Barbarella Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 1, 2012
A film that divides even the best lovers of camp and filth, Barbarella is a complicated film to review but an intoxicating one to watch. Far less than a real tale of a strong female warrior in the depths of space, Fonda's performance is one of innocence and sexual unrest. In her physical prime at the time, not much of the film is about the exploits of this space assassin and much more of it circles her body and the sexual shenanigans she gets herself into. Barbarella isn't even a real character, but more a sex addict with a capacity for learning that spans the length of her own petite hand. She always seems surprised or discombobulated, and she's supposed to be the professional asskicker that the film bodes. Though Barbarella isn't the crusading feminist icon I was hoping for, she is an interesting character, in that she finds interesting worlds and people to engage with. Little of the story makes proper sense and it really doesn't matter, because it's about the exploits of Barbarella. There are at least four sex scenes within the film, and plenty more alluded to and partially shown. She has sex with furry mountain men, angels, machines, and through futuristic means. She always seems surprised by what she's doing, but always willing, never satisfied by either her conquering of worlds or foreplay. The worlds she moves between often consist of partially nude nymphs, with alien exteriors. Though most of this is fun frolicking, there is consistently an ick factor: the time period. The sixties had a lot of it and it is reflected in the cheaply made sets, the tone deaf score and music, including that Tom Jones rip-off theme song, and the dialogue, filled with the overbearing "groovy"s and "great man"s of the day. There wasn't any womanly pride, no trace of feminism, but certainly the overtones of sexual revolution and reinvention. It is certainly a great film to see for the progression in Fonda's career or if you like kinky, exploitative, cheap, sci-fi from the sixties.
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2011
Based on some comic book I've never heard of, this is swingin' 60s campy sci-fi schlock romp about a gorgeous (and ditzy) outer space agent named Barbarella who is sent to search for a missing inventor and stop any evil threatening to wreak havoc upon the galaxy.

Barbarella is basically a bubbly female James Bond who wears a number of different skin tight space outfits, and somehow usually finds a way to lose varying degrees of said outfits throughout the course of her adventure.. In fact, the movie gets kicked off by having our title character float around in zero gravity and strip her clothes off as the opening credits "try" to cover up some of her more naughty bits.

This is not really a good movie, and it is quite campy, silly, and dumb, but even then, it is quite entertaining, and reasonably fun. The set and costume designs are really cheeky, the music is typical 60s poon palace music, and, despite not doing that great of an acting job, Jane Fonda definitely has a wonderful, likable, and certainly memorable presence as the title character. I also loved the hardly subtle dirty humor and sexual undertones here, definitely making this a product of its time.

If you're bored and want to kill some time (and maybe a couple of brain cells), and don't mind settling for dopey crap, then this would be a wise choice for viewing. It's not great, but it does at least put forth a little bit of effort, even if it ultimately comes up short.
366weirdmovies
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2012
Curvaceous Barbarella flies across the galaxy in her swinging bachelorette pad searching for Duran Duran and, in the process, meeting a blind angel, smoking the Essence of Man in a city of sin, and breaking the Orgasmatron. Kinky, kitschy psychedelic sci-fi fun with unforgettable sets and costumes.
Bill D 2007
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2011
I yield to no one in my appreciation for soft-core porn and self-consciously "bad" cinema. Thus I was eager finally to see "Barbarella," which came out in October of 1968, but which I somehow never saw all these years. I was expecting good, fun trash, and instead I got a dorky, un-funny, un-sexy snooze-fest, and some of the worst music ever recorded for the cinema.

The score seems to have been put together by the lounge singer Tom Jones in his tackiest phase. Jones seems also to have directed. What a catastrophic failure "Barbarella" is. This is my first Roger Vadim film, and it may be my last.

As an example of self-consciously "bad" cinema that I like: John Waters' early stuff. Waters, who was starting to make films around 1968, has vastly more imagination than Vadim had. Vadim died in 2000, incidentally.
Super Reviewer
½ April 19, 2007
A Sex kitten traveling through space in a fur-lined spaceship, I mean how cool is that.What I like about this film is it's deliberateness. What I love most about Barbarella is how hard it tries, It's like Bono. Trying so hard to be cool...somehow makes him cool.
Super Reviewer
½ September 2, 2010
"You are so good that you made the Matmos vomit."

I don't even really know where to begin with this one. The space adventures of Jane Fonda's sexy Barbarella are hard to review, because this has to be one of the most WTF movies that I've ever seen in my life. Every scene either had me laughing out loud or scratching my head and wondering what kind of powerful narcotics the writer/director/everyone involved with making this was OD'ing on.

The story is ridiculous. Barbarella is some kind of space traveler/astronaut, and she's been charged with finding a missing scientist named Durand Durand. That's right Durand Durand. Along the way, she encounters ravenous dolls, a man in three-fourths of a Chewbacca outfit, a blind angel (one of the more inspired and hilarious parts of the movie), a rousing musical performance that she ends up participating in in a rather intimate fashion, an invisible key to an invisible wall, and about 10 different wardrobe changes. It has to be seen to be believed.

The whole movie is campy, from the special effects, to the sets, to the costumes to the music. And the surreal plot and characters are just the icing on the cake. If you're fond of the particular brand of trippy 60's weirdness, then Barbarella is a must-see. It's like Star Wars mixed with Austin Powers, a hot blonde, and some LSD.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
This movie is so bad it's awesome! I love it. The style is weirdly fantastic, Fonda's costumes are fabulous, and the story is good too. I love this weird 60s sci-fi movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2010
This film is beautiful. From the gorgeous Jane Fonda, and sexy Pygar to the wonderful costumes, and the very shiney sets, there is nothing ugly in the whole thing.

Unbelievably silly it has some fantastic lines of dialogue like "de-crucify the angel or I melt your face!" Great characters, a killer lava lamp, fur lined space ship and a villain called Duran Duran.

The evil organ of desire scene, and the opening strip tease still manage to be erotic, even though this film is dated. Cult with a capital C, this is never going to appeal to a mainstream audience, and yet remains my favourite movie of all time. A classic. And very pretty pretty.
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2009
Jane Fonda as Barbarella, wow! Camp and crazy, I love this film!
deano
Super Reviewer
½ May 24, 2007
This sci-fi is based on a French erotic comic, Barbarella's a secret agent of the future, a "five star, double rated, astro navigatrix, Earthgirl" to be precise. Wild and inventive production design, bizarre costumes and a cheesy Euro score all scream one thing: cult classic!
Super Reviewer
May 31, 2007
Succeeds on pure schlock-value alone.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2007
Jane Fonda appears in this cult classic ahead of it's time, also quite rauchey for when it was made. A pure swinging 60's film.
Super Reviewer
½ April 21, 2007
It's not bad for a film that only has one thing on its mind: Sex. There are some good moments, though they can't quite disguise the fact that this is barly a shade or two above softcore porn.
garyX
Super Reviewer
½ March 11, 2007
Camper than camp sci-fi that's really just innocent kitsch porn relying entirely on Jane Fonda's not inconsiderable charms. Silly tongue in cheek psychadelic fun.
Super Reviewer
½ November 22, 2006
Pointless and enjoyable only from a nostalgic point of view.
Super Reviewer
August 25, 2006
Cheesy and exploitative sci-fi camp. Is now absolutely hilarious. However those little toy dolls are terrifying. Completely and utterly enjoyable, as a space woman must find Duran Duran while awakening to the joys of sex. The soundtrack is very weird for such a sci-fi movie but fits thefilm perfectly and is damn catchy and comedic "Goin' round, round, round"
Super Reviewer
½ March 22, 2007
Too campy for my taste. Flash Gordon (1980) was more fun if you are looking for something in this style. Jane Fonda is beautiful in her many sci-fi-glam costume changes. I lost track of how many times she changes outfits. She's searching for Durand-Durand, the namesake of the 80's band. She is helped by a blind winged man (Law) and a funny little professor (the mime, Marceau). She must defeat the evil tyrant (Pallenberg) and a force in the molten planet Lythion itself. Awful dialog and special effects, though they are good for a couple laughs.
Super Reviewer
April 30, 2013
This gets two stars only for the lovely Jane Fonda. Fonda is not called upon however to use her acting chops to any great extent. I can see why this would become a cult favourite but in reality, this is just a fascinating piece of rubbish.
Super Reviewer
½ February 5, 2013
One of the most dated films out there, "Barbarella" is a bad, boring, arduously slow and pointlessly bland sci-fi flick that doesn't often even a semblance of what can be considered entertainment. Jane Fonda does nothing more than look beautiful and, from time to time, undress, and although this would normally be reason enough to give the film a watch, the amount of nudity in it is kept to such a disappointingly bare minimum that you feel cheated in that aspect as well. All in all, there's just no real reason to pay "Barbarella" any attention. It's campy and vacuous and poorly-directed, and that's not even the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.
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