Skip to main content

Retro Review: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)

Leave it to Roger Corman to come up with a low-budget answer to Star Wars. And to have the stones to base it on classics like The Magnificent Seven and The Seven Samurai.

Battle Beyond the Stars is important for a few reasons. It was written by John Sayles, who went on to write such high-profile flicks like Eight Men Out, Passion Fish, and the TV series The Alienist. Oscar winning composer James Horner (Braveheart, Aliens, Avatar and many, many more) got his start here as well.

But the really big name is James Cameron. He did the special effects for Battle Beyond the Stars, and makes it look bigger than its scant budget. Legend has it, this film paved the way for him to make The Terminator.

Take a look:

And how is Battle Beyond the Stars as a moviegoing experience? It's OK. It's great watching veterans like George Peppard, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, Darlene Fluegel and Richard Thomas do their thing. And Sybil Danning, in her first American role, is/was hotness in action. Rrowr!

But the movie feels flat, with little suspense or excitement generated. And it's not a lot of fun to watch. Most Retro Reviews, even the Bad ones, still have a spirit of fun to them. Most old movies do. But this one is just kinda meh.

So, pedigree aside, I'm giving Battle Beyond the Stars a Bad. And I'm done with it.


Popular posts from this blog

#CocktailHour: Slushtail

  Summer approaches, inspiring thoughts of sunshine, backyard parties, and having a tip and sip with friends.  With that in mind, I bring you this week sunny beverage. To make a slushtail, mix a can of frozen orange juice, a can of frozen lemonade (or limeade), a can of pineapple juice, a couple cups of black tea (or English Breakfast), and two cups of bourbon- such as Southern Comfort, in a pitcher.  When it's all nicely mixed, put it in the freezer until it's a nice slushy consistency. Scoop the slush into a cocktail glass, and pour in some Sprite or 7-Up.  Add a little umbrella for some frivolous fun, and a straw. Voila!  Ready to enjoy. This is a very refreshing drink.  The fruit juices, Sprite, and bourbon- when chilled makes for a great punch-like drink.  The bourbon doesn't overwhelm juices.   In fact, they are all nicely balanced in terms of flavors.  The sourness of the citrus fruits contrasts well with the slightly sweeter Southern Comfort.  It was refreshing enou

Marcus Flor vs Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

In film, there's nothing I enjoy more than passionate creativity. Compared to the sea of mediocrity surrounding it, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is practically overflowing with it. This animated movie is vibrant, kinetic, and extremely inventive with its art style. On top of all that, this is just a solid movie. It tells its story with sincerity and tact, always focusing on the important aspects of Miles' emotional journey. The script wastes no time on pointless scenes or moments, which also gives the film an energetic rhythm that draws you in. One of the other great aspects of this movie is its reinvention of the Spider-Man story. It's clever writing demonstrates a true understanding of the webslinger, and offers commentary on the current state of his movie adaptations. In the end, you get a film both Spidey fans and non-fans can enjoy. Above all other aspects, what I like most about Spider-Verse is how fun it is. It demonstrates quality animation and filmmaking doesn

From The Basement - the "final" three

Just a gentle reminder From The Basement returns next Friday -- June 11 -- to the mighty Radio NL with an all-new episode! That's the good news. The bad news it'll be the first of our final three prime-time shows. What, you might ask? Are you bastards quitting AGAIN!?!? No. No we're not. We learned our lesson the last time. Shawn and I's long-running show will return to being "just a podcast," and not adhering to any set broadcast schedule. Why, you ask? Our lives are becoming increasingly busy outside of The Basement, and it's getting harder for Shawn and I to keep up with the latest movies, TV shows and entertainment news. We'd rather cease our weekly duties than produce an inferior product. Simple as that. Much thanks to Howie Reimer and the Radio NL crew for hosting us the last three years, first as a Friday morning segment, then as a prime-time series. It's been a blast! Don't worry, we're not coasting on these last three episodes. T