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Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Since All Sci-Fi's Friday Live Chat on May 27th is this movie, I thought the members might enjoy the 24 trivia items offered by IMDB. They're especially interesting. Very Happy
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Future director James Cameron and future producer Gale Anne Hurd met on this film and decided they wanted to work together (the deal was that Cameron would direct and Hurd would produce). This would lead up to making The Terminator (1984), their marriage in 1985 before they did Aliens (1986), and their divorce to both marriage and creative partnership during making of The Abyss (1989).

This was Roger Corman's most expensive feature up to that time, costing $2 million. Most of the budget was spent on salaries for Robert Vaughn and George Peppard, who both had high asking prices.

For Jewish viewers of this movie, there are some 'inside' jokes. For example, the name of Robert Vaughn's character, Gelt, translates in Yiddish into 'gold' or 'money'. The written language which appears on Malmori screens is Hebrew.

This is considered to be the first "major" theatrical film to be scored by James Horner, and his breakthrough into the sci-fi/adventure blockbusters he would become known for in the 1980s and 1990s.





Actress/Comedienne Kathy Griffin is seen in an early shot as an alien extra reacting to a spaceship landing.

Screenwriter John Sayles had originally envisioned the character of Cayman as a brooding dark humanoid, not the lizard alien seen in the final product.

According to an interview with star Richard Thomas, the wardrobe department had a difficult time keeping the top of Sybil Danning's costume on and had to resort to using band aids to prevent said top from slipping off.

Robert Vaughn would later go on to star in the final season of The A-Team (1983), in which George Peppard starred as Hannibal Smith. John Saxon had two guest roles on "The A-Team" as two different characters.





The natives of Akir are known as the Akira. This is no doubt a tribute to legendary director Akira Kurosawa (whose film Seven Samurai (1954) served as the inspiration for this film).

The main body of the Hephastus space station was made from a plastic terrarium salvaged from a garbage dumpster.

A View-Master 3-reel packet was issued featuring 21 images from the movie. It's also the only one of Roger Corman's films to be marketed with a View-Master tie-in. A booklet was issued with the packet that included a bondage image showing Nanelia tied up as a prisoner of the reptilian Cayman. A French language version of this pack issued for the Canadian market.

George Peppard was originally considered to play Vin in The Magnificent Seven (1960), on which this film was based.





Gelt is modeled closely after the character Lee from The Magnificent Seven (1960), on which this film was based (Robert Vaughn played both). Some of Gelt's dialogue is lifted almost verbatim from The Magnificent Seven (1960).

This film is a futuristic remake of Seven Samurai (1954) and its Hollywood remake The Magnificent Seven (1960).

Not only are the effects re-used in Space Raiders (1983), but the entire James Horner score is used as well. It would later be lifted again for another film, Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1985).

One of the assistant editors on this movie was promised the gig after a rough stint playing a Humanoid in Humanoids from the Deep (1980).





Sybil Danning would later play the character made famous by Robert Vaughn in another remake of The Magnificent Seven (1960), namelyI sette magnifici gladiatori (1983).

Alan Howarth created different sound effects for each of the seven starships and reused several synth effects he had created for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). He also composed and recorded the music that is heard on the jukebox in Gelt's chamber.

The film was released the same year as The Empire Strikes Back, Flash Gordon and Galaxina.

The film is believed to be Roger Corman's take of Star Wars,. The lead character Shad (Richard Thomas) is a farmboy, so was Mark Hamill's character Luke Skywalker.





The film was considered a major influence behind the short lived cartoon The New Adventures of He-Man. In that cartoon, the peaceful planet Primus is under threat from the evil Flogg and his mutants. Master Sebrian, the elderly leader of Primus decides that they must find a great warrior to help deal with Flogg and his evil mutants and Hydro and Flipshot are sent to find that warrior and that warrior they find to help in the crisis is He-Man. In this film, Akir, a peaceful planet is under threat of invasion by Sador and his army of Malmori mutants and the elderly warrior Zed decides that mercenaries must found and recruited to help and defend Akir and the farmboy Shad is sent to find those mercenaries and finds those mercenaries to help in the crisis.

Earl Boen would later go on to star as Dr. Silberman in the Terminator films. James Cameron whom created the "Terminator" film franchise and wrote and directed The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day provided the special effects in the film.

The film is a futuristic remake of The Seven Samurai and is also a rip off of Star Wars: Star Wars creator George Lucas stated that Samurai flicks were one of his influences behind the film.




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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:58 am; edited 2 times in total
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

orzel-w wrote:
Eadie wrote:
My Godfather Butch has other pictures of all the other ship models. Do you want me to find and post them?

Please do!

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I posted a fan-made trailer for The Last Starfighter (1984) on the thread for that movie, and the trailer had this amusing message at the beginning.






I wondered just how true the claim at the bottom was, so I made a list of 1980s science fiction films that I thought were good, just to see if that decade really did produce a significant number of “the best” sci-fi movies.

This movie is on the list I made. I know what I like about the film (and a few things I don’t like), but I’d like to hear the pros and cons from the rest of you folks.

So, what do you think, guys? Cool

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

__________


Here's a fairly short Starlog article from issue 37.

Click on each page here to see a large, easy-to-read version you can zoom in on. Click on the large version again, and then zoom in as close as you want!





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Krel
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw this in the show with some friends, and when they first showed Robert Vaughn, seated on a throne in a tuxedo style costume, I started laughing. I was the only one in the theater laughing.

In the early 70s, Robert Vaughn did a commercial for DAD's Root beer. He was dressed in a tuxedo, tied to a throne. He breaks his bonds, and starts his pitch, ending with: DAD's root beer has the taste that never makes me cry...UNCLE!

No one else remembered that commercial. Laughing

Robert Vaughn's blaster was made from a KENNER, STAR WARS, Storm Trooper blaster, altered to look like a small Bazooka. Most of the weapons were altered toys.

David.
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Custer
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In case you were wondering what to get Bud for Christmas:



One never knows what an image search will turn up...
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mach7
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! I saw this movie once in the theater when it was released. I hated it then, as did all my friends who saw it with us.

Reading this thread makes me want to rewatch it, It seems I missed something the 1st time around.

Seeing Sybil Danning in her costume is enough to make me want to revisit it.
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mach7 wrote:
Wow! I saw this movie once in the theater when it was released. I hated it then, as did all my friends who saw it with us.

Back then we were all judging any new sci-fi against Star Wars. Now the fervor has quieted down to the point where we can re-visit movies such as this and appreciate them on their own merits.
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's unfortunate that this movie had to be judged post STAR WARS, because as a whole it is not a half bad movie.

Yes, the effects were still rather crude from todays standards but the story itself was strict "Space Opera" in the pulp tradition. Richard Thomas as Shad brought his "John Boy" farmboy believability to the part, and Vaughn's Gelt had the suave audacity of his Napolean Solo to it.

If you haven't watched it in a while give it another look.

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

The Starlog article is an interesting description of a group of creative guys who get to build models for this movie with no sketches or blueprints to work from. They just pieced them together from assorted objects, based on shared ideas for the general shape.

That's certainly not the way it's done in other movies, but it actually worked out pretty well. Very Happy

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mach7
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I watched it again today.

Sadly my opinion is not changed.

It seems to me that it is a low budget, melodramatic,
ripoff of the Star Wars, Star Trek early movie era.

While the basic story is sound, the script is shallow and full of cliche.
The characters are as 2 dimensional as any I've seen in B schlock movies.
The acting is, well, bad. Surprising considering some of the players.
The direction is amateurish.
The FX are well below average for the era.
The Gorn suit from TOS is MUCH better than Cayman's! and the Gorn was done on a TV budget 14 years earlier.
Many is the music segments seemed to rip off the Trek movies.

But the worst for me is the art direction. The movie has no
"look". Nothing matches, no common technology or design theme.
If you look at 2001, Bladerunner, Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, The Invaders, Even Lost in Space,
The "look" of the sets/props/costumes all seem to "belong", they seem to have continuity. Every thing in BBtS is off.

For me it could have taken a lesson from Galaxina or Spacehunter. Both of those B movies worked better.

Anyway, sorry to be such a downer. I'm glad I watched it, even though it did not change my mind.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I won't try to defend the movie, because the last time I watch it I wasn't as impressed as I have been in the past — and I've never been a big fan of the film.

mach7 wrote:
Many is the music segments seemed to rip off the Trek movies.

However, one of your criticisms is a bit unfair.

James Horner did the score for Battle Beyond the Stars back in 1980, and I really enjoyed the music. I was delighted when Horner was hired to do the music for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

If your hearing music segments that seem to "rip off" the Trek movies, that might because you're hearing the same style in Battle Beyond the Stars that you can hear in Horner's two later scores for Star Trek movies.

In fact, since Star Trek: The Motion Picture is the only Trek film that predates Battle Beyond the Stars, it's the only one Horner could have "ripped off". And I think Horner was inspired by Jerry Goldsmith, so a certain amount of similarity is forgivable.

After all, he was only 27 when he composed the score for Battle Beyond the Stars.
Very Happy
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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mach7
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent point Bud.

Thats probably why they sounded similar to me.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

It proves you have an excellent ear for music styles. Very Happy

I pride myself on being able to spot things like that, too. I'm not always right, of course, but when I'm watching a movie and I'm not aware of who did the score, I sometimes hear a signature "sound" within the music that reminds me of another composer.

"Hey, that sounds like Alan Silvestri. I'll just betcha it's him!"

If I look up who did the soundtrack and discover I was right, I just cackle like a madman, insufferably pleased with myself.

I'm the same way with actors voices. If I hear an actor in a movie from the 1930s and recognize his voice but not his face, I'll keep listening carefully until suddenly I shout out, "Ah-HA! That's Olin Howland! The Blob ate him in 1958!" Cool

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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently posted about a similar experience over in the Star Trek: The Motion Picture thread.

Quote:
I just finished watching The Wind and the Lion (1975) on DVD. In one of the scenes I caught some familiar-sounding soundtrack passages that brought to mind the Klingon theme from ST: TMP. Sure enough, Jerry Goldsmith wrote the score.

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