I love this movie... I first saw it eight years ago and only recently hunted it (and its sequel, Backlash) down as an exorbitantly-priced VHS, even though it meant playing it on a tiny, tinny-sounding TV/VCR.
So, it's a "Sci-Fi Western." Let me see... Was it hokey? Heck, yeah! That's what MAKES the movie. Basically, toss Clash of the Titans, the original Star Trek series, The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the Eighth Dimension, and a little Jim Henson puppetry into a blender, and you've got a fairly representative perception of what it's like. I have no idea what the budget was, but what it looks like is NOT mainstream Hollywood, NOT trendy-Indie, but very hip and quirky and campy on a well-designed shoestring budget.
The characters are waaay over the top... waaay waaay OVER over the top... even the seemingly straight-played parts by Richard Joseph Paul and Jackie Swanson (Little House on the Prairie really was this tragic, it just wasn't meant to be). And YES, George Takei pokes fun at his Star Trek pigeonholing with wincingly blatant one-liners, but it's so FUN to see him cutting loose (Sulu was awfully straight-laced). Musetta Vander is absolutely DELICIOUS as the black leather-clad, electric whip-wielding Lash. If you've always had a soft spot for really wicked women (with a Bettie Page thing going), you'll fall for her after seeing this. Carel Struycken is so freaking cool, I want to hug him. His voice (I sooo dig his voice) and kind of innocent savant demeanor (but with bits of cold practicality peeking through) reminded me of Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride.
If you live for the credits, here you go:
Directed by Sam Irvin and written by Charles Band, Peter David (I), Mark Goldstein (II), John Rheaume, and Greg Suddeth. The credits include Richard Joseph Paul as Zack Stone, Jackie Swanson as Mattie Chase, Andrew Divoff as Redeye, Meg Foster as Stell Barr, Isaac Hayes as Buster, Julie Newmar as Miss Kitty, Carel Struycken as Gaunt, George Takei as Doc Valentine, Musetta Vander as Lash, Jimmie F. Skaggs as Buteo, Irwin Keyes as Bork, Mike Genovese as Marshall Stone, Frank Roman (I) as Wormhole, Jeff Moldovan as Spanner, Joe Muzio and Craig Anthony Muzio as Two Head, Tim Miller (I) as the Stinking Turncoat, Peter David (I) as Cowhand, Nadine Emilie Voindrouh as Josephine, Sam Irvin himself as the "Whipping Boy," and a bunch of techs and extras who probably laughed and partied their way through the entire (for Pete's sake, go find a copy of the freaking film and watch it already) filming.
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