Monday, January 25, 2016


Cave Women on Mars (2008) is one of an entire series of movies by Christopher R. Mihm in which the director/writer emulates the low-budget science fiction and horror movies of the 1950s. I was kind of sort of aware of Mihm, but never actually watched one of these films until a bloggy thing reader sent me this one. Wretch than I am, I cannot find or recall the name of that generous individual. If he contacts me again, I will tell him personally what I tell all of you today. I owe him for 73 minutes of big gooey nostalgia with a heaping side order of chuckles and guffaws.

The movie is set in the far future of...1987! Mars-1 is mankind’s first visit to Mars. The spacecraft is commanded by Captain Jackson (Josh Craig). The other crew member is Lieutenant Elliott (Daniel Sjerven). On landing, they find Mars is so Earth-like they can do without breathing devices. They split up to cover more ground.

Elliot makes an even more astounding discovery. The area of Mars in which they have landed is ruled by two warring matriarchal warrior societies. The dark-headed women treat their captive men as slaves. The blondes treat their men like children. Elliot is unlike any man they have ever seen.

The copy on the front of the DVD case nails the excessive hype of the 1950s. It proclaims the viewer will see...


The reality? Not so much. But if you’re expecting me to rag on this movie, you’re going to be disappointed. I loved it.

Yes, the dialogue made me grit my teeth in pain a few times. Yes, the acting was somewhat less than Oscar-worthy. Yes, the beastie - there was only one - looked like a man wearing a particularly worn rug. Yes, the other “special” effects were comical in their utter lack of impressiveness. I don’t care about any of that.

Mihm is clearly my brother from another mother. If you had told me Cave Women on Mars was an actual low-budget flick from the 1950s, perhaps one that only played in the theaters of backwater villages in which indoor plumbing was a luxury, I would have believed you. If you had told me this was the lowest budget film imaginable, I’d have bought that as well. I don’t care about that.

What I care about is that Cave Women on Mars is a film I could have seen being hosted by Ghoulardi on Cleveland TV when I was not quite a teenager. Mihm watched these kinds of films with his late father and that’s the ambiance he seeks and finds in his own productions. I feel like he’s opened a doorway to a part of my childhood that I never knew existed before this.

Do not mistake the above for my telling you Cave Woman on Mars is so bad it’s good. That’s not what I’m saying.

What I’m saying is that this is a fine little film that brought me pleasure. It wrapped me in its low-budget cinematic arms and made me feel good. If you have seen Cave Women on Mars and have snark to share, save it for someone else.  I love this movie with absolutely no reservations...

...and it will not be the last Mihm film I watch.

For more on Mihm and his movies, visit his official website. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.  

© 2016 Tony Isabella


  1. Glad you liked it. Did you see all the extras, particularly the cut scene in the priestess' tent where she lays out the whole backstory?

  2. "So bad it's good" - I don't really believe in that either.
    I've seen a lot of low budget movies, and the ones I enjoyed, I enjoyed despite the bad/non-existent special effects. The engagement lies in charming leads, an entertaining story, sometimes just pure good-will.
    I've seen many big budget films that left me completely cold. As if the producers went: "We've got special effects, so we don't need to bother too much with a proper story".
    And lastly, I just want to say I am getting very tired about the shtick Ed Wood gets. His movies are entertaining for what they are; he told a story with them, put some glimmers of philosophy in... Much more than I get with the umphteenth '5 teenagers in a cottage under attack'. Glenn or Glenda is a honest portrayal of what it is to fall outside of the norm. It shouldn't be treated as laughing stock, and nor should Ed Wood be... (end of rant).


  3. Thank you so much for your kind words and for enjoying my film so much! This is one of my favorite reviews ever!

    Have you had a chance to watch any of the others?

    -- Christopher R. Mihm

    1. The Giant Spider is sitting on top of my list, but I have to catch up on my DVR shows first. Movies like yours are my rewards for when I have a really good day writing.

  4. That was the first of Mihm's films I bought -- because Brooke Lembke (sp?) starred in Shatner's Invasion Iowa -- and now I own all of them, have been to a premier, have hosted several showings locally, and consider him and his family as good friends. I think you'll love the rest, Tony, and let me especially recommend THE GIANT SPIDER, which I think stacks up well against Bert I. Gordon's EARTH VS. THE SPIDER and other such gems.

    You've got a whole lot of enjoyment ahead! (And did you hear they're staging a musical version of his first film this year?)