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Film / Cave Women on Mars

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Cave Women on Mars is the third film by Christopher R. Mihm and the third film in the Mihmiverse Shared Universe. It is notable for introducing the first major Time Skip in the Mihmiverse, taking place in the future of The Monster of Phantom Lake and It Came from Another World!, which were both set sometime in The '50s.

Set in the far-off future of 1987, the movie sees two astronauts - Captain Michael "Mike" Jackson and Lieutenant William "Liam" Elliot - making mankind's first trip to Mars. Upon landing, Lieutenant Elliot finds himself embroiled in a power struggle between two tribes - the dark-haired, black-leather clad Liak and the blonde-haired Zil.

After trying, and failing, to rescue an escaped Liak slave which was chased onto Zil lands, Lt. Elliot is captured by an Amazon Brigade led by Eina - Warrior Prime of the Zil tribe. Lt. Elliot soon finds himself falling for Eina and vice versa, even before he is taken to the High Priestess of The Zil Tribe and informed of a prophecy which mentions him by name.


This film provides examples of:

  • Aliens Speaking English: There's no language barrier problems between the Martians and Earthlings. No reference is made to the more advanced Earthlings having a Universal Translator - indeed, they are surprised to find life on Mars at all!
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: Lt. Elliot becomes an object of attraction to Eina and Hagra precisely because he is so unlike the submissive Martian men.
  • All Planets Are Earth-Like: The Mihmiverse Mars has pools of fresh water and lush forests that are indistinguishable from those of Earth.
  • Amazon Brigade: Lt. Elliot is captured by one shortly after landing on Mars.
  • Big "NO!": Orla throwing herself in front of an arrow meant for Eina.
  • Cassette Futurism: The technology of 1987 in the Mihmiverse is not much more advanced that what you'd find in 1957.
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  • The Chosen One: Lt. Elliot discovers that his name was revealed in a prophecy of the first High Priestess of the Zil as the name of the father of the man destined to reunite the Zil and Liak.
  • Clarke's Third Law: The cave women of both tribes refer to Lt. Elliot as a sorcerer, because of his advanced technology. (i.e. the communicator he uses to keep in touch with Captain Jackson.)
  • Creator Cameo: Christopher R. Mihm provides the voice of The Ship Computer.
  • Credits Gag: Stephanie Mihm is credited as "Narrator and Voice Of Sanity"
    • Also: "No Ojjos Were Harmed In The Making Of This Film."
  • Dark Is Evil: The Liak (i.e. brunette cave women) culture is based around a continual jockeying for position among each other and their men are all slaves.
  • Dramatic Pause: While not as bad as his father, Director Jackson, Captain Jackson falls into this in moments of stress.
    • "This just... can... not... be!"
  • Exact Words: After Lt. Elliot takes Orla's staff and tries to make a break for freedom, Eina promises to take him back to the clearing where he was captured at first light the next day if he will drop the staff and surrender. He agrees, drops the staff and she knocks him out with her staff. When Orla expresses surprise at this, Eina points out that she has not broken her word as she never said anything about NOT knocking him out.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While the Liak culture is built upon killing ones' superiors to prove your right to rule, the tribe has strict rules against outright murder and has strict requirements to prove justifiable homicide in the defense of one's life.
    • This is apparently the only thing stopping Gorga from trying to kill Hagra, after Hagra points out that it would be impossible to claim self-defense as a reason for killing Hagra when Gorga was planning on shooting her in the back.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Hagra says she does not understand why Orla sacrificed herself to save Eina.
  • Fanservice: While not nearly as overt as most of the cave girl films it parodies, the costuming is still fairly skimpy by 1950s standards and fans of toga dresses, black leather, thigh boots and dominatrices will find a lot to enjoy.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: The blonde cave women, The Zil, while still seeing men as the weaker sex and treating them as useful pets, at best, do not enslave their men and their government is a meritocracy. The brunette cave women, The Liak, are much more cruel, both in their interactions with each other and in how all their men are slaves.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: As in Prehistoric Women, the blonde cave women are kinder (relatively speaking) than their brunette counterparts.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: The Liak tribe wear black leather halters with matching skirts and thigh boots.
  • Homage: To 1950s Lady Land Science Fiction in general, with specific nods to Fire Maidens of Outer Space, and Prehistoric Women.
  • Human Aliens: There's no apparent biological difference between Martians and Earthlings.
  • Interspecies Romance: Apparently Earth Men and Martian Women are genetically compatible, as Eina and Lt. Elliot are destined to have a son who will become a new King of Mars that will unite the two tribes.
  • Klingon Promotion: The Liak tribe apparently is built upon this, with Gorga contemplating killing Hagra at one point to take her title.
  • Lady Land: Mars is ruled by Amazon warriors, and we see no men apart from one escaping slave.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Eina lets her hair down out of its usual pony tail in the final scene, after Lt. Elliot and she officially become a couple.
  • Mars Needs Men: The Martian women have completely forgotten the ideas of romantic love after years of only seeing men as beasts of burden. It is Lt. Elliot's apparent destiny to make one woman fall in love with him, so their son will grow up loved and knowing what love is, so he can speak of it and unite the two tribes as a new Martian king.
  • Meaningful Name: The villains' names evoke female monsters, with Liak underling Gorga's name sounding like "gorgon" and Hagra's name starting with "hag."
  • Might Makes Right: The closest thing the Liak have to a system of government - the strongest and cruelest rule until someone stronger kills them or forces them to submit to being ruled.
  • Never Trust a Title: The Martian women are not depicted as living in caves.
  • Nubile Savage: Eina, Orla, Gorga and Hagra.
  • The Power of Love: Lt. Elliot's preordained purpose in coming to Mars was to reintroduce the idea of romantic love forgotten by the women of The Zil and The Liak, so that his son may preach of the virtues of love and unite the tribes.
  • The Professor: Director Jackson.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Much like Fire Maidens of Outer Space, the movie uses overly dramatic classical music for the entirety of its soundtrack.
  • Retro Future: The movie is set in "The Future... 1987."
  • Shout-Out: Multiple.
    • There is a nod to Torgo from Manos: The Hands of Fate, as the Zil women drink wine made from the fermented milk of the Torgo beast.
    • The Ojjo Monster seems to be a nod to the women-hunting monster from Fire Maidens of Outer Space.
    • The continual recycling of the same classical music is also a nod to Fire Maidens of Outer Space, though Mihm favors Shubert's 'Unfinished Symphony' to Borodin's 'Polovtsian Dances'.
    • The whole idea of two tribes of cave women with the brunettes being evil and the blondes being good is a nod to Prehistoric Women.
    • The novel Stranger in a Strange Land is name-dropped in the Zil's prophecy/song "The Song of The Stranger." ("A Stranger from a strange Land will be found...") The movie's plot also centers around a similar conceit (i.e. an alien introducing the ideals of his culture into another society to save them.)
    • Though it's tongue-in-cheek about the idea, the movie presents the same anti-Feminist message as Cat Women of the Moon about how unnatural it is for women to be allowed to run a society.
    • The battle between Eina and Hagra paraphrases both The Princess Bride ("You have killed my apprentice and best friend! Prepare to die!") and Star Trek ("Perhaps today is a good day to die... for you!")
  • Subspace Ansible: Despite it taking only three weeks for an Earth rocket to travel to Mars, Earthlings have somehow created the means for instantaneous communication by picture phone between Earth to Mars.
  • Telepathic Space Women: The High Priestess of The Zil.
  • The 'Verse:
    • Josh Craig reprises his role as Professor Jackson, though the Professor is now 30 years older and wears glasses and a mustache. He is addressed as Director Jackson and apparently had a major role in helping mankind achieve space travel since his adventures in It Came from Another World!
    • Josh Craig also plays Captain Mike Jackson, Director Jackson's son, with a shaved head and a goatee. Captain Mike Jackson will go on to become the main protagonist of Destination: Outer Space.
    • Lt. William Elliot is the son of Sheriff Elliot from Terror from Beneath the Earth.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Eina's reaction to Lt. Elliot as she starts to feel attracted to him. She literally says "What is this 'love' you speak of?" when he asks her if she has ever been in love.
    • Martian Women don't have any frame of reference to the idea of love after generations of ruling over weak men who are used only as slave labor and breeding stock. The High Priestess of The Zil tells Lt. Elliot that it is his destiny to reintroduce the idea of love to the women of Mars, so that his son will be able to unite the two warring tribes.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: The apparent attitude of the Zil High Priestesses, who have known for generations that their people would forget how to love one another until a man from Earth came and caused one of their women to fall in love with him. For some reason, it never occurred to them to even try NOT forgetting about love in the first place...