FIRE MAIDENS OF OUTER SPACE, OR IS THAT “FROM OUTER SPACE”?
Both, as it turns out. But beware of this movie, under either title.
How can you go wrong with a movie named FIRE MAIDENS OF (or FROM) OUTER SPACE, you ask? Let me count the ways. There’s the story. The screenplay. The acting. The so-called special effects. The direction. The musical score. The choreography. I guess that about covers it.
The story is pretty basic (in fact, just this side of non-existent). A secret space project lands a team of characterless astronauts on the 13th moon of Jupiter (which, although this movie was made in 1956 wasn’t actually discovered until 1974). Why the 13th moon of Jupiter? Who knows? That is only one of many unanswered questions about this film.
Well, land they do, and discover that the moon has an entirely Earth-like atmosphere, gravity, and environment and that is peopled by refugees from Atlantis who speak English. Why did the Atlanteans flee from the Earth? How did they get to the 13th moon of Jupiter? How come they speak English? How could this moon way out in space have such an Earth-like climate? Who knows?
The population of the moon consists of an old coot named Prasus, his daughter Hestia (the princess) and about a dozen Fire Maidens who occasionaly like to immerse themselves in this special fire. Who were the mothers of the fire maidens? Was Prasus their father? Why do they all seem to dislike Hestia, who is pleasant enough? What’s the deal with this special fire? Who knows?
Why does Prasus immediately drug the visiting astronauts? What does he want of them? Why do the fire maidens dance so damn much? Is the only song they know “Strangers in Paradise”? Who knows? Who knows? To kill about fifteen minutes of screen time, and, apparently so. (Finally, some answers.)
Also inhabiting the 13th moon of Jupiter is the being known as the Creature. He lurks in the bushes and occasionally leaps out to attack Prasus and the Maidens. Is he the only one of his kind? What is his origin? Why does he wear a skin-tight black leotard? Who knows?
So, eventually the Creature kills Prasus, then the astronauts push him into the fire behind the altar that the Fire Maidens were about to sacrifice Hestia on. Hestia leaves with the astronauts, having of course fallen for the captain. They go off, though promise to return with more men. Why were Fire Maidens going to sacrifice to Hestia? How come there were no hard feelings after she was rescued by the astronauts? What was that fire about, anyway? Are they really going to return to the 13th moon of Jupiter with more men for the man-hungry Fire Maidens? Who knows? Who knows? Who knows? Who cares?
The special effects were laughable. The rocket blast off was stock footage of a V-2. When it landed, they just reversed the take-off footage. When it was “traveling” through space, it was an obvious paper cut-out pushed along a paper backdrop. The direction was horrible, with interminable scenes of people just looking at each other. Early on there’s this unbelievably agonizing scene of a secretary walking across a room, opening several waist high gate-like barriers, closing them, moving a chair in front of a desk, sitting down, taking two lines of dictation, getting up, moving the chair away, walking through the gates again, and going up a flight of stairs while the two men standing around the desk (and the helpless audience) watches.
Like the rest of the movie, this scene is boring, tedious, and pointless. In fact, this movie officially ties with “Phantom From Space” as the most pointless science fiction movie of the 1950s.
If you want to see a movie with alien space babes, watch CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON.