STARRING: Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Pallenberg, Milo O'Shea, David Hemmings, Marcel Marceau, Ugo Tognazzi, Claude Dauphin

1968, 98 Minutes, Directed by: Roger Vadim

Description: Jane Fonda's memorable, zero-gravity striptease during the opening credits of this 1968 Roger Vadim movie is the closest the film comes to a liberated marriage of wit and sex. Based on a French comic strip, the story concerns the adventures of a 41st-century woman, who pretty much gets it on with whomever asks.

Barbarella is a "cult" movie in the cynical sense of the word - it is so shite that it is actually good. Featuring a 29-year-old Jane Fonda prancing about in all kinds of revealing plastic clothing, Barbarella could only have been made in the late 1960s when free love and bad fashion ruled.

It is an extravagant exercise in bad taste and camp. While it tries to intentionally funny, some of the humour merely falls flat on its face. Also, despite its rather short running time, the film has some real slow-moving bits.

Plot? Fonda (in said outfits) gets involved in a civil war on a distant planet while searching for a mad Earth scientist named Duran Duran (yeah, no further prizes for guessing where this 1980s pop band got their name from).

Along the way she shags several life forms including a blind angel, gets strapped into a machine that will make her die of pleasure by said mad scientist and so forth. All of this to some horrible ?Sixties music that makes Tom Jones and Burt Bacharach sound like the epitome of sophistication.

The cult appeal is obvious: considering Jane Fonda’s later involvement in the anti-Vietnam war movement and the very "worthy" roles she got to play in "serious" movies (like On Golden Pond and Agnes of God), Barbarella must be a painful memory for her. Something she’d rather have scrapped from her CV.

Also, it features what must be the only striptease in zero gravity. Hot stuff indeed . . . so forget about Pamela Andersen Lee in Barbwire, Jane Fonda in Barbarella is the original intergalactic shaggadelic babe.


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