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Battle Beyond the Stars

Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) Movie Poster
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  •  USA  •    •  104m  •    •  Directed by: Jimmy T. Murakami, Roger Corman.  •  Starring: Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, George Peppard, Darlanne Fluegel, Sybil Danning, Sam Jaffe, Morgan Woodward, Earl Boen, John Gowans, Steve Davis, Lawrence Steven Meyers, Lara Cody.  •  Music by: James Horner.
        Shad, a young farmer, assembles a band of diverse mercenaries in outer space to defend his peaceful planet from the evil tyrant Sador and his armada of aggressors. Among the mercenaries are Space Cowboy, a spacegoing truck driver from Earth; Gelt, a wealthy but experienced assassin looking for a place to hide; and Saint-Exmin, a Valkyrie warrior looking to prove herself in battle.

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 2:35
 
 
 0:29
 
 

Review:

Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Image from: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
First, I have to say, this is certainly one of the most visually striking films Roger Corman has ever done. The effects are excellent, and the soundtrack is also fantastic. The cast are mostly fantastic...except unfortunately the main two leads, who manage to be the least likable of the whole thing. Part of that is due to the terrible script which, while it rather heavily borrows from a film classic, also has all the pitfalls of said classic: namely that it's depressing as hell.

And ultimately, that's a failure when the film is essentially a sci-fi B movie. Those aren't watched to be depressing, they're watched to be enjoyable and even funny, silly, campy...whatever you might say about them, they're not supposed to be so dour. The smarmy Akir, by the end, are simply not characters the audience cares about, and I for one hated them and wished they'd been blown to smithereens at the beginning of the film -- it would've at least saved us the pain of having to sit through it. Their stupid religious precepts were nothing but smug and irritating, and the idiot Shad, our unfortunate 'hero', nothing but a placeholder who had no consistency whatsoever with his values.

Who could possibly enjoy a film where everyone is barely vaguely- defined, and despite massive casualties, none of the heroes really gets a meaningful final scene? It's all dull and unhappy, and that makes it even more depressing. Characters are introduced, contribute little to the plot, and then when they dare to show any kind of development are then hastily removed from that plot, with nothing to show for their involvement. The ships were also, on the whole, not distinct enough aside from a few examples, to avoid confusion; by the end of it there was no ability to really tell who was good and who was bad, aside from the embarrassingly-designed Nell, the only spacecraft with boobs I've ever seen.

Some have claimed that comparisons to Star Wars, its contemporary, were responsible for the ultimate failure of Battle Beyond the Stars. They're completely incorrect. The reason why it failed was because people simply do not want to see relentlessly depressing and downbeat B-grade science- fiction. Something as ridiculous as Battle Beyond the Stars only comes off as lacking and pretentious, utterly unable to reach its attempted goal and wholly contemptible for the attempt.


Review by moonmonday from the Internet Movie Database.