In 1969, Hammer Films made ‘space western’ Moon Zero Two – an eccentric, slightly camp tale of moon mining that didn’t really please anyone at the time – too silly for a post-Apollo world (the film was released a couple of months after the first Moon landing), not quite silly enough to work as a spoof, and to low budget to impress as science fiction in the wake of 2001. Time, I would suggest, has been kind to the film – others might not agree.
Plans for a sequel were quickly scrapped, but there were a couple of tie-in products that emerged before the film flopped, including a novelisation and this calendar – a curious item in itself.
Not sold publicly, the calendar was produced by Avon – not the cosmetics company, but a British manufacturing company that seemingly did a bit of everything – ‘from tyres to hovercraft’. Industrial calendars featuring sexy, scantily-clad girls were a common thing back then – these days, such virulent sexism would be howled down. As the 1960s turned int the 1970s, Avon decided that the theme of their calendar would be the futuristic challenges of the coming decade, one that people reasonably assumed might lead to even more dramatic levels of space exploration. Two of the Hammer Glamour girls from the film – Amber Dean Smith and Simone Silvera, both of whom had minor supporting roles as the concubines of main villain J.J. Hubbard, were enlisted to model assorted space wear in the film’s sets, in a calendar photographed by Phillip O. Stearns and conceived by Hammer head Michael Carreras.
Rare even at the time, these calendars are now highly collectable.