B Movie Challenge: Cat-Women of the Moon

In 1969 Astronaut Neil Armstrong become the first man on the moon, and who can forget those famous words “This is one small step for man; one giant HOLY CRAP! THERE ARE CAT WOMEN IN THAT CAVE!” Some movies come to your local cinema and feel like they belong in the litterbox, and others project on the screen, and right away you know they are the cat’s-meow! Although it is hard to know what is on the dark side of the moon (besides a trippy version of The Wizard of Oz) I don’t think NASA ever expected what awaited them was a batch of puppet spiders (was that the webbing or the fishing lore holding the prop up?) and a race of cat-woman who need to concur earth to find the puuuuurrrrrrrrfect environment in the campy out-of-this-world classic Cat-Women of the Moon.

When you read the plot of this movie, it will be obvious why some might feel this so-bad-its-bad schlock will give them a bit of the ‘Garfield Mondays’ and yet, despite its very thin plot (unlike the atmosphere of the moon in the movie) Cat-Woman of the Moon has been influential in the independent science fiction world of 50’s cinema. Lensed as an independent film with a micro-budget, the movie was shown in 3D during its first heyday (nothing like a cat-woman dangling a ball of yarn in three-dimension) and such a success afforded the producers a little catnip on the side. This was also the first of its kind for the “crashland on the moon filled with vixens’ Meow Mix plot that came out of this period, such as Maidens from Outer Space, Missile to the Moon, and Queen of Outer Space to name a few.

On mankind’s first trip to the moon (missing its eye this time) the crew is excited to make history, as well as a few bucks along the way for some. Their rocket ship (more like a lit cigar with wings) accends the skies with the crew laying out in backyard lawn chairs! As they get closer to the moon, one of the crew members (who also happens to be the only female meeeeoooowwww) is hypnotized to bring the crew to land on the dark side of the moon (faaaaaarrrrrrrr out!). As the crew mounts up in their hot lava suits, Smith and Wesson guns, and a good pack of Marlboros (“A cigarette for those who can afford 20 cents for the best”) they are guided by the female crew member toward a cave filled with giant spiders on fishing lines, a layer of lunar dust that burns anything it touches, and of course, a herd of wild kitty-kats who fancy feast the crew’s wildest desires until dead set on killing them all (♪ Us and them and after all we’re only ordinary feline-esque women ♪). Even though it seems like heaven, the crew smells the rank ammonia in the air and rocket themselves back to earth before being neutered by the Las Mujeres Gato De La Luna!

Scratching up the couch at a clipped sixty-four minutes, and directed by Arthur Hilton (whose other classics include Olson & Johnson in Ghost Catchers & Harry in My Pocket), this little hairball was one of the first few scores by legendary composer Elmer Berstein (The Magnificent Seven & Ghostbusters). You can find this grumpy cat on most streaming platforms, but see if your cat’s eye can search in the dark for the Rhino VHS version in 3D! So make sure you buckle yourself into your pool lounger, lap up some heated spoiled milk, and remember when Pink Floyd said “♫They’re not gonna kill ya, so like, if you give Cat-Women of the Moon a quick short, sharp, view, they won’t do it again♫!”

About Ian Klink

As a filmmaker, writer, and artist, Ian Klink’s work includes the feature film Anybody’s Blues and short stories for Weren't Another Way to Be: Outlaw Fiction Inspired by Waylon Jennings, Negative Creep: A Nirvana-Inspired Anthology, A-Z of Horror: U is for Unexplained, The Creeps, Vampiress Carmilla, The Siren’s Call, and Chilling Tales For Dark Nights. Born and raised in Iowa, Klink lives with his family in Pennsylvania where he shares his talents as a teacher of multimedia studies.

View all posts by Ian Klink

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