Director: Norman J. Warren
Image Entertainment/Jezebel

After the golden age of gothic British horror came crashing down in the mid 1970s, director Norman J. Warren, a fan of the genre himself, attempted to continue the tradition with the blood-soaked likes of SATAN’S SLAVE (1976), TERROR (1978) and PREY (1978). After these noteworthy accomplishments, Warren was offered to direct a sci-fi sex comedy likely inspired by the then current “space” movie craze, and the results were SPACED OUT, originally known in the U.K. as OUTER TOUCH. Reluctant to except the offer, Warren made a few changes to the story and did his best to salvage this sophomoric tale of a trio of beautiful females from another galaxy who come to earth to assemble and observe a group of English misfits.

Research assistant Oliver (Barry Strokes, the alien creature in Warren’s PREY), his cold-as-ice and “no sex before we’re married” minded fiancée Prudence (Lynne Ross), a hateful “ladies man” named Cliff (Michael Rowlatt) and a adolescent named Willy (Tony Maiden) -- who passes the time masturbating to busty sex rags -- all witness some obstructing bright lights in the London countryside. Going off to investigate, they soon find themselves trapped inside a spacecraft inhabited by three space queens: the Skipper (Kate Ferguson) and her engineers Partha (Ava Cadell) and Cosia (Gloria Annen, also in Warren’s PREY). The alien ladies (who never encountered the opposite sex until now) are attempting to see if any of the humans are suitable and intelligent enough to be put in a zoo, but only the virginal Willy (Cosia measures his "growing" manhood is measured) impresses the galaxy gals, and he pops his cherry with all three, later having to make the tough decision as to whether or not stay with them or go back to his humdrum existence on Earth.

In interviews, Warren describes the film -- which harkens back to his early sexploitation tenure of HER PRIVATE HELL and LOVING FEELING -- as a cross between an entry in the “Carry On” series and the 1950s B effort FIRE MAIDENS FROM OUTER SPACE. With its rather unfunny and crude attempts at satire, minimal cheap sets guised as the inside of a spaceship (filmed on a soundstage at Twickenham Studios), female aliens with gaudy make-up and discotheque garb and a lot of horrible synthesized dance tunes on the soundtrack, SPACED OUT is a terribly dated affair which may appeal to fans of truly bad movies. Making things more tolerable is that all the sexy actresses do nudity at one point (even the prudish character of Prudence is fully liberated before it’s all over) and there's a pleasing enough acting turn by Tony Maiden who comes across as a nerdy version of Robin Askwith, himself star of countless 1970s sex/comedy romps. A robotic fencing dummy and a comfy chair with a phallic surprise show some ingenuity, but let’s just be thankful that this ends well before the 80-minute mark, and that Warren went back to the horror genre.

It’s interesting to note that when Miramax released the film in the U.S. in 1981, the voice of a talking jukebox (it gives advice for pocket change!) was revoiced by Bob Saget (yes, that Bob Saget from “Full House” and “American’s Funniest Home Videos”) who did it as a stoner character (Saget also wrote some of this additional dialog) and the voice of the ship’s gay computer was also revamped. Image’s DVD release (which comes from Redemption’s “Jezebel” line of sexy 1970s retro flicks) is the original U.K. version.

Image presents SPACED OUT in a nice full frame transfer. Apparently shot open matte, compositions don’t look bad and the colors look very natural and bright. The original source material has some dirt and debris on it, but nothing too distracting, and the English audio track is absolutely fine for a cheapo effort of this vintage. A barebones release, so no extras are to be found here. (George R. Reis)