CAT-WOMEN ON THE MOON (1953) Reviews and overview



‘They’re fiery… fearless… ferocious!’

Cat-Women of the Moon is a 1953 American science fiction monster film, produced by Jack Rabin and Al Zimbalist, directed by Arthur Hilton. The musical score was composed by Elmer Bernstein. The 3-D film was released by Astor Pictures and, bizarrely, remade five years later (1958) as Missile to the Moon. It stars Sonny Tufts, Victor Jory and Marie Windsor.



Having been attacked by giant spiders, an expedition to the moon encounters a race of “Cat-Women”, the last eight survivors of a two million year-old civilisation, deep within a cave where they have managed to maintain the remnants of a breathable atmosphere that once covered the Moon. The remaining air will soon be gone, and they must escape if they are to survive. They plan to steal the expedition’s spaceship and migrate to Earth.


Through the use of their telepathic ability, the Cat-Women have been subliminally controlling Helen Salinger (Marie Windsor) so she can win the navigator slot on the expedition and lead the crew to their location. Once Helen and the male members of the crew arrive on the moon, the Cat-Women take complete control of her mind.

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They are unable to control the men’s minds, but they work around this obstacle, with Helen’s help, and the use of their superior abilities and feminine wiles…


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” … seems more dull than it ever does awful. Its effects are cheap but mostly passable – the Moon’s surface consists of several limited but adequately convincing painted backdrops and the model rocket shots are okay. On the other hand, the wires can be seen on the giant spider and there is one hilarious shot where the Moon outside the rocketship window is seen as a topographical map of the Moon replete with meridian lines.” Moria


Cat-Women of the Moon lie more in its absolute and exquisite poverty – poverty, that is, not merely of budget, but of concept and execution. There is a sense of – of lack about this film that grows increasingly surreal. How is one to react to a film shot in 3-D that makes no attempt whatsoever to exploit the process? To a film about Cat-Women that has no Cat-Women?” And You Call Yourself a Scientist?


“This film is pretty bad. The naivety regarding space travel (sticky meteors), and lunar conditions (“natural decompression chamber”) are breathtaking. The dialog is most often corny and occasionally downright incomprehensible (Zeta to Helen: “Remember, our generation predates yours by centuries!”…huh?) I certainly don’t need to reiterate how bad the special effects were, do I?” The Monster Shack


“Unlike most of its ’50s contemporaries, the film has no scary monster and the attempt to supply one is more inept and humorous than anything else … a neglected camp classic.” Gary D. Rhodes, Horror at the Drive-In


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“Hilton’s direction and Hamilton’s screenplay are never dull but as a combination they are very bad.” Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction 

” … so unconvincing and stodgy it isn’t even so-bad-it’s-good. It’s just so-bad-it’s-unbearable. See it if you must but don’t believe that baloney about it rivalling Plan 9 from Outer Space for sheer ineptitude. Some schlock has it, some doesn’t.” John Stanley, Creature Features

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“Even the bad acting, appalling special effects and extraterrestrials who look as though they are auditioning for a minor girlie show do not prevent the film from being perversely enjoyable.” Alan Frank, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook, Batsford, 1982

Choice dialogue:

“It’s whoey! You can’t turn love on and off like a faucet.”

“Helen, they speak English!”

‘You’re too smart for me baby, I like ’em stupid!”

Cast and characters:

  • Sonny Tufts as Laird Grainger
  • Victor Jory as Kip Reissner – The Man Who Turned to Stone; Kolchak: The Night StalkerDevil Dog: The Hound of Hell
  • Marie Windsor as Helen Salinger – Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy; Salem’s Lot; Tales from the Darkside
  • William Phipps as Doug Smith
  • Douglas Fowley as Walt Walters
  • Carol Brewster as Alpha
  • Suzanne Alexander as Beta
  • Susan Morrow as Lambda
  • Bette Arlen as Cat-Woman
  • Roxann Delman as Cat-Woman
  • Ellye Marshall as Cat-Woman
  • Judy Walsh as Cat-Woman

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