White Coats : Nude on the Moon

| August 4, 2017

Man discovers a NATURE CAMP on the MOON!

Nude on the Moon is technically classified as a “nudist film”, but the reasoning is fairly weak. Nudist Films were exploitation films made as a loophole before the Excelsior Films V. New York Board of Regents in 1954. Basically, before this landmark court case, it was considered obscene to have any nudity in film. This combined with the Haynes Code, it was fairly difficult for anyone to have any nudity in their films. However, somewhere able to get around this by labeling their films as “Nudist Films”. This would mean the film isn’t obscene or perverted but instead is educational about the lifestyle of Naturalists. And the lifestyle of Naturalists often includes nudity. Thus filmmakers were able to get around this rule and show nudity in their films.

Though, as you watch nudist films, you will realize that they often are fairly one-sided. Often focusing and romanticizing the breasts of the female members of the naturalist camp. Rarely ever focusing on the genitalia or bodies of the men in the camps. Yes, those films exist, but they are much less common than the former. Typically nudist films don’t have a lot of plot in them as they are essentially documentaries about communities. You get people just kind of existing. Rarely are there any plot points or character development in this brand of filmmaking.

That’s where Nude on the Moon comes in. Like I said earlier, this film barely classifies as a nudist film. I would honestly call it a more spacesploitation film before a nudist film, but even that is a stretch. Really at the end of the day, this film makes absolutely no sense and doesn’t fit into a genre.

Nude on the Moon was made in 1961, which is eight years before the moon landing. So keep that in mind when this film isn’t completely and scientifically accurate. Nude on the Moon follows the two employees of the US Space program. Yes, there are only two of them. Why would we ever need more than that? You only need two people to build, operate, and command a space program. Everyone knows this. So these two dudes are like “Yeah! Let’s go to space!” And their secretary is very supportive about this. They even make reference to this in the beginning of the film and say that “Man, our secretary really puts everything out there and makes sure that we get out job done!” Eat your heart out Hidden Figures because we have a much better film about women in the space program here! We then don’t see this secretary figure for the rest of the film pretty much.

So our two heroes, who I will refer to as Old Guy and Dr. Handsome because I honestly don’t think they ever say their names, then get in their space ship and fly to the moon. This of course only takes two hours. It’s like a Sunday Drive. Old Guy and Dr. Handsome get out of their spaceship and wear the safest space suits to ever be put on screen. Old guy wears a red pair of long underwear with some football padding on it. Dr. Handsome wears the same thing but in green that way, they can tell each other apart. They also have state of the art helmets, which are pieces of plastic that is in no way connected to the rest of the suit and in multiple shots we can see that they are resting on their heads with bottoms completely open to the moon air. I honestly don’t know why NASA made those dumb looking ones when they had this film to show them how radical and cool the space suits could be.

Old Guy and Dr. Handsome land on the moon, which as we all know is Florida. Now, decades later, it is obvious how smart and ahead of it’s time Nude on the Moon was. As we all know, the moon is a lush swamp/jungle and there are pools and lakes all over it that are perfect for bathing in. Next year in college I’m taking a class called “Foliage of the Moon”, and this film really helped me prepare for it. Old Guy and Dr. Handsome look around the moon and are like “Wow! The Moon is super cool!” Then it gets even cooler because who would have thought, but the Moon is completely inhabited by naturalists! Except you know, they technically wouldn’t be considered as such because they are all wearing shorts. But besides that all of the women are topless! And the two guys look pretty good too, but we aren’t going to focus on that.

Then they meet the Moon Queen played by Marietta. I have spent a lot of time researching who this woman is and I can’t find anything. I don’t know if she was a singer, a burlesque dancer, a stripper, or some woman from down the street. I don’t know why she only has one name. She only starred in this film and made one appearance on The Jack Pair Tonight Show as herself one year before the release of this film. I can also find out no information about that episode. Please if you know anything about Marietta, tell me. Because I need to know why she only has one name.

Anyway, the Moon Queen does some kind of hypnotist thing or whatever. I honestly didn’t understand any of the second act of this film. The second act is really where this film becomes a nudist film because you just see the aliens hanging out skimpily clothed. It’s whatever. While they are doing this Dr. Handsome is taking a bunch of Polaroid pictures.

Before we get to the ending, I forgot to mention that the aliens talk through antennas. These antennas are also conveniently headbands because the aliens also have a firm grip of fashion. This isn’t discussed in the film. I just know a good fashion choice when I see it. So Dr. Handsome goes over to the Moon Queen and gives her a candy bar. She eats it and the two are now in love. To the point where Old Guy is like “Yo! Dr. Handsome! We better get out of here because we don’t have oxygen and will die.” But Dr. Handsome is so in love with Moon Queen that he is like ‘Nah, I just going to hang out with Moon Queen and not go to Earth.” Then Old Guy is like “But bro, you will totally die if that happens.” And Dr. Handsome kind of just shrugs and doesn’t care. Which is odd considering the two fell in love without talking to each other or having any time with each other, besides the one scene immediately before this where Dr. Handsome gives the Moon Queen a candy bar. I also am confused as to why Dr. Handsome doesn’t just go back to Earth and refill on oxygen then go back to the Moon as it is only a two-hour drive. 

Dr. Handsome then says, “Why don’t we just bring the Moon Queen back to Earth?” to which Old Guy is like “No! You know we can’t do that!” Now the movie never actually tells us why they can’t bring Moon Queen to Earth. But I will break it down for you. Most likely what Old Guy was thinking was that if they take Moon Queen off of the Moon and bring her to Earth, yes things would be fine. There is no way that Moon Queen would have problems breathing Earth Air and the pressure of the atmosphere probably wouldn’t be an issue. The issue is that back on the Moon, there would be no Queen. There would be no ruler of the naturalist society. Upon realizing there is no ruler, the Moon would immediately break out into a complete hysteria. The two men would obviously murder everyone except the ones that they liked. They would keep that small toddler that was still growing into his antenna headband for breeding purposes. But in general, the Moon Nudist Society would crumble within hours of Moon Queen being gone. Then of course of the two men, jealousy would rise (presuming the aliens have the same emotional threshold that humans do). The two men would then battle it out to the death until they were both killed at the same time in a Seven on Thebes or Antigone kind of fashion. And once that would happen either the women would also have been killed at this point or the species would have died out with no way to repopulate. This was bound to happen because that’s how civilization works. So really Old Guy was thinking very diplomatically.

So through her antenna, Moon Queen also says that she loved Dr. Handsome, presumably because that candy bar was dope as hell. She also says that since she loves Dr. Handsome so much, she must force him to go. She then taps Dr. Handsome on the forehead and he passes out and Old Guy brings him to the ship. But keep in mind that the aliens can’t talk through their antenna to humans. So Dr. Handsome didn’t hear any of this. So in Dr. Handsome’s mind, Moon Queen just knocked him the fuck out for no reason.

So Dr. Handsome and Old Guy are flying back to Earth and having a nice chat. This is when Dr. Handsome reveals that he left the camera with all of the pictures on the Moon. This means that the two have no proof that the Nudist society exists. So they get to Earth and Old Guy is like “No one believes us, and I’m starting to think none of it actually happened.” Why Old Guy doesn’t believe himself anymore is beyond me. I’m blaming dementia. But Dr. Handsome is super bummed about the whole thing and how he will never be able to see his Moon Queen girlfriend again. It’s an understandable issue. But then the secretary from the beginning comes through the door! Yeah, she is still in the movie! And Dr. Handsome would recognize those bazongas anywhere! It’s the Moon Queen! He runs up and kisses her passionately and he is extremely happy.

Now there are multiple problems with this. Is Moon Queen and the secretary both the same character? If yes, then how the hell does that work? Secondly, if they aren’t the same character, then the secretary is probably extremely confused as she was just sexually assaulted by her boss, someone she hasn’t seen in at least six hours. This ending honestly makes no sense at all. But it’s a happy ending and Old Guy comes in and shakes his head then leaves. Old Guys response also doesn’t make any sense and is actually a lot more worrisome. But I’m probably thinking too much about a film called Nude on the Moon.

So the film really doesn’t fit the nudist film label. Primarily because Naturalist are not aliens, do not live on the moon, and don’t operate under a monarchy. But whatever. It’s a love story and Dr. Handsome is cute so it’s okay.

About the Author:

Henry Jarvis is the youngest member of the Reel Nerds. His favorite films include Space Jam and Dude, Where’s My Car? and Lawrence of Arabia. He enjoys those pretentious art house films that Ryan hates. He sees a lot of movies! Honestly more than he should. He replaces his lack of social skills and meaningful friendships with his love of cinema! He’s also crying while he writes this biography for himself. His favorite directors are Andrei Tarkovsky, David Fincher, and David Lean.

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