Battle Beyond the Stars

( 1 )

Overview

Produced by Roger Corman and scripted by John Sayles, Battle Beyond the Stars is a cheerfully blatant imitation of The Seven Samurai or at least the American remake The Magnificent Seven. A peaceloving planet is attacked by malevolent aliens. The powers-that-be hire a group of mercenaries, headed by George Peppard, to protect the planet from harm. Peppard's contingent includes squeaky-clean Richard Thomas Jr. and statuesque Sybil Danning. John Saxon goes through his usual paces as the villain, while the ...
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Overview

Produced by Roger Corman and scripted by John Sayles, Battle Beyond the Stars is a cheerfully blatant imitation of The Seven Samurai or at least the American remake The Magnificent Seven. A peaceloving planet is attacked by malevolent aliens. The powers-that-be hire a group of mercenaries, headed by George Peppard, to protect the planet from harm. Peppard's contingent includes squeaky-clean Richard Thomas Jr. and statuesque Sybil Danning. John Saxon goes through his usual paces as the villain, while the supporting players include such dependables as Sam Jaffe, Jeff Corey, and, from Magnificent Seven itself, Robert Vaughn. Keep an eye out for Julia Duffy as "Mol." A deft blend of standard sci-fi action and knowing "inside" humor, Battle Beyond the Stars was one of Corman's biggest hits of the 1980s-not to mention an endless supply of stock footage for future New World Productions.
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Special Features

Commentary by Writer John Sayles and Roger Corman; Commentary by Production Manager Gale Anne Hurd; The Man Who Would Be Shad - New Interview with Actor Richard Thomas; ; Space Opera On A Shoestring - A Comprehensive Look At The Technical Challenges And Postproduction Of The Film With Aaron Lipstadt, Alec Gillis, Alex Hadju, Allan Holzman, R.J. Kizer, Robert & Dennis Skotak, Thom Shouse and Tony Randel; ; Trailer, TV And Radio Spots
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Here's a little test. If you know who Tom Savini is but have never heard of Krzysztof Kieslowski, then this delightfully naked rip-off of Star Wars (1977) from Roger Corman -- that master of cheesy, no-budget "filmmaking" (a term that can only be carefully, loosely applied to his darkly lit, stiffly performed oeuvre) -- is a treasure-trove of delights for you, a discerning appreciator of Z-grade entertainment. Here are the top ten aspects of this 1980 relic that you may savor on repeated viewings: (1) Whip smart despite his drive-in sensibilities, Corman decides not to directly rip off Star Wars -- which is, of course, precisely his intention -- but to rip off an example of classic Japanese cinema from the 1950s, The Seven Samurai (1954), in much the same way that Star Wars rips off an example of classic Japanese cinema from the 1950s, The Hidden Fortress (1958). How many of Corman's typical ticket buyers got the joke back then? Probably not many, which makes it even funnier. (2) The utterly perplexed, slightly crushed, and disappointed performance of "John-Boy" himself, Richard Thomas, clearly wondering how whiny no-name whelp Mark Hamill was cast as Luke Skywalker instead of him. A good question, Richard. A good question. (3) That space ship that looks like it was cast directly from a mold of a Victoria's Secret catalogue model's torso? Designed by James Cameron. Hmmmm. He does write strong female roles...(4) John Saxon, typically chewing up the scenery and spitting it back out as venomous darts in the role of the villain. Ah, Saxon. Where is the next generation's Saxon? It could've been Michael Ironside, but his energy seemed to dissipate at the same time as his ER guest-starring role. (5) The hilariously disturbing thought that Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987), which is intended as a wicked spoof of George Lucas' fantasy universe, is eerily similar in both tone and content to this film. (6) The realization, when seen in the reflected glory that is George Peppard's train-wreck of a performance as a space cowboy, of how extremely good an actor Harrison Ford really is. (7) Although you won't be able to detect his artistic fingerprints much except in the credits, the simple, pleasurable thrill of knowing that John Sayles wrote this screenplay. And that the money he made -- as well as checks for penning dual Jaws (1977) rip-offs Piranha (1978) and Alligator (1980) -- probably funded the production of Return of the Secaucus Seven (1980), itself to be ripped off later as The Big Chill (1983). Somehow, this has all got to be related to Kevin Bacon. (8) Robert Vaughn plays the same character here he portrayed in The Magnificent Seven (also a rip-off -- er, homage -- to The Seven Samurai), and even his dialogue is essentially the same. Possibly the man's easiest payday ever. (9) Budget for hair? $0.00. (10) Sybil Danning, in an era before silicone or saline, ushering nearly as many young boys to the cusp of manhood as did Tina Louise in Gilligan's Island.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/12/2011
  • UPC: 826663116601
  • Original Release: 1980
  • Rating:

  • Source: Shout Factory
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Time: 1:44:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 22,299

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Thomas Shad
Robert Vaughn Gelt
George Peppard Cowboy
John Saxon Sador
Darlanne Fluegel Sador
Sybil Danning St. Exmin
Sam Jaffe Dr. Hephaestus
Morgan Woodward Cayman
Steve Davis Quopeg
Earl Boen Nestor No. I
John McGowans Nestor No. 2
Larry Meyers Kelvin
Lara Cody Kelvin
Lynn Carlin Nell
Jeff Corey Zed
Julia Duffy Mol
Eric Morris Feh
Marta Kristen Lux
Doug Carleson Pok
Ron Ross Dab
Terrence E. McNally Gar
Don Thompson Cush
Daniel Carlin Pez
Ansley Carlin Wok
Whitney Rydbeck
Technical Credits
Jimmy T. Murakami Director
Charles William Breen Art Director
Ed Carlin Producer
Chuck Comisky Special Effects
Sharon Compton Production Designer
Roger Corman Executive Producer, Producer
Allan Holzman Editor
James Horner Score Composer
James Cameron Art Director
Kenneth V. Jones Special Effects
Robert J. Kizer Editor
Daniel Lacambre Cinematographer
John Sayles Original Story, Screenwriter
Dorinda Rice Wood Costumes/Costume Designer
John Zabrucky Set Decoration/Design
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Roger Corman's Cult Classics: Battle Beyond the Stars
   Play Movie
   Special Features
      The Man Who Would Be Shad: An All-New Interview With Actor Richard Thomas
      Space Opera On A Shoestring: A Comprehensive Look At Technical Challenges and Post-Production Of The Film With Aaron Lipstadt, Alec Gillis, Alex Hajdu, Allan Holzman, R.J. Kizer, Robert & Dennis Skotak, Thom Shouse, And Tony Randel
      Trailer
      Radio Spot
      Still Gallery
      Production Photos
      Posters
   Audio Set-Up
      5.1 Dolby Digital
      2.0 Dolby Digital
      Commentaries:
         John Sayles & Roger Corman
         Gale Anne Hurd
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Customer Reviews

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    Posted December 19, 2011

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