Getting right back into that ever expanding genre of "exploitation". Good ol' exploiting of peoples. This movie is interesting for sure.
What have we lost with the invention of the internet? Although the list is debatable, one thing that we have definitely lost is the need to have weird sciency movies with needless nudity. I was thinking about that as I was watching this movie last night. What does it mean that at any moment you, me and everyone with a computer can log onto the internet and see endless pornography of all type?
I do believe people are less likely to have the need to go see a movie in the theater that promises nudity if they can access it whenever they want. Now, you'll have to dress the the nudity up with romance, or you'll have to have it as an unexpected bonus to an action or horror film. Of course, it won't disappear, but many films can avoid it easily and not suffer. Of course its not like every movie back in this era had nudity, but what if going to the theater was virtually your only way to see naked girls?
You know, I haven't seen that many girls naked - in person. I really am not that charming or confident, so it's not like girls are lining up to bed me. But I've seen hundreds, thousands? Tens of thousands? Online. I'm 28, which means I've been looking at girls online for roughly 14 years. That is incredible. Pornography is changing sexuality more than I think we understand. Can you even imagine, my generation is going to be the last that doesn't have lighting quick internet as soon as they are born. As time goes on, internet is only going to become easier and quicker, pornography is only going to grow. There are literally millions of naked girls available to look at online. That's unprecedented.
Zeta One exists because people could either 1 seduce a real girl (not especially easy, and for some people nearly impossible) 2 go to a nudie bar or venue (depending where you live, maybe not available, also, not necessarily cheap and you couldn't touch them or yourself) 3 go see a movie. Movies were cheap, you could even jerk off if the theater was dark. Thus you have an entire industry that sprang up because of people being horny.
What Zeta One is, well it's an excuse for lots of naked girls (well, topless at least) and a loose, who cares plot. The plot is something about girls disappearing, a secret agent named James "investigating" the disappearances, and aliens who look like normal blond girls. This movie is a comedy, a nudie flick, and a bit of a drunkard/stoner flick all in one. Which again, all these genres have changed a lot since 1969.
The comedy in it is mostly low key. Easy, accessible. For example, it is ripping on the recent James Bond craze by having a British spy named James as their main character. Just like the Bond films, James in this movie is a secret agent who answers to a boss (in Zeta One, W instead of M) and James beds crazy amounts of women. It's a joke in that film that James spends the majority of the film bedding girls rather than doing his spy work.
There are a few "trippy" sequences involving the alien girls (who by the way only wear nipple covers and underwear the whole movie). This is panning to all the people that snuck their joints or their flask into the theater. I can't even imagine going to a theater to see this. Weird old guys who wear giant coats and touch themselves...unabashed early 20-somethings getting beyond high in the front row while they feel up some very uncomfortable looking girlfriend who only agreed because they wanted to seem cool.
There is something to be understood and gained by watching a film like this. It's indicative of an era. The 60's are an era that naturally people like me who had parents that went through it, but we ourselves did not, want to understand. Drugs are actually statistically more in use now, harder now, and much more dangerous now. But it was more accepted then. You could totally do a j in a theater. I think. I mean I have no idea, actually.
There are a few funny parts to the movie, and it is sexy. So in that way it is a success. There is a particularly funny sequence in an elevator that I thought was clever. They did a good job picking girls for the film that looked similar, and thus we get the feeling that's a trait of the aliens. The girls are hot and there's plenty of nudity. One thing that I noticed was that modern films would not go near the prospect of sexual torture in a comedy/stoner film. That's the sort of shit reserved for movies like Hostel or something these days, and in fact, they don't really go near that either. I can't even say what the most recent film I've seen with sexual torture is. And I mean non-consensual.
Is it good? Well that is the question isn't it. I don't really know. I feel slightly unqualified to judge. This is the type of film that is going to attract some people, and repel others. It's not offensive, certainly. But it's also not up to our modern "standards". For people like me that interested in these genres, old films, and B movies, it should be watched. But it's probably only for fans of these genres. I doubt it would attract anyone else, besides maybe older people looking to relive their youth.
I liked it though. It is fast paced, obviously high budget and high production values, and like I said, it is still sexy and funny. That alone is enough to make it relevant, in my opinion. If the comedy flopped, and the plot was incomprehensible, and the girls were not well shot or just not attractive, it could've failed. I do have to say, on the subject of incomprehensible, that it was at times hard to follow. But I think that's because the plot took a bad seat to nutty happenings and nudity - as it rightfully should.
I feel pretty good about it right now. But still feel compelled to not rate it TOO high. It has it's place, but does that mean it gets 5 stars? No, certainly not. 4? 3? I really don't know what to give it. A rating of a B movie is like 80% or 4 stars, so let's give it the B it deserves. 4 stars.