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lanciò e sposò tre sex-symbol degli anni Sessanta:
Brigitte Bardot (Et Dieu Créa la Femme, 1956),
Catherine Deneuve (Le Vice et la Vertu, 1962),
Jane Fonda (La Curée, 1966, Barbarella, 1968),
Barbarella (1968), based on Jean-Claude Forest's comic book series,
invented a new genre, erotic sci-fi cinema. But the visual effects are no
less innovative than the campy plot.
Barbarella is naked when her president appears to her on the wall to tell her
that mad scientist Durand Durand has escaped after inventing a weapon. The
universe has been peaceful for centuries. The president does not have police or
army, so he relies on special agent Barbarella to find Durand Durand and thwart
his plans. Armed with a portable brainwave detector and a weapon borrowed from
a museum, and barely dressed, and accompanied by the talkative on-board robot,
the sexy Barbarella sets out on her starship to find the scientist.
She lands (or, better, crashes) on another planet. As she ventures into the
icy lake-like landscape, she is captured by vicious little children who take
her to her base, where she is tied up and offered to an army of dolls with
sharp teeth. She is saved by a hunter who captures the children with a net
and treats them like beasts. He drives her in his fantastic machine to his
Barbarella is grateful, and he asks her for sex. She is embarrassed because
it is an old-fashioned habit not used by humans for centuries: on Earth people
now simply take a pill to feel pleasure. He undresses (showing his very hairy
chest) and introduces her to the old-fashioned system. At the end she is
ecstatic. She returns to her ship with a morbid smile, but the ship crashes
again. She is rescued by a blind young man with wings, Pygar, who does not
know how to fly. He leads her into
a labyrinth in which zombie-like people walk slowly or petrified.
She meets another scientist, Ping, who explains that above them is the city
of evil, while the labyrinth hosts the good people. Ping tells her that Durand
Durand is in the city of evil and offers to help her enter it.
To thank Pygar who saved her life, she initiates him to old-fashioned sex.
Not only she has another ecstatic experience, but he learns to fly.
He takes her by sky to the evil city, despite being attacked by deadly robots.
They fall into a sort of palace, where she is surrounded by more zombie-like
people. Two men corner her, possibly to rape her, and she is saved by a woman,
another sexy vixen. It turns out this one is the "Great Tyrant" of the evil
city, that feeds on an underground fluid called "Matmos". They have tied up
Pygar. Barbarella tries to take the Great Tyrant hostage with her old weapon
but is easily disarmed. The Great Tyrant tries to make love to Pygar but he
refuses. Barbarella is then fed to some voracious birds. She is rescued by
Dildano, head of the resistance. Again, she would like to thank him by having
sex, but he wants to show that he is a civilized man, so he prefers to do it
with the pills, which greatly disappoints Barbarella. Dildano wants to
capture the Black Queen (aka the Great Tyrant), Barbarella wants Durand Durand:
they join forces, i.e. use Barbarella's spaceship (that Ping has repaired)
and a key to the Black Queen's chamber that Dildano has obtained.
The chamber of the queen is surrounded by an invisible wall: naturally, the
key is an invisible key.
Dildano uses a machine to shoot her into the queen's palace. She witnesses
scenes of decadent pleasure, but is arrested again. This time she is inserted
in a harpsichord-like instrument whose keys tickle her intimate parts causing
her an orgasm. Instead of killing Barbarella, the torture instrument can't
keep up with her and blows up. Barbarella notices that the portable brainwave detector is going crazy: the person who was playing the instrument is Durand Durand.
Durand Durand is in love with the evil of that planet. He needs to kill the
queen in order to use his weapon and seize power. Barbarella offers help in
exchange for her life.
The delirious Durand Durand betrays her, steals the invisible key and locks
her into the chamber
so that the Matmos can destroy her. The chamber is populated by giant
revolving transparent bubbles. Barbarella wanders inside the psychedelic
"trip" of the queen. When the queen finally awakes, Barbarella warns her
that Durand Durand has the key and wants to destroy her.
The queen turns on a camera that shows Durand Durand crowning himself king
and Dildano's men using Barbarella's weapons to stage a revolt.
Desperate, Durand Durand unleashes his weapon of mass destruction.
In retaliation the queen unleashes her own weapon of mass destruction: the Matmos.
Durand Durand is indeed destroyed by the Matmos, but
Barbarella and the Black Queen are saved by a bubble that the Matmos itself
created to protect her innocence. The two women are vomited out of the city,
and land near Pygar.
Pygar flies Barbarella and the Black Queen to Barbarella's spaceship.
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