Calling planet Earth, you are cordially invited to experience (or re-experience) the Sun Ra sci-fi fantasy cult phenomenon edutainment spectacular, Space Is The Place.
For the uninitiated, Sun Ra was a Pharaoh from another galaxy who took the form of philosophical and experimental jazz genius leader of The Intergalactic Myth-Science Solar Arkestra. (Or just think of him like Kool Keith‘s dad.) Space Is The Place centers around Ra’s return to our blue marble from another planet, a planet he hopes to colonize with Black people who still struggle to achieve equality here on Earth. But before the hero can offer the mathematics of an alter destiny to the citizens of Oakland he must first do battle with the establishment as well as a pimpish Devil-like figure known as The Overseer (well played by Raymond Johnson).
While this is a movie that might confuse or irk some, it deservedly has its devotees. The visual feast for the eyes combining Egyptian imagery with interplanetary travel and the daring music throughout serve to deliver the film’s pro-Black themes, a literal depiction of uplifting the race.
Ultimately, the storyline is open to interpretation, but whatever your take on Space Is The Place might be, it is sure to sit well with Madvillain fans and even porn aficionados alike – reportedly scenes were shot at the same sound stage at the same time that the infamous Mitchell Brothers were making Behind The Green Door, one of the first X-rated movies to become a mainstream hit. Not only that, but legit actor John Bailey (appearing as the bubble gum-poppin’ conspiracy theorist) later went from being “Sticks” on the TV show Happy Days to working under the porn name Jack Baker, a frequent collaborator of the Dark Bros., who brought the world ’80s video smut like Let Me Tell Ya ‘Bout White Chicks.
(Speaking of adult matters, it should be noted that this is the unedited version of Space Is The Place which contains scenes that Sun Ra himself had the producers cut out. Viewer discretion is advised.)
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Space Is The Place (1974).
Directed by John Coney.
(Props to Paul Harvey for the upload)