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A young farmer assembles a band of diverse mercenaries to defend his peaceful planet from an evil tyrant.
"Battle Beyond the Stars," in all its B-movie, space fantasy glory is one better villain away from being a passable film. New World's space-based update of "The Seven Samurai" is ambitious, but its budgetary limitations and character issues prevent it from being the grander space spectacle it might have been.
Following a young farmer who builds a team of rag tag mercenaries to face an evil despot named Sador, the film is derivative but obvious about its influences. The story is a token hero quest made interesting by the cadre of characters met along the way. The characters are not necessarily original, but they are compelling. Sador, played to hammy extremes by John Saxon, is the one weak link that…
Not as "cheap" looking as I remembered from seeing it as a kid, but just as dull. The effects, it turns out, are the only real attraction here as John Sayles uninspired Seven Samurai variation doesn't really do much to link together the seemingly endless, unexciting scenes of ships/people/aliens firing lasers at each other. Sybil Danning and a fully-emboobened (I made that word up) space ship sex up the movie well beyond anything you would get in a non-Corman produced domestic Star Wars riff, but there's nothing sexual about how stiff the male lead is, just barely holding his own against George Peppard doing a weird cowboy shtick and Robert Vaughn who seems to be playing Roger Corman. This movie…
Soporific Star Wars knock-off, complete with a Korngold-biting score and a plot which filters Flash Gordon space opera through a familiar genre narrative (lifted, in this case, from Seven Samurai / The Magnificent Seven). Notably absent: enthusiasm.
George Lucas’ name has become a byword for crass over-commercialization, but the fact of the matter is that the original Star Wars is a movie informed by overwhelming affection—for the heroes, for nifty special effects work, and for a certain kind of predictable, the-bad-guys-wear-black storytelling.
Some notable names in the production of this B-grade sci-fi film: Produced by Roger Corman, Script by John Sayles, music by James Horner, special effects by James Cameron. Onscreen, we're not so lucky... Richard Thomas gives a weak lead performance, John Saxon's worse as the bad guy, and when it comes right down to it, everyone else is pretty bad too... it all feels like a collection of first takes by a bunch of kids making a film in their back yard. Storywise, it's a remake of The Seven Samurai, by way of The Magnificent Seven (with Robert Vaughn making a return appearance), but it is so inferior to either film that it's only good for laughs and maybe for…
Pedestrian space opera adaptation of The Seven Samurai / Magnificent 7 that has it's charming aspects, and isn't bad to have on in the background for amusement, but it pretty much lost me early on in terms of engaging with it narratively. I experienced déjà vu repeatedly throughout the film, but I'm not sure if I'd seen it, or seen bits of recycled elsewhere. Punches a bit above it's weight in the FX dept. courtesy of James Cameron. Rating slightly inflated because I'm partial to the genre, and it looks nice on Blu Ray.
A childhood favourite as Jon Boy Walton recruits a rag tag bunch of freedom fighters to take on John Saxon and his evil side parting.
Of the films that were quickly knocked up to cash in on Star Wars this is one of the best - A great score and some fine model work probably make it more memorable than it really deserves. Sybil Manning sticks in the mind too.
Stick it on a triple bill with Krull and Flash Gordon and that's pretty much my childhood viewing right there.
Another re-make of Seven Samurai, this time in outer space. It’s a Roger Corman film, so the budget is small, but outside of a few repetitive and wooden space battles, the film still feels like a big budget action sci-fi. There are aliens of all shapes and sizes, space ships with personality, and a whole lot of fun characters. The big upside to taking the Seven Samurai plot structure is you have this innocent farm-boy traveling through space recruiting people to fight for his planet. You get space cowboys, ruthless killers, lizards with attitude, strange clone aliens that share one brain, and of course the badass chick that just wants to fight. Vaughn, Saxon and Peppard are all fantastic, but…
"Live fast, fight well, and have a beautiful ending."
Love to hear Sybil Danning speaking about this film.
One of the stronger Star Wars ripoffs to hit theaters in the first few years following Lucas' unexpected space opera blockbuster, Battle Beyond the Stars benefits from an interesting mix of humor and melancholy. John Sayles is interested as much in the cultures of the various aliens encountered as he is in the action, and there's a recurring theme of how they all deal with death and the sacrifice they're expected to make in the battle ahead. The action itself is fairly solid, and for all Roger Corman's traditional thriftiness it's a good looking film. A respectable bit of trash.
This isn't a great film, but it has its charms.
As a piece of guerrilla movie making, it showcases some impressive low-rent effects, and functions very much as a slightly perverse Star Wars knock-off that delivers a good balance of visual flare, creatures, and pubescent rocket fuel. It's also a testament to the talent and ingenuity of the people who made it, and is infinitely watchable and at turns pretty clever. You won't buy into the world building by any means, but you might find yourself digging it nonetheless. I know I do.
What a piece of CRAP!!!! More laughable than anything else.
It's safe to say this is not Robert Vaughn's finest hour.
As far as terrible movies go, this one was a good time.
Movies that are slightly off.