"How many space queens does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None. This is the 23rd Century. Nobody screws in lightbulbs anymore." This is a typical exchange from VEGAS IN SPACE, a spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies featuring an "all star" cast of drag queens.
VEGAS presents four cross-dressing astronauts on a mission to save a planet populated by drag queens. Thanks to gender-reversal pills, Daniel Tracy (Doris Fish) and his crewmates are transformed so that they may exit the U.S. Intercourse to visit the planet Clitoris, last of the pre-fab pleasure
planets, where men cannot set foot. Vegas in Space is the Las Vegas-like resort capital there, populated entirely by skilled beauty technicians and shoppers. But there is trouble in paradise. Planet tremors have begun to occur, citizens suffer nightmares, crimes (shoplifting and, even worse,
crimes of fashion) have begun to occur, and crown jewels have vanished. Cotton candy farms now exist, where convicts are sent to mine the sticky substance and ponder their wicked transgressions. Tracy Daniels (the name of Daniel Tracy's sexual alter ego) and his crew face a dual challenge: they
must track down the jewel thief and present a mid-20th century lounge act (including "By the Time I Get to Venus") in order to justify their presence on Clitoris to the public. Thanks to Tracy's special talents, which encompass constant, careful beauty preparation and the ability to be nice to
whomever she encounters, the crime is solved and order is restored. Tracy is promoted to an ambassadorship and named substitute police queen, sure to uphold stringent Vegas standards: no rollers in public; no flat shoes; no beige.
VEGAS IN SPACE enjoyably serves up all the key elements of drag sensibility: razor-sharp gallows humor; Hollywood references transposed into unusual contexts (the VEGAS gamut runs from MOMMIE DEAREST to THE WIZARD OF OZ to WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?); and a fastidious concern for visual
detail, all underlined by a curious kind of innocence. The script gives the queens plenty of time for the traditional dishing of each other, but shows them ultimately uniting to pull through together.
Doris Fish, a well-known face on off-the-wall greeting cards, is a creative force to be reckoned with, a star-as-auteur in the Mae West mold. Fish co-wrote the screenplay, played the dual lead, and outdid herself on art direction--creating every hilarious minature set and laughable "special
effect," dressing every fantastic wig, and designing and applying all the incredible makeup. Director Phillip R. Ford, who collaborated on the screenplay with Fish and Miss X, hasn't so much directed his cast as turned them loose. This works sometimes, but VEGAS's performances generally sacrifice
energy to stateliness, as if the actors were afraid of getting messed up. Enunciation is well below par, so that lines sometimes fly by unintelligibly. The script needs more storyline conflict---what there is lasts about ten minutes, but gets sacrificed for more posturing. Yet VEGAS was
courageously made on a shoestring, and has plenty of strong points, from performers with names like Jennifer Blowdryer and Frieda Lay, to characters called Nueva Gabor, Babs Velour, and Girlina, to rallying cries like, "Glamour first! Glamour last! Glamour always!" (Profanity.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: NR
- Review: "How many space queens does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None. This is the 23rd Century. Nobody screws in lightbulbs anymore." This is a typical exchange from VEGAS IN SPACE, a spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies featuring an "all star" cast of drag queens.… (more)