If you like genre films, then you know that sci-fi is almost always sexy: from Carrie Fisher’s golden bikini in Return of the Jedi to Milla Jovovich’s barely-there bandage affair in The Fifth Element, sci-fi has been about titillation just as much as it has been about galactic liberation. Of course, sci-fi might never have gotten so sexy if not for Barbarella, the 1968 comic adaptation that set the world on fire. If you’ve never seen what makes this film such a cheesecake classic, you’re in luck: this iconic film is getting its own limited edition release on 4K Blu-Ray from Arrow Video.
The sci-fi classic Barbarella is getting a new release filled with extras that will appeal to fans.
Just what the hell is Barbarella about? In short, the movie stars Jane Fonda as the titular space traveler, and she is sent by the United States government to find a scientist whose weapons could destroy all of humanity. Even by the standards of the time, the movie had a weak story, but when the aesthetics are this hot and the vibes are this cool, the plot of the film is the last thing that science fiction fans should worry about.
In fact, the killer aesthetics and legendary sets and costumes from Barbarella are a big part of why fans are looking forward to seeing the movie in 4K clarity for the first time. In addition to a loving film restoration, Arrow’s set includes original artwork and brand-new designs in the form of a reversible sleeve and a poster. The set also includes an illustrated collector’s booklet filled with archival material and new content focused on this film.
The plot of Barbarella is well, thin, but it’s a fun watch that has become a cult classic.
Once you get done looking through all the artwork and the collector’s booklet, you can dive into the many Barbarella special features included on the two discs. When watching the film, for example, you can turn on an optional audio commentary track by movie critic Tim Lucas. You can also watch the film with only the score or enjoy the film as you have never seen it before, with alternative opening and ending credits.
Barbarella’s second disc contains even more features, including a behind-the-scenes featurette, a trailer, and the original television and radio spots for the film. You can also check out a video essay centered around the film’s powerhouse producer, Dino De Laurentiis.
But for our money, the most impressive Barbarella special features are the interviews, including interviews about the fashion, filming, and overall cultural impact that Barbarella has had, both on the science fiction genre and on Hollywood at large.
Barbarella pushed the boundaries of sci-fi and heavily influenced everything that followed, including Star Wars.
If nothing else, we think it’s worth checking out Barbarella to revisit a time period when comic book adaptations could be sexy and downright transgressive rather than pun-filled, CGI slogfests (we’re looking at you here, Marvel).
Jane Fonda turns in one of the best performances of her career, nestled deep within this strange and scintillating sci-fi film most modern geeks have never seen. Come for the space bikinis and stay for the adorable schlock in a movie that you’ll be thinking about long after the last cheesy dialogue has faded into those oddly hypnotic ending credits.