So Bad it’s Netflix #26: Zeta One

So what if the their Spielberg collection consists of Amistad and Hook? Who cares if the only Altman films they have are Three Women and Ready to Wear? What Netflix does have in abundance is garbage. It’s time to surrender and celebrate it. This isn’t so bad it’s good… this is so bad it’s Netflix. 

Zeta One (1969)

How can a movie that gives us images like these be so bad?

Wow. Let’s break this shit down. The first image would be one of the most militant, sex-positive, feminist photos of all time if it wasn’t coming from a dumb skin flick. The second image is, yes, a nude lady shucking oysters. She’s preparing them for a man to get him in a loving mood, so that he can participate in…

… procreation. There’s also a girl on hand pouring beer in case the seafood doesn’t get the guy rock hard. I guess these femaliens don’t understand the increased desire/decreased performance concept that Shakespeare wrote about back in the day. This insemination room is on the all-female planet of Zeta One, where they’ve finally agreed to replenish their population the way god intended, instead of snatching innocent Earth girls off the streets and bringing them to their trippy planet. What if the pregnant creatures give birth to boys? I hope they don’t throw them in the space dumpster.

The amazing tale of he Zeta One ladies is told by a dashing James Bond-esque British agent named James Word. Do they mean James “Word” as in “word is our bond“? If so, that’s quite a unique (incredibly unfunny) name choice for a James Bond parody. It just shows you that when we want to zig, Zeta One wants to jzacrs1ghcf5mxefa8kljrg! James Word gets in the middle of a battle between the lady-stealing Zeta One girls and a fat, disgusting aristocrat who is convinced the Zeta’s are getting in the way of his plan to… I’m not really sure, I didn’t pay enough attention.

Within Netflix’s growing catalog of vintage sleaze, Zeta One is one of the more enjoyable entries; that is if you can get past the twenty minute game of strip poker that opens the film. The game is played for so long that by the end, both James Word and the sassy blonde have all their clothes back on. This core couldn’t get any softer.

Zeta One can be a fun watch; it boasts a slice of chilly, swinging London, it offers some vintage psychedelia and enough cool, colorful retro energy to hit your kitschy sweet spot.


The only reprehensible element in the film is the misogyny, which of course comes with the territory, but Zeta One seems to take particular delight in putting scantily clad girls in peril. Take this rape dungeon for instance.

Oh well, it can’t be all beer and oysters. This is the male sexual imagination we’re talking about.

Let’s go to the So Bad It’s Bullet Points!

  • Bodies, Rest and Motion

There is nothing more off-putting than watching an out of control naked chick dance and in Zeta One we get our fill.

Like a Swedish nudist colony film, there’s a lot of naked activity going on in Zeta One and none of it is remotely erotic. Unfortunately, there’s an awful lot of awkward jiggling and flopping going on. We see the Zeta gals being naked at work…

at play…

and even dead.

Even though Seinfeld called out the “bad” kind of nakedness twenty years ago, most men will take what they can get.

  • Mommy?

  • An Editor’s Inspired Choice

I know a talented editor when I see one. Whoever cut Zeta One has eagle eyes. While pouring through the footage of a confrontational scene between the rapey villain and a sweet Zeta girl, the editor discovered a possible cut that actually makes sense…  almost. “Ok,” Mr. Editor might have thought to himself, “we have an outtake of the villain stepping out of frame and letting the sun blast right into the camera. We also have a take of the girl squinting a generic, “You’re unpleasant” squint.” Put those fuckers together and what do we get? We get a girl squinting from the sun! It doesn’t matter that it has nothing to do with the plot or anything; it’s a perfect little moment. What kind of weirdo wouldn’t squint when the sun shines in their eyes? It makes perfect sense… almost, sense… almost, sense… almost…