What’s a small, peace-loving planet to do when threatened with destruction by a group of malevolent mutants helmed by the most despicable villain in the universe? Why, enlist a sweet young boy to travel the galaxy in search of mercenaries to fend off the tyrant. But, of course!
This is the story of ‘Battle Beyond the Stars,’ Roger Corman’s low-budget sci-fi flick that paid homage to ‘Star Wars,’ ‘The Magnificent Seven, ‘The Waltons’ … wait, what? ‘The Waltons’? Ok, maybe not, but John-Boy, a.k.a. Richard Thomas, plays young Shad, the guy who’s sent off on the intergalactic journey to save the planet. You can do it, John-Boy! That’s nothing compared to the Depression.
‘Battle Beyond the Stars’ 30th Anniversary Special Edition is available on DVD and blu-ray July 12, 2011 (happy birthday to me!) from Shout! Factory. It includes tons of extras, including:
- New anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.85:1) from the internegative
- New 5.1 DTS Master Audio (Blu-ray)
- Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD)
- 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 look at the technical challenges and post-production with Aaron Lipstadt, Alec Gillis, Alex Hajdu, Allan Holzman, R.J. Kizer, Robert & Dennis Skotak, Thom Shouse and Tony Randel
- Trailer, TV and radio spots
Other cast includes Darlanne Fluegel as Nanelia, whose spaceship houses a sophisticated computer to help the cause; George Peppard as a scotch-drinking space cowboy from Earth; Robert Vaughn as Gelt, an outlaw with a bounty on his head; Morgan Woodward as the reptilian Cayman; and Sybil Danning as Saint-Exmin of the Valkyrie, whose motto, “Live fast, fight well and have a beautiful ending” should be required for all women in every galaxy.
Also look for Marta Kristen (Judy Robinson of ‘Lost in Space’), Jeff Corey as the wise old Zed the Corsair, Sam Jaffe as Nanelia’s father, and a very young Julia Duffy, who you’ll remember from ‘Newhart’ and ‘Designing Women.’
‘Battle Beyond the Stars’ had a reported budget of $2 million and grossed $1.7 million on opening weekend alone. Here’s your chance to see it in all its low-budget glory.
‘Battle Beyond the Stars’ – Trailer:
‘Battle Beyond the Stars’ – Clip 1:
‘Battle Beyond the Stars’ – Clip 2: