CULT FACTION

For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Battle Beyond The Stars (1980)

bbtsaBattle Beyond the Stars was directed by Jimmy T. Murakami and produced by Roger Corman. The film is based on The Magnificent Seven, the Western remake of Akira Kurosawa’s film Seven Samurai. The screenplay was written by John Sayles, the score was composed by James Horner, and the special effects were directed by James Cameron.

battle3

The film opens with the farmers of the peaceful planet Akir are threatened by the space tyrant Sador (John Saxon) and his army of mutants, the Malmori. Sador’s huge ship carries a weapon called a “Stellar Converter”, which turns planets into small stars. He threatens to use the Converter unless the planet submits to him when he returns in several days. Zed (Jeff Corey), the last Akira warrior, is old and nearly blind. He suggests they hire mercenaries to protect the planet. Lacking valuable resources, they can only offer food and shelter in payment. Unable to go himself, Zed offers his ship, which has an artificial intelligence navigation and tactical computer named Nell, for the job if they can find a pilot. The ship is fast and well-armed but cannot defeat Sador alone. Shad (Richard Thomas), a young man who has piloted the ship and is well known to Nell, volunteers for the recruiting mission.

Shad’s first stop is the Hephaestus space station, which repairs androids. Expecting to find weapons, Shad instead finds only two humans among the androids: Doctor Hephaestus (Sam Jaffe), kept on life support, and his beautiful daughter Nanelia (Darlanne Fluegel). The doctor attempts to force Shad to mate with his daughter. Shad doesn’t want to abandon his people, and escapes, with Nanelia following in her own ship. Although she has no weapons, her highly advanced computer systems might be useful. The two split up to look for more mercenaries.

battle-beyond-the-stars-15

Shad comes across Space Cowboy (George Peppard), a spacegoing truck driver from Earth. Shad learns that Cowboy is late delivering a shipment of laser guns to a planet which, as they watch, Sador destroys with his weapon. Lacking the fuel to carry the weapons home, Cowboy offers to deliver them to Akir. Shad talks him into teaching the Akira to use the guns. Later, Shad meets a set of five alien clones who share a group consciousness named Nestor. They admit their life is incredibly dull, since their whole race shares one mind. In order to be entertained, they have sent five members to join Shad’s cause. Nestor does not require payment, saying they are completely self-sufficient. Next, Shad recruits Gelt (Robert Vaughn), a wealthy assassin who is so well known he can’t show his face on any civilized planet. Gelt offers his services in trade for the ability to live peacefully hiding among the Akira. Gelt’s spaceship is highly manoeuvrable and well armed. On his way back to Akir, Shad is approached by Saint Exmin (Sybil Danning), of the Valkyrie warriors. She is a headstrong woman looking to prove herself in battle. She pilots a small, barely armed, but extremely fast spaceship. Shad finds her annoying and wishes she would go away, but she tags along…

Related Posts
Zeiram (1991)

Directed by Keita Amemiya, Zeiram follows two intergalatic bounty hunters named Iria (Yûko Moriyama) and Bob (Masakazu Handa) who accept Read more

Z.P.G. (1972)

Directed by Michael Campus, Z.P.G. (Zero Population Growth) is inspired by the novel The Population Bomb by Paul R. Ehrlich. Read more

White Ghost (1988)

Written by Gary Scott Thompson and directed by BJ Davis, White Ghost (which is military code for a Vet who Read more

Time Walkers (1982)

Directed by Tom Kennedy, Time Walkers (aka Being from Another Planet) follows professor Douglas McCadden (played by Ben Murphy - Read more

The Wild Angels (1966)

Directed by Roger Corman, The Wild Angels begins with outlaw motorcycle club riding out to Mecca, California in the desert Read more

The Stuff (1985)

Written and directed by Larry Cohen, The Stuff mixes satire, horror and science fiction to deliver somewhat of a throwback Read more

The Mermaid (2016)

Directed by Stephen Chow, The Mermaid follows property tycoon Liu Xuan (Deng Chao) as he purchases the Green Gulf, a coastal Read more

The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Directed by Roger Corman, The Masque of the Red Death is based upon the 1842 short story of the same Read more

The legend of “See You Next Wednesday”

See You Next Wednesday began as a recurring gag for film director John Landis. He took the line from the Read more

The Fantastic Four (1994)

It remains officially unreleased, but 1994's The Fantastic Four (which was only made so that the film company could retain Read more

Founded Cult Faction in 2014. Some would describe him as a teacher, writer, dream weaver, and visionary... some would not...

3 thoughts on “Battle Beyond The Stars (1980)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: