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Battle Beyond the Stars (Widescreen) [Import]

George Peppard , Robert Vaughn , Jimmy T. Murakami , Roger Corman    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 37.95
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Product Description


Twenty-first-century science fiction fans accustomed to special-effects orgies like The Matrix may snigger at the quaint, Flash Gordon-like spaceships in Battle Beyond the Stars. But executive producer Roger Corman's belated entry into the '70s sci-fi craze surpasses expectations with sharp performances and a witty script by John Sayles (his third for Corman, including 1978's Piranha). The story, lifted wholesale from Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954), finds the dictator Sador (John Saxon) threatening the planet of Akira. Its pacifist inhabitants are no match for Sador's devastating weapon, the Stellar Converter, but young Shad (Richard Thomas) decides to fight back. Borrowing the ship of notorious mercenary Zed the Corsair, he recruits a band of mercenaries, each of whom has a personal reason to join the fight. Among them are a lizard-like humanoid (Morgan Woodward), an improbable space cowboy (George Peppard), a zaftig female warrior (Sybil Danning), and brooding killer-for-hire Gelt (Robert Vaughn, reprising his Magnificent Seven role). Battle's final showdown is somewhat anticlimatic, but the surprisingly stellar cast (which includes Sam Jaffe and Darlanne Fluegel) and the indie spunk of Sayles' script, with its light meditations on death and honor, will charm newcomers and repeat audiences alike. New Concorde's digitally remastered DVD features commentary by Sayles and Terminator 2 producer Gale Anne Hurd, Battle's assistant production manager. Oh, and those spaceships? Designed by Titanic director James Cameron. Still laughing? --Paul Gaita

Product Description

Seven mercenaries are recruited from throughout the galaxy to save a peaceful planet from the threat of an evil tyrant bent on dominating and enslaving the entire universe.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars from my childhood June 3 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I remember staying up late to watch this movie and it brought so many memories back, and i still love it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Battle beyond the stars May 24 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
AKA john boy in space. This is a fun film. There are several good characters here. The film has a good pace and never gets boring. One of the best efforts from Corman
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Campy May 20 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It was nice to see some famous people in their younger days. Need more boobs and fat chicks though. Nice...
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5.0 out of 5 stars seven samurai in space Aug. 11 2006
John Sayles was asked by Roger Corman to adapt The Seven Samurai into a sci fi picture and the result is this delightfully inventive tongue-in-cheek romp.

What's most enjoyable about the film is the fact that every mercenary hired by the peaceful "villagers" has a distinct personality and style and their intentions clearly defined. George Peppard( as the only human among them) is laid back and charming. Morgan Woodward seems to be having a grand old time playing the vengeful lizard-man (dig his gonzo war-cry during the climactic battle!) Robert Vaughn does seem a bit bored but he effectively communicates his character's unpleasant coldness. Sybill Danning simply has one of the most stunning bodies to ever be stuffed into a styrofoam viking costume, even if she can't act. Add to these characters 2 elfin aliens who communicate thru heat( the Kelvin, wink, wink) and a troupe of what looks like Mimes( called "Nestor") who operate sort of like to the collectivist Borg from Star Trek and in disposition seem to anticipate the infectious optimism and curiosity of Mr Data as well; when first introduced they explain, " We believe you are seeking mercenaries for an adventure. We would like to participate." The costumes, sets and spfx are obviously done on a very low budget but that hardly detracts from the fun. Special mention must be made of John Saxon who, as the evil scourge of the galaxy Lord Sador, grabs his opportunity to chew the scenery with amusing gusto; Check the sequence where he gets to enact what must be every actors dream since DR STRANGELOVE: to have a battle with his own rebellious arm! He plays it all-out, with just the right notes of sadism and menacing humor.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very fun "Star Wars" clone April 1 2004
By A Customer
Every Sci-Fi fan needs this movie in their collection. It's not perfect, but it deserves an "A" for effort. The special effects are pretty darn good for being realtivly low budget. I wish the DVD transfer was a little more pristine, but it looks light years better than your old copies on video. Although, the film is pretty cliche driven, it still does it well with charm. The story is pretty exciting and noticiably more sexual in nature than Star Wars ever was. Too bad this film wasn't a big smash, I would have liked the same team to have done an Empire Strikes Back clone.... Or I would love to have seen a bunch of movies about Zed's leagacy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Seven Samurai in space June 9 2003
Roger Corman's biggest budget financed film (although still small by industry standards). A strong cast, decent script and a level of humor (including a female spaceship with breasts) blend into a very nice whole. This is not Oscar material, but it does have its merits.
The Akira of the planet Akir (nice plug), are a pacifistic society. They have just been targeted by an interstellar warlord. Their only hope is to hire mercenaries, but they have no money.
The rest of the film is closer to The Magnificent Seven that Akira Kurosawa's original, but it works. If you know either film, you will have some idea of how the rest goes.
This new DVD has some trailers and two different commentaries. There is also a huge still gallery accessible by playing a trivia game.
A fun little film. I am glad it has made it to DVD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The ship's got boobies!! Sept. 26 2002
The peace-loving planet Akir is attacked by the evil Sador (John Saxon), who demands their food supplies. Among the Akirians is an old warrior named Zed. Unfortunately, he is blind and unable to fight against the tyrant, but his fighting ship, Nell, still has her weapons and sense of wit intact. Nell was obviously designed by someone with a sense of humor. From the side the ship looks like a very... gifted female centaur lying down. (Look, the ship has giant boobies. Trust me.) A young man named Shad (Richard Thomas) sets out aboard Nell with one goal in mind: find mercenaries that are willing to help him defend Akir.

The characters are lots of fun, the story is good, and the special effects are above average. In fact, lots of the model work would later be used in many other movies, creating an endless supply of stock footage for New World Productions. This flick has its fare share of Star Wars rip-offs, including Shad, as a poor man's Luke Skywalker, and Cowboy, as a wino's Han Solo, but its still worth checking out.

Space Cowboy has what must be the coolest fashion accessory ever conceived: a belt that dispenses scotch, water, and ice.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but for reasons beyond quality. Sept. 26 2002
By Syndog
This is one of those shows you loved as a kid, but to see nowadays makes you clutch your ribs with laughter at the absurdity of the whole thing. Well-known names such as George Peppard and Robert Vaughan shine brightly in their accustomed on-screen personas as they settle into their shoot-em-up-space-battle roles as... well... themselves.
All in all, if you're into classic sci-fi movies, you will enjoy this film. If you're used to post-80's sci-fi, expect to fall into the MST3K mentality as you find yourself involuntarily throwing wisecracks at the screen. Either way, you'll probably have fun.
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