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The Last Starfighter

USA 1984
produced by
Gary Adelson, Edward O. Denault for Lorimar/Universal
directed by Nick Castle
starring Lance Guest, Dan O'Herlihy, Catherine Mary Stewart, Barbara Bosson, Norman Snow, Robert Preston, Chris Hebert, Kay E. Kuter, Dan Mason, John O'Leary, George McDaniel, Charlene Nelson, John Maio, Robert Starr, Al Berry, Scott Dunlop, Vernon Washington, Peter Nelson, Peggy Pope, Meg Wyllie, Ellen Blake, Britt Leach, Bunny Summers, Owen Bush, Marc Alaimo, Cameron Dye, Geoffrey Blake, Kimberly Ross, Wil Wheaton, Bob Kenaston, Ed Berke
written by Jonathan R. Betuel, music by Craig Safan, production design by Ron Cobb, special effects supervisor: Kevin Pike, special makeup effects by Lance Anderson, digital effects by Digital Productions

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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There's really little to tell about young Alex (Lance Guest), he's a good-natured nobody who lives in a trailer park and who can't go to the college he wants to, which kind of smashes his dreams about a better future. The most special things about him are probably his beautiful girlfriend Maggie (Catherine Mary Stewart) ... and that he's the champ at an arcade game called Starfighter, a world record holder actually. Thing is, Starfighter is not a regular video game but a rectuitment tool put there by Centauri (Robert Preston) who uses it to find the best gunmen of the universe to join the ranks of the Starfighters, an intergalactic group to defend out galaxy against the forces of evil Lord Xur (Norman Snow). Now Alex of course has no intentions to fight a war that isn't even his, a war he's more than likely to die in, so after his briefing at Starfighter headquarters, he requests Centauri to fly him back to earth.

Back on earth, a clone has meanwhile taken Alex's place, and even though the clone is well-meaning, he messes things up royally. Of course there is some confusion when the real Alex returns ... and then both are shot at by an intergalactic bounty hunter sent by Lord Xur, who has learned about Alex's qualities and wants him out of the way. Now on the run from the bounty hunter, Alex decides to join the Starfighters after all, leaving his clone on earth as a decoy - but back at the Starfighter basis, he finds it mostly destroyed, and all other Starfighters killed, so to defend the galaxy, there's only himself and alien pilot Grig (Dan O'Herlihy) left. But almost unexpectedly they make a very good team, and soon enough bring the fight to Lord Xur - but that said, they're just one ship against an armada ...


The Last Starfighter is not exactly a great film and certainly no classic in the traditional sense of the word - but it's a prime piece of nostalgia as it seems to embody everything that made a 1980s movie, from teen comedy elements worthy a John Hughes to a loving lack of understanding for videogames, to a few too many Star Wars references to not be called a rip-off, to computer effects that just fail to fully convince (even if they look very advanced for the time), all rolled in a zero-to-hero story so popular back when. And all of this is basically what makes this movie, it might not be "good" from an objective point of view, but all the elements thrown together just give one a warm and fuzzy feeling all the same - especially to those who grew up in the 1980s.


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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