• 1991movierewind

Episode #79: Vegas in Space

Listen to Episode 79 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.


SUMMARY - In Vegas in Space, Captain Dan Tracey (played by Doris Fish) and his crew are being asked to go undercover on another planet to investigate the theft of important girlinium gems. However, the planet in question does not allow men and so they are given pills to change their sex so they can infiltrate Vegas in Space while posing as travelling showgirls from Earth.


Screenplay by Doris Fish, Miss X, and Phillip R. Ford; Directed by Phillip R. Ford; and premiered at the Castro Theater in San Francisco in October 1991.


FILM DISCUSSION

This is the epitome of independent filmmaking.

We felt the best way to talk about the movie was to talk about its production and history.

Thankfully, the director Phillip R. Ford has a comprehensive blog post outlining everything (link farther down).

The movie completed most of its shooting in the early 1980s but post-production took several years.

Unfortunately two the stars, Doris Fish and "Tippi" both passed away prior to the movie's debut.

The movie itself is certainly an homage to low-budget 1960s sci-fi camp.

There are a slew of filmmaking and post-production tricks employed which really make it quite fascinating.

The costumes and makeup and sets are kitschy and campy.

The plot, however is directionless and some of the humor comes across as very dated or simply less prevalent as we would have liked.

Still, it's an unapologetic passion project that was eventually able to find its audience after a long, troubled journey.

Awards Talk: None to speak of this time.


TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE

This week we don't have any true crime to talk about and we also skip music since we don't have an exact date for that San Francisco premiere.


To supplement this week's episode, we wanted to provide you with a couple of resources that are extremely worthwhile.

First we have the blog written by the director Phillip R. Ford - http://vegasinspace.blogspot.com/

It outlines the history and making of and has links to several YouTube videos that are worth your time.


We also talked about this article from Vice that places the movie into a cultural context

https://www.vice.com/en/article/ppvbdb/how-the-all-drag-movie-vegas-in-space-forever-changed-queer-cinema


Something we didn't find prior to recording our episode was this Podcast from Peaches Christ and the author of that Vice article, Michael Varrati

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-1-vegas-in-space/id1571382053?i=1000530253968

We do talk about one bit of TV. In October 1991, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson had their yearly anniversary show.

Also, we look at another 1-900 number that might have played during USA Up All Night in 1991. Vegas in Space was featured on that program a couple of different times throughout the years.



RANKINGS & RATINGS

Nikki 1-5 star scale - 3 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 1 1/2 out of 4


Would you watch it again? - Honestly, the movie itself isn't all that good on the surface, but taking the time to learn more about the production and the history of the long road to release made us truly appreciate what we saw. With that said, we would certainly watch it again if we could be in a crowd of people who are part of the key demographic as that sounds like it would be a blast.


If you want to watch Vegas in Space, as of this recording in August 2022, it’s available on Prime, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.


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