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Art of the Genre: Why do they all want our women?

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 | Posted by Scott Taylor

Maybe they want her because she's got huge... tracts of land!

Maybe they want her because she's got huge... tracts of land!

I’m a fan of Dragon Magazine, or at least I was back in the 80s. That’s not to say that the now fully online version doesn’t have its good points, but when it comes to what I remember fondly from my youth, Dragon certainly ranks up there with the greats.

One of the most memorable things about the magazine were the advertisements, almost all for games that I couldn’t readily find in a gaming store. I loved looking at these and dreaming of owning games like Aftermath, Talisman, or my personal favorite Bug-Eyed Monsters: They Want Our Women.

As a child of the late 70s and early 80s I missed the creature feature glory days of the 50s and 60s, so this game was my first real indoctrination to the world of female exploitation by powers beyond the scope of simple men.

This campy style of art was so over the top, so ludicrous, that I was drawn to it like a moth to flame. I’m certain marketing departments knew this as they’d been advising great artists to show such evocative scenes on movie posters and pulp magazines for a half century before I came into the picture.

No matter my desire, both for the game and the women represented, I didn’t acquire Bug-Eyed Monsters: They Want Our Women until 2002, but by that point I’d passed the simple acceptance of the awesomeness of it all and started to question the why…

Why did they want our women? Well, I can only assume because they were hot… I mean looking at the cover of this box, produced by West End Games, got my blood racing in ways most other things couldn’t at the time, and even did a bit when I got to finally play it at the age of 30.

Um,she can't actually breathe water so why take her?

Um,she can't actually breathe water so why take her?

I’m not sure what it is about this particular threat that men find so intriguing, but I’m betting it has come from the school of sacrificing virgins. It seems the subconscious mind of the Y chromosome simply gets off on the threat of female subjugation, or even the deliverance of said act [see Art of Gor].

I have to wonder if this could be some misguided desire to rescue a perspective mate from peril, ala the Prince Charming scenario or is it something darker from our primordial past? That’s certainly best left to psychologists, but I will say that there’s been no shortage of these images over the past fifty to sixty years.

Still I often wonder why something so incredibly opposite to our physiology as a bug-eyed, tentacle-armed, saucer-headed, scaly-skinned, slimy alien would want our women? I mean, it seems that no matter what, women are universally attractive in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Monsters, for their part, sure like women but at least monsters tend to be from this planet. In that argument there might be some lost DNA link between monsters and humans. Perhaps they’re the next evolutionary stage, or a mutant devolutionary throwback that just wants to be understood and accepted by our society. I mean, hey, it works for Marvel’s X-men, right? That said, I share 98.5% of my DNA with a chimp but you don’t see me dreaming about carrying one back to my lair and making half-chimps. We’re talking a pretty big stretch here.

Even if we could explain a monster’s desires, it means nothing when we take it a step further and go for aliens, as West End Games did. Now these creatures aren’t even from Earth! What reason could they possibly have for taking our women? Food? Nah, they’d be too gamey, and besides there are hundreds of protein sources on Earth better than humans. A work force? Well, women work just fine, but if you’re slaving away in some distant asteroid mining antilium-x I’d probably go with stealing men before women, especially the starlets pictured on these posters.

You know what they say about aliens with huge heads right?

You know what they say about aliens with huge heads right?

I mean seriously, it should have been called, Bug-Eyed Monsters: They want our sexy women, and you can keep the rest!

Hmmm, how about creating progeny? I doubt it as have you ever seen these freaks? No amount of DNA resequencing is going to make this work, and if the alien species can travel across dozens of light years to Earth, I figure they can deal with infertility issues among their own species back home.

So what is it? The cooking? Ok, granted, my mom is an awesome cook… but my wife… not so much. These things came that far for a complete crap shoot if they’re banking on tying one of these underwear models to a stove and seeing what happens. Besides, even my mom doesn’t know the recipe for glork-flack stew.

I mean, as I go through this list I’m kind of running out of stuff unless horror of horrors there really isn’t any damn good reason they want our women. Maybe, just maybe, they’re all a bunch of intergalactic tools who want to kick sand in the face of human men like a bully on the beach. This certainly makes as much sense as anything above and really the more I think about it the more I like the idea. Why else take only the gorgeous babes? They’re sticking it to us!

It’s the ultimate slap in the face, and actually dooms the population of the planet to decades of rather moderate looking progeny. Just look at Western Europe, after two World Wars where two successive generations of the most fit and attractive men were butchered on battlefields it’s no wonder Americans look so darn good comparatively. All the best breeding stock was chewed up by enemy gunfire.

Ok, so the whole ‘Bug-Eyed Monsters want our women’ might be a rather black-humored cosmic joke, I’ll go with that, but darn it, how do you explain the robots?

This absolutely says it all

This absolutely says it all

Why do robots want our women!? Now this is just frustrating. Cool in a visual sense, I mean look at the shot of Robbie the Robot with the babe in the one piece. It’s epic, but really what’s it all about? The caption says it all ‘what do these machines want with our women?’ To be perfectly honest, I have no freaking idea.

Now the Borg maybe, I mean they assimilate races into their cybernetic collective, but Robbie? Robbie is like the Michelin Man with a fresh coat of black paint and power station head. There’s certainly nothing in his hardware that jumps out with ‘needing’ women.

Are women better mechanics? That can be argued, and as mechanical engineers they hold their own, but why just steal women when any human with a M.I.T. degree would do? My only explanation; a man built Robbie and is using him to collect women for the greatest harem of his nerdy dreams. Thus, Robots don’t want our women, their creators do.

This brings me back to the original point, that men are truly the Bug-Eyed Monsters as they use a wide-eyed bush-baby stare to ogle big boobs and short skirts, and yes, they want ‘our’ women, or your woman, or any woman they can get their hands on and drag away from a domination fantasy role-play.

Is such a fantasy wrong? Probably, but that doesn’t stop men from having it. I mean its Halloween in a couple of days and dressing up as something creepy, adolescent, and socially unacceptable doesn’t end at 10. I drive by at least five fly-by-night Halloween stores a day and the windows are filled with sexy Alice in Wonderland, and Dorothy, and Queen of Hearts, all of which veritably scream to be carried away by something less than human, so we’ve not really moved on from these images have we?

I guess that means that Bug-Eyed Monsters are here to say, and I’m going to be ok with that. Now the real question should be would I throw on some robot armor and carry my half-clothed wife to the bedroom if given a chance? Well… ok, ok, we’ve got to slow this thing down because I’m now seriously thinking about where I can get a Robbie the Robot outfit in L.A…

Until next time, Happy Halloween, and may any of you reading this find your perfect Bug-Eyed Monster or Damsel in Distress because we all deserve to have a little fantasy fun now and then!


If you like what you read in Art of the Genre, you can listen to me talk about publishing and my current venture with great artists of the fantasy field or even come say hello on Facebook here. And my current RPG Art Blog can be found here. Also, for my hardcore fans and those that love small press books, I’ve launched my latest crowd-sourcing campaign that I’m determined to see become the most successful fantasy fiction Kickstarter of all time, so come help me and all my artist and writer friends create a franchise to remember!

12 Comments »

  1. Hey Scott!

    Another fine post. And glad to see Bug-Eyed Monsters finally getting some love after 30 years!

    I’ll bring my copy to WFC this weekend, and we can break it in! Except I can’t bring myself to break the shrinkwrap (not after it’s survived for three decades). Maybe we’ll just look at the box cover.

    Comment by John ONeill - October 26, 2011 1:53 am

  2. Hi Scott. The grognardia.blogspot.com/ blog has a cool regular post feature “The Ads of Dragon.” I too enjoyed that magazine (and the rather short-lived ‘Pegasus’ in the eighties.

    Comment by Sherlock - October 26, 2011 7:39 am

  3. We watched Creature from the Black Lagoon last night. My wife and I discussed the creature’s interest in Kay. No conclusions were reached, other than she was hot, so obviously he had to be interested in her.

    Comment by Jeff Stehman - October 26, 2011 10:07 am

  4. John: I could bring my copy, but sadly a good friend of mine who is a ‘game breaker’ found an exploit that makes the game unplayable. Still, its very fun to look at!

    Comment by Scott Taylor - October 26, 2011 12:07 pm

  5. Sherlock: James Maliszewski over at Grognardia and I talk at least once a week. I find we both bounce great ideas off each other and his blog is a favorite of mine for sure.

    Comment by Scott Taylor - October 26, 2011 12:09 pm

  6. Jeff: Indeed… a very creepy topic! Did you enjoy seeing ‘Creature’? I haven’t seen it in many, and many again, years.

    Comment by Scott Taylor - October 26, 2011 12:10 pm

  7. I saw Creature 30ish years ago in 3D in an auditorium full of teenagers. It was not as fun the second time around. Although this time I probably had more appreciation for the scene where the creature was swimming under Kay, facing her and pacing her. I thought that was nicely done.

    Comment by Jeff Stehman - October 26, 2011 12:35 pm

  8. This is simple:

    BEM’s, Universal Studios Monsters and such are a stand in for Non-White and Foreigners stealing “Our Women”…

    http://www.vintagelibrary.com/pulpfiction/magazines/SpicyAdventure.php

    Before WW2 it was open Racist Xenophobia, the whole world was out to kill us and wanted OUR WOMEN, though to a point we wanted to kill them and wanted theirs… After WW2 the Allies went on a “Racism is bad” thing to justify doing more than just pushing Germany back in it’s borders again and hoping they’d not just build up again for another world war. Except for scale, they’d done nothing not done in the past with no real condemnation, the USA’s genocide of Indian tribes, the Armenians? “Who now speaks of the Armenians?”

    But, being difficult to deal in an open world where a lot of people were non-white that could be important trading partners. And, well the “Globalist Bankers” only saw people as worker slaves, not this or that race or nationality.

    So the “mainstream” was changed to be the BEM era stuff as a staging point. They tended to simply not mention non-whites, to not show them. Easy then to feed the paranoia and fear of outsiders without it non-productively translating into another race/creed unless they want it to; “Red Scare! Yellow commies!”

    There was an exception, the “African Explorer” movie, but again lots of those have been plain ERASED. I saw dozens of ones as a small kid in my small mid west city local theater that they got more or less for free from the archives since they were being purged. Strange, I can get ALL the “Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!” trash cinema easily, it’s even enshrined in hindsight (Betty Page, “grindhouse”) but only a handful of “jungle adventures” and only the tamest are available…

    The post-war pulps, the “men’s adventure” were largely untouched.

    http://www.menspulpmags.com/?zx=5e5de7a4eee4c101

    They appealed to war veterans who actually once took up arms inside America for liberty, so they get their little hard won complacent world it’s their kids and grand-kids, etc. who’ll face it. And as they aged this group was fading away.

    But, to the 70s/80s the “Politically Correct” conspiracy took full sway. In pure contempt of earlier hard won “antitrust” laws too few publishers/distributors controlled almost all of the media, so just yanking a ton of stuff and denying distribution to most of the “Independent” stuff that the gaping hole in the market created was easy. And of course a flood of “PC Cr-p” was shoved down the public’s throat for created “Changing Times”.

    So the BEMs were a “Fill in” (though, yes plenty of real roots in classic sci-fi/adventure) between an old school era and the modern “Politically Correct” one.

    Comment by GreenGestalt - October 27, 2011 4:27 pm

  9. [...] invaders. Mutated monsters. Creatures of myth and legend… Scott Taylor at Black Gate asked a really good question about all of them this week… “Wh… I love the monster movies of the ’50s and ’60s and spent hours watching them growing up [...]

    Pingback by News from Around the Net: 28-OCT-2011 | Game Knight Reviews - October 28, 2011 7:02 am

  10. Geez Green, it might be even simpler than that.
    If our poor little planet has produced anything better, finer and more deserving of praise than women, I cannot imagine what it might be.
    Those miserable aliens want the best Earth has to offer.
    And are we males panicked? Oh yeah.
    A world without women would be barren indeed.

    Comment by John Hocking - October 28, 2011 12:45 pm

  11. [...] Art of the Genre: Why do they want all our women? From The Black Gate blog. “I’m not sure what it is about this particular threat that men find so intriguing, but I’m betting it has come from the school of sacrificing virgins. It seems the subconscious mind of the Y chromosome simply gets off on the threat of female subjugation, or even the deliverance of said act [see Art of Gor].” Share this:ShareEmailFacebookRedditTwitterDiggStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

    Pingback by End of October reading ’round the blogosphere roundup | On a Pale Star - October 31, 2011 12:47 am

  12. [...] the original Druid, but I’m a big fan of West End Games, including their Star Trek titles, Bug-Eyed Monsters, and especially Junta and Eric Goldberg’s masterpiece, Tales of the Arabian Nights. They did [...]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Explore History Through Tiny Cardboard Counters with Against the Odds Magazine - May 16, 2013 3:44 pm


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