Review #819: Battle Beyond the Stars.
Richard Thomas (Shad), Robert Vaughn (Gelt), John Saxon (Sador), George Peppard (Space Cowboy), Darlanne Fluegel (Nanelia), Sybil Danning (Saint-Exmin), Sam Jaffe (Dr. Hephaestus), Jeff Corey (Zed), Morgan Woodward (Cayman of the Lambda Zone), Marta Kristen (Lux), Lynn Carlin (Nell), Earl Boen (Nestor 1), and John Gowens (Nestor 2) Directed by Jimmy T. Murakami.
It's no coincidence that I decided to pick this on July 7th. Roger Corman was behind the production of what was intended as "The Magnificent Seven (itself a remake of Seven Samurai) in outer space", with Robert Vaughn (one of the original Seven) even appearing as one of the mercenaries. Fun fact: George Peppard had apparently been considered for The Magnificent Seven (#427), but Yul Brynner was chosen as the lead instead. James Cameron did the special effects (such as the models) for the film, which are relatively decent for a B-movie like this. Battle Beyond the Stars devotes a good deal of its run-time to the recruitment to save the planet Akira, finally getting around to a battle between the two around an hour in a movie that just lasts over 100 minutes. When it does get to the action, Battle Beyond the Stars is certainly entertaining enough, appealing to anyone willing to overlook the cheesiness of it all, much like with Starcrash (#755), though this film is arguably better in quality. The cast is certainly interesting to watch; Thomas is a decent lead, though he does take some time to get used to. Vaughn (in the brief time he appears in) is interesting to watch, playing essentially the same role as he did in Magnificent Seven. Saxon (who merely wanted to live forever) is quirky enough as the villain, though he really doesn't get enough screen-time, apart from the end. Peppard is a fun enough kind of cowboy, with a few effective one-liners in him. Obviously the story and feel of the film is a bit familiar, but it has enough ridiculous aspects of cheese and charm to work on at least some level, depending on the kind of mood / preference one is up for.
Apologies for the delay, internet troubles.
Overall, I give it 7 out of 10 stars.