughtless editing
and more padding than a Sealy Posturepedic mattress. Hammy
Anthony Dexter leads a team of Brit space explorers who
discover the remnants of the lost city, Atlantis, transplanted
to another world. The Fire Maidens cavort to the strains
of Stranger in Paradise, which almost makes enduring
the rest of the film worth the price of your ticket.
8. Queen of Outer Space
No, Zsa Zsa Gabor does NOT play the Queen. That honor falls
to lovely Laurie Mitchell, whose radiation-scarred face
is hidden through much of the film by an ornate mask. Director
Ed Bernds makes the most of recycled props and situations
in detailing how the males of Venus brought about a devastating
war, leaving the Queen and her minions unable to procreate.
7. Terror From the Year 5,000
This patchwork film features plot elements from a dozen
other B movies, including that most overworked of scenarios,
the "dystopic future." In their efforts to breach the time
barrier, scientists stationed in a Florida swamp have somehow
managed to transport Salome Jens from the year 5,000 right
into their laps. A mutant of the post-apocalyptic future,
she wears a spangled leotard and sports glittering, hypnotic
fingernails. This one's a ragtag effort, but not without
a certain energy.
6. Cat-Women of the Moon
How could this movie NOT make this list? Marie Windsor in
the cast is reason enough. Sonny Tufts and Victor Jory in
the cast are reason enough. The raggedy giant spider that
appears in half the films on this list is reason enough.
Add The Hollywood Cover Girls as Cat-Women, a breed of feline
moon maidens who live under the Lunar surface, and you can't
5. Missile to the Moon
A remake of Cat-Women of the Moon directed by our
good friend, Richard Cunha! Need we say more? Well, we will,
in any case. Former Warner Brothers contract player Richard
Travis leads the team this time, stumbling upon rock men,
a cache of diamonds and the aforementioned giant spider.
Once again, it's a subterranean society that's the focus
of the story, led by "The Lido" (?) as embodied by K.T.
Stevens. Treachery ensues in the person of Space Patrol's
Nina Bara. Toss in juvenile delinquents Tommy Cook and Gary
Clarke, and you've got real entertainment.
4. World Without End
Okay, it's a tired premise, but this is my personal favorite
of the "future where humans are forced by some atomic catastrophe
to live underground" films. Director Ed Bernds is at the
helm again, reusing a bit of this film and a bit of that
one. (Watch out for that resilient spider!) Hugh Marlowe,
Rod Taylor and crew have managed to mess up the space-time
continuum and land in a devastated future world where mutant
surface-dwellers have forced what's left of humanity below
ground. Timeworn story notwithstanding, Nancy Gates and
her mini-skirted handmaidens are the feature attraction.
3. The Time Machine
Rod Taylor again, plunked down in a war-ravaged future where
the ghastly Morlocks have forced the innocent Eloi into
a subterranean existence. Taylor, of course, is the Great
White Hope of the Eloi, and eye-popping Yvette Mimieux as
Weena, makes his arduous, 4,000-year trip worthwhile. This
is one of George Pal's most highly regarded forays into
science fiction, and it's puzzling that Mimieux never emerged
as a bigger star.
2. Project Moon Base
Donna Martell is cute as a button as Colonel Breiteis (that's
right, Bright Eyes) -- but perhaps that's not the kind of
confidence-instilling quality you'd want in the leader of
a remote Lunar outpost. Who cares? Not a whole lot happens
in this flick, anyway, and anyone who can look adorable
in the bargain-basement space togs this cast is forced to
wear scores big points in our book. Originally slated to
be a low-budget TV series (and it looks it), Moon Base
runs barely an hour. The highlight is General Hayden Rorke's
threat to spank Martell for insubordination!
1. Forbidden Planet
It's no contest! Altaira takes the cookie. Fetching Anne
Francis dominated the Id of many an adolescent boy as the
innocently alluring daughter of Walter Pigeon's Morbius.
Forbidden Planet remains one the best-loved films
in the genre, due in no small measure to Anne's presence.
Robby is cool, the Id monster is scary, and the Krell city
breathtaking, but every scene Anne is in belongs to her.