Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)

If this movie had been made a few years earlier, it would have been a Star Wars ripoff. Instead, it’s a post-apocalyptic Mad Max-influenced film and for that, I love it that much more.

To be honest, I’ve been dying to see this movie for, oh, forty years. Why did I not choose to watch it on HBO or rent it or, you know, watch it online? It’s a mystery because this is a movie that is beyond up my alley, between starring a pre-stardom Molly Ringwald to the special effects, the fact that it was in 3-D and the fact that Michael Ironside plays a character named Overdog.

Director Lamont Johnson’s career went the whole way back to TV in the 50’s and here he is making a low budget blockbuster with Ivan Reitman producing and a script by six writers, including Jean LeFluer (who was the original director when this was to be called Adventures in the Creep Zone and was also the editor of Rabid), David Preston (The VindicatorAre You Afraid of the Dark?), Edith Ray (Breaking All the Rules), Daniel Goldberg (Heavy MetalStripesMeatballsCannibal Girls) and Len Plum (Private Parts).

Three women have been taken by pirates, which sends Wolff (Peter Strauss) and his engineer Chalmers (Andrea Marcovicci, The Stuff) to Terra XI, a colony that was destroyed by a plague and internecine battles.

After his partner is destroyed — turns out that she was a robot — Wolff gets help from Niki (Ringwald) and meets up with his old friend and now rival Washington (Ernie Hudson).

Seeing as how most of the crew was fired two weeks into filming and the script and tone of the film changed as the movie was being made, what ended up on screen isn’t all that horrible. I kind of like its shaggy dog nature, as this is a perfect 3D movie in that you don’t really need much of a story, just an excuse for lasers to blast and things to be shoved in your face.

That said, this is a drive-in movie as well, which is kind of funny, because drive-in screens aren’t usually silver-coated, which means that they would have to show the 2D cut of this film.

Also, you may have confused this with Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn. We’ll get to that soon enough.

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