Psychotronic Ketchup & Rixflix A to Z: Assignment: Outer Space [Space Men] (1960)

Director: Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony Dawson) // Titanus/AIP; 1:13; Color
Crew Notables: Joseph von Stroheim (sound effects editor)
Cast Notables: Rik Von Nutter (Ray Peterson/IZ41), Gabriella Farinon (Lucy/Y13), David Montresor (George), Archie Savage (Al/X15), Alain Dijon (Archie/Y16)
Cinema 4 Rating: 3

Well, I think that I've found my porn name. Take a look at the name of the leading man of this weirdly compelling though thoroughly boring space epic, Rik Von Nutter, and tell me that isn't the perfect name to swipe for my much fantasized career as the next Larry Flynt. After all, the first name is the same as my own, the surname can be construed as mildly dirty, and it beats the hell out of something like, say, Max Hardcore. What a dopey name...

Actually, the star's name was "Van" not "Von", but it doesn't matter. In the credits for Assignment: Outer Space, a sort of Italian 2001: A Space Odyssey about eight years too early and without a lick of art, they called him "Von". What does matter is that this guy played Felix Leiter, James Bond's American buddy and sometimes partner, in Thunderball a half decade after this mess. So, he had enough going for him after this debacle to land that part.

Of course, I'm more concerned with this whole porn thing. If I'm going to be a purveyor of filth, then I am going to have to go into it with my heart. This, of course, means producing something near and dear to that organ -- no, not that one -- I mean, the whole heart thing. And what manner of perversion am I into these days? Elbows. Elbow sex. You know, that little bendy part of your arm. The thing that you take for granted each and every day -- and that I find so freakin' hot... hrrrnnnn... I'm not talking Rocky Horror-style "elbow sex", where you roll your arms up against your partner's and meet up at the elbow only to break off again. That's for rank amateurs (and bad dressers... and human parrots...) I'm talking full-on "erection meets flexion"... an E.J. would be the operative slang acronym. [All of this will be discussed in my forthcoming book "Elbows: The New Erogenous Zone" (which will sport the subtitle: "Expanding the Repertoire for the Happier Hooker".)]

Watching Assignment: Outer Space, I was struck by how disappointing elbow sex would be in space. Really, any form of sex with the female lead of this film, the fetching Gabrielle Farinon, would be worthwhile in even a failed attempted at coitus, but the whole elbow angle would be tough to engage. This is because she is either dressed in long-sleeved jumpsuits or in lumpy spacesuits, so her elbows are covered the entire time. This does not leave out, however, the prospects of textural experimentation: different fabrics leading to a variety of disparate sensations. I figure the jumpsuit would not be too bad for this -- nothing wrong with a little "dry elbowing" -- but I think the lumpen spacesuit would prove a little difficult due to its bulkiness.

Thoughts of "nudgery" (that's elbonic foreplay for you novices) with the fair Gabrielle pretty much had to get me though this film's fortunately brief running time, though every minute that I watched minus these salacious thoughts, I was led to the conclusion that, while these self-described cosmonauts seem to have conquered space (at least within the context of this film), they have actually done something more along the lines of stopping time altogether. This movie crawls. However, when I described the film earlier as "weirdly compelling", I meant exactly that: even when the action is monotonous to the point where one is forced to imagine elbow sex with the leading lady, the actors seem to be fully engaged with their actions (though the dialogue is dubbed). As crazy as the science in the film seems (flowers that create fusion?), this mopey, slow glide about the cosmos is actually helped by the fact its characters seem to believe the world in which they exist. You can rip this one for its many faults, but better films have drifted by with far less commitment to their silliness than the deeply unknown cast of Assignment: Outer Space. If I didn't have evidence of their careers following this film, I would swear that the cast had been left out in this void that only they believe in...

As a practicing "bowie", that's the currently en vogue slang for "elbow fetishist", I must admit that perhaps I am the only one that believes in elbow sex. This will all change with the publication of the book (it's more a pamphlet, really), and my line of DVDs. I won't go the Max Hardcore route: no savagely misogynistic slapping about and choking of drug-pumped women dressed as little girls who are bent into positions most circuses have written off as dangerous here. No... this is the pure stuff: elbows, elbows, elbows! Nothing but elbows: bent, straight... from any angle possible.

No weird stuff in the Rik Von Nutter Elbow Sex series.

Until I can find a girl that can actually pee on her elbow. Now that would get me the Max Hardcore money. Without having that dopey name...

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