Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone stars Peter Strauss, Molly Ringwald, Ernie Hudson, Andrea Marcovicci, and Michael Ironside. The film’s executive producer was Ivan Reitman, and it was directed by Lamont Johnson. The film had an adventurous music score composed by Elmer Bernstein. When the movie came out in theatres, parts of it were shown in 3-D and the film became part of the 3-D movie revival craze of the early 1980s.
Set in the 22nd century, the film opens with the destruction of a space cruise liner that collides with a meteor. The only apparent survivors are three beautiful women – Nova (Cali Timmins), Reena (Aleisa Shirley), and Meagan (Deborah Pratt) – who get away in an escape pod and land on the nearest habitable planet. There, they are quickly accosted by the hostile natives and taken aboard a sail-driven vehicle resembling a pirate ship on rails.
In space, an alert goes out for the safe return of the women with a reward of 3,000 “mega-credits”. A small time salvage operator named Wolff (Peter Strauss) intercepts the message and heads to the planet. Joining him is his female engineer Chalmers (Andrea Marcovicci), who learns the planet – called Terra XI – is a failed colony that fell victim to a deadly plague and civil warfare. Wolff risks the dangers believing the reward will solve his debt problems.
After landing on the barren world, Wolff and Chalmers set out in a 4-wheel drive vehicle called the “Scrambler”. Soon, they join a battle in progress between a group of marauders (called the “Zoners”) and a band of nomads (the “Scavs”). The Zoners take the women before Wolff can stop them and fly away on jet-powered hang-gliders. Wolff learns from the Scavs that the women were taken into “The Zone” which is ruled by “Overdog” – their sworn enemy. Returning to the Scrambler, Wolff finds Chalmers – who is really an android – has been “killed”. Wolff continues on alone, but soon catches a teenage Scav named Niki (Molly Ringwald) trying to steal his Scrambler. She convinces Wolff that he needs a tracker if he is to survive The Zone and Wolff reluctantly takes her lead…