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Outer Space Jitters

Outer Space Jitters starring the Three Stooges – Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Joe Besser (1957)

It’s no secret that Joe Besser is the least popular of the Three StoogesOuter Space Jitters falls flat, but it’s frankly not Joe’s fault.  The basic plot have the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry and Joe) accompany a professor (played by Stooge regular Emil Sitka) to the planet Sunev (as the text on the screen says, “It’s Venus spelled backwards”), where they are greeted by the planet’s leader the Grand Slitz, and his military commander the High Mucky Muck (played by Stooge regular Philip Van Zandt).  All seems well, but Sunev plans to conquer Earth, using their advanced technology to bring ancient prehistoric people back to life (in a Trivial Pursuit note, the prehistoric zombie is played by Dan Blocker, better known for his role as “Hoss” on the long-running “Bonanza” TV series) as an unstoppable invasion force.

Outer Space Jitters - Moe's electric kissOuter Space Jitters - Moe unaware that the 'zombie' Dan Blocker is standing behind himLearning that the Sunevians plan to turn them into zombies, the Stooges try to escape.  It turns out that the people of Sunev run on electricity, not blood, so Moe short-circuits the High Mucky Muck with the water from his hot water bottle (how else to stay warm in the freezing temperatures of outer space?), with the typical walking around, trying to escape the zombie, Moe unintentionally leading the zombie by the hand thinking that it’s Larry, etc.

In the end, it’s revealed that the entire story has been a bedtime story told by the Stooges to their children (also played by Moe, Larry and Joe) while waiting for their babysitter to show up – €”when the babysitter arrives, she looks like one of the zombies, and the Three Stooges jump out of the window.

Outer Space Jitters - the Three Stooges meet the babysitterOuter Space Jitters - Larry and Moe pulling a mouth coil out of Emil Sitka's mouthSo what’s wrong with Outer Space Jitters?  It begins well, with several cute incidentals such as the Stooges using hot water bottles to stay warm in outer space (even though Joe is wearing short pants), the Stooges removing their hats and throwing them onto three hat stands and all landing upright at the same time, etc.  The pace is slow, however, and it feels as though everyone involved is going through the motions. Outer Space Jitters is available on DVD as part of The Three Stooges Collection volume 8.

Funny movie quotes from Outer Space Jitters starring the Three Stooges – Moe, Larry, and Joe

The High Mucky Muck (Philip Van Zandt): How do you do?
Moe: Bewitched!
Larry: Bothered!
Joe: Bedazzled!

Sunev Girl: So you are an Earth man.
Moe: Yes, ma’am.
Sunev Girl: What a terrible specimen.

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