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Battle Beyond the Stars

USA 1980
produced by
Ed Carlin, Roger Corman (executive) for New World
directed by Jimmy T. Murakami
starring Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, George Peppard, Darlanne Fluegel, Sybil Danning, Sam Jaffe, Jeff Corey, Morgan Woodward, Marta Kristen, Earl Boen, John D.Gowans, Steve Davis, Lawrence Steven Meyers, Lara Cody, Lynn Carlin, Julia Duffy, Eric Morris, Doug Carleson, Ron Ross, Terrence E.McNally, Galen Thompson, Whitney Rydbeck, Tom Henschel, Richard Davalos, Nate Esformes, Lanny Broyles, Rob Reece
story by John Sayles, Anne Dyer, screenplay by John Sayles, music by James Horner

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Outer space, sometime in the far far future: The evil Sador (John Saxon) wants to conquer the world Akira, which is inhabited by a peaqce-loving tribe that doesn't even have any means of defense. And thus, a young Akiran, Shad (Richard Thomas) is sent to outer space in the Akirans' only spaceship to collect mercenaries from all over the galaxy. Eventually, he returns with a small collection of men and women who are willing to help, the ruthless Gelt (Robert Vaughn), the weapons expert Nanelia (Darlanne Fluegel), the female warrior Saint-Exmin (Sybil Danning), the self-explanatory cowboy (George Peppard), the clone-collective Nestor and the alien Cayman (Morgan Woodward). Of course, this small gang of mercenaries is hopelessly outnumbered by Sador's army, but they figure they got one chance: To seperate Sador's mothership from his fighter jets, then wait for him to lower his shields to use his ultimate weapon, the Stellar Converter, and then put the converter and hopefully the ship with it out of commission.

After an extended battle, the converter is destroyed even, but all but Shad and Nanelia have been killed in fight, and even without the converter, Sador poses a threat to Akira - thus Shad lets Sador captor his ship in Sador's tractor beam and pull it back to the mothership, then puts the ship on self destruct and leaves by escape pod ... and boom!, Sador is history.


One of the many films produced in the wake of George Lucas' original Star Wars series, Battle Beyond the Stars is actually one of those movies that comes off as more original and more entertaining than Lucas' films. Deliberately quoting The Seven Samurai and its remake The Magnificent Seven while not taking itself too seriously, this is a very likeable space opera full of cheap but effective special effects, colourful (if caricature-like) characters and an onslaught of action. Only Richard Thomas from The Waltons in the lead seems a bit out of place in this film, but I guess they just needed someone who could portray an as wet-behind-the-ears character as Mark Hamill did in the Star Wars movies - unfortunately. Still, the film is good, harmless fun.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD