Moonstruck! #Day4

Fifty three years ago, this month, the Apollo 11 Lunar Module (LM) “Eagle” carried three men to the Moon. The world watched in wonder how “one small step for man” changed the course of science, art, politics and culture forever. America’s Cold War scorecard registered a feat that was declared a collective human achievement. While the symbolism and imagery of the moon landing had a profound impact on global collective conscience, it was an event that had ample creative precedents. The Moon was always more than a curious celestial neighbour; it was a reality unique to each. Naturally, its cinematic possibilities were endless. We were already over the moon before the Apollo 11 crew. As an anniversary special, this series looks at some movie posters of the pre-landing period that have left us quite moonstruck!

Meowing Matriarchs over Men and Moons

A wacky sex fantasy in outer space, a clumsy scientific adventure and a civilisational drama rooted in misogyny, Cat Women of the Moon (1953) has too much in it to distract you from its ineptitude. For the crew of astronauts who land on the dark side of the Moon, the discovery of a hidden civilisation of cat women is befuddling. And that’s not all of it. The Moon’s atmosphere is dying out and as a survival measure these strange women have eliminated all the males in their species and now want to conquer Earth. The rocket expedition, as it turns out, was planned by the cat women themselves, thanks to their power of telepathy! The absurdity of it all hits you point blank, but then you remember that this was post World War II, a time when American manhood was at its fragile best. Wartime compulsions had brought women out of their homes and into public spaces that had traditionally belonged to men. Women felt liberated, and with this liberation came the demand for equality. No wonder, it was too much for the men to bear and propaganda became their best weapon. Casting women as evil, unstable and manipulative seemed to be the perfect remedy for a hurt male ego. In Cat Women of the Moon this trope of men-hungry Amazons is at its ridiculous best. We’ll leave you to this tedious drama to find out who wins!

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